More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 7.14%
Total Crap: 7.14%

1 review, 8 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Exhibition (1975) by Charles Tatum

D2: The Mighty Ducks by Jaycie

By the Sea by Jay Seaver

Our Times by Jay Seaver

Caffeine by Jaycie

Hunger Games, The: Mockingjay- Part 2 by Jay Seaver

Night Before, The by Peter Sobczynski

Dangerous Men (2005) by Peter Sobczynski

Secret in their Eyes, The (2015) by Peter Sobczynski

Journey Through Time with Anthony, A by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Thin Blue Line, The
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Charles Tatum

"As perfect a documentary as you will ever find"
5 stars

In November 1976 in Dallas, Texas, Police Officer Robert Wood was shot and killed while making an otherwise routine traffic stop. One man was arrested and sentenced to death for the crime, based on the testimony of a sixteen year old acquaintance. These basic facts are covered in one of the most brilliant films to come out of the 1980's.

Randall Adams was no drifter. He was moving from Ohio and was staying in Dallas with his brother. He found a good job, and planned on living there a while. Then he met David Harris, a punk from a Ku Klux Klan infested small town in southern Texas. The officer is murdered, and Harris blames Adams, even though Harris gloated about shooting the young cop to his friends.

Adams was railroaded into prison while Harris embarked on a petty crime spree. He continued his misdemeanor ways until he actually killed a man during a botched kidnapping. Now Harris was in jail, and Adams was still appealing his conviction. Witnesses came forward claiming to have seen Adams shoot Wood, yet none of them have a gleam of credibility. Finally, Adams gets some decent lawyers, who begin working to get him out. He is granted an appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court, but as of the making of the film, he was still serving life in prison. A little research shows Adams was eventually released, thanks to this film, and Harris all but confessed to shooting the policeman.

Errol Morris goes where few documentary makers go. He films convincing reenactments of the crime. These are not "Unsolved Mysteries"-type reenactments, Morris has a real director's eye, and gives the audience every detail needed- from a tossed milkshake to the number of people spotted in the killer's car. Philip Glass adds a haunting musical score that gets under your skin and hypnotizes you.

The convict Adams is a sincere man, and the film makers are obviously rooting for his cause. Harris is an ignorant punk, enjoying playing games with people's lives. If the Dallas County prosecutors had done their job, Harris would not have committed his second murder. Food for thought. Harris' final interview, done on audio cassette, is chilling, and will make a believer of anyone who otherwise thought "this could never happen to me." The three witnesses to the slaying are a joke, two in it for the reward, and a salesman who boasts of his photographic memory but cannot recall if Wood's patrol car was in front of or behind Harris' stolen vehicle.

This is more than talking heads, this is a searing story that puts to shame any fiction that tries to cover the same ground. For this kind of thing to happen to an innocent man, it is also scary as hell.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 01/20/03 05:51:50
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

6/24/10 brian The best investigative true crime film ever made. 5 stars
9/10/07 tony a surreal experience! 5 stars
10/05/06 Carol Baker Too much talk and not enough visual footage 2 stars
3/08/06 mike hunt it sucked fuckin ass 1 stars
2/29/04 Ron Toigo Great Film that really convinces me never to go to Texas. 5 stars
2/27/04 L Hannie The Devil truly lived in Dallas 5 stars
1/14/04 tatum Excellent 5 stars
1/20/03 Jack Sommersby You're totally right, Charles! This is a brilliant, disturbing piece of work. Super review. 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  09-Sep-1988 (NR)
  DVD: 26-Jul-2005



Directed by
  Errol Morris

Written by


Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2014, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast