Suspenseful who done it courtroom drama. (by jandmga)
I have been waiting quite awhile to see this movie. I finally got to view it today. Not sure why it is taking so long to play in the US. First of all, I love courtroom dramas. This one was right on target with the slow build up of the story. With the flashbacks while people were testifying to one way things happened and the way they really happened kept you guessing what the whole truth was. Why was everyone kinda lying? The suspense builds until you do not know who did it until the very end. Then it just catches you off guard because you did not expect the answer that came. Then you just sit <more>
in amazement as the credits roll by saying to yourself "oh that one got me". Really enjoyed the movie. Will watch it again to see what I missed. As always, Keanu Reeves does an excellent job as the defense attorney. Really plays it close to the cuff. Renee Zellwiget did a great job also. It was a well acted movie with a great story line. This movie was directed by a woman, Courtney Cox, and she did a great job. I hope we continue to see movies if this caliber in the future. Recommend it highly.
The Whole Truth Doesn't Come Out in the Courtroom (by cinswan)
For those who haven't experienced sexual abuse in the home from family members, this subplot may seem sensational. For those who have and don't yet remember it consciously it may be disturbing. For those of us who do remember, it is a cathartic story that lets us know we are not alone, and it's a brave subtext for Nicholas Kazan to tackle, Courtney Hunt to direct, and the actors to portray.Jim Belushi's portrayal of Boone Lassiter, the gregarious, happy guy in company but the dominating, abusing husband and father in private, using sex as power, is disgustingly true to life. <more>
It's easy to not sympathize with the fact that he was murdered; however, murder is a crime that leaves evidence – the body. Rape within the family leaves no evidence as long as the victims are continually bullied and fearful of getting help.Through flashbacks and narration, the relationships between the Lassiter family as well as defense attorney Richard Ramsay Keanu Reeves are revealed. Granted, Ramsay says he knows the family well, that he's an old friend – he used to work with Boone Lassiter. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that he was more than just a friend. Loretta Lassiter Reneé Zellweger shows the tension, reserve and hesitation that hallmarks many abused women, however, one scene reveals that her relationship with Ramsay is more than just as a family friend.Mike Lassiter's silence is the problem around which Ramsay has to navigate, and as the story is unraveled it's not until the end it becomes clear why the son refuses to speak to his own lawyer and friend of the family. It's not as simple as teenage brooding. Gabriel Basso gives a nuanced performance – without speaking. The courtroom scenes are well played and riveting, with each redirection of questioning from Ramsay's defense revealing what has actually been happening in this family, through people's lies. This film shows that when it comes to violence within a family, the whole truth often isn't revealed in court. Despite merciful justice in the courtroom, in life, redemption isn't so simple, and people take great risks – and commit crime – in order to protect someone they love. Despite the disturbing subject matter, I highly recommend it – precisely for the subject matter.Isabeau Vollhardt Author, The Casebook of Elisha Grey mystery/detective/SF series
I have no way to tell about this movie without spoilers so I will just say it is a good movie and you should see it if you are over 14 years old. I look forward to more movies from Courtney Hunt who wrote and directed this one. Excellent courtroom drama in the quintessential American city of New Orleans.
A Solid Mystery with Unexplained Twists (by skegee)
Wow! The movie was a well-written screenplay and superb acting. In the movie, the accused son proved himself to be a legal prodigy. The accused son's mother proved herself to be a very suspicious wife of the deceased. The defense attorney proved himself to be a deviant lawyer. It appears the assistant defense attorney was also a legal prodigy herself; later proved herself to be a brilliant attorney. It is a slow movie that required your attention to the details. The surprised ending left a definitive court outcome with several questions unanswered. There were unexplained twists or set of <more>
circumstances. Popcorn and water movie recommended.
I watch every legal thriller I can find not adapted from some mass- producing legal thriller novelist. I thought I'd seen every narrative trick in the book in this genre. "The Whole Truth" has a surprise ending, but long before the "whole truth" is revealed, I decided it is hands-down one of the best I've ever seen.Why? Although this film is set in Louisiana, there's no clichéd southern "down-home" scenes or premise, such as in Downey/Duvall's "The Judge." No legal coup de grace such as in "Primal Fear" or "The <more>
Verdict." No lawyer-as-superman. Instead, we have boring, bad, mundane, even sickening characters and undeveloped subplots. In other words, "The Whole Truth" feels so true to life, by the third act, your heart's pounding and adrenaline's rushing...although absolutely no character in this film is special. Keanu Reeves delivers a performance most reviewers have panned. He's so boring in the lead role of a defense attorney known only as "Ramsey" that you start off thinking, Holy Moses, how did this actor get where he is. And then slowly, very slowly, your heart pounds and adrenaline rushes because he's as much of a legal snake as Marty Vail "Primal Fear" . He's doing EXACTLY what he describes when he tells his newbie second-chair, Janelle Gugu Mbatha-Raw how Mohammed Ali won the fight with Joe Frazier. Ali was the "dope on the rope," conserving his strength for the last round. Janelle is a very quick learner—as boring as every other character in this film--but so there when he needs her. Ramsey does voice-overs throughout the film, another thing panned by critics. Why should the voice-over be panned? Harrison Ford did voice-overs in "Presumed Innocent," although that film is has fallen into disdain these days as being too much in the 90's legal grand guignol tradition. You won't hear any Edward Norton-style "M-M-M-Mr. Vail? Marty?" in this spare new movie. The voice-overs serve as a plot device that turns out ingenious and integral to the audience's like- -or dislike--of Reeve's jaded, lazy self. He his hired to represent for capital murder Mike Gabriel Basso , the young, privileged son of a former colleague Jim Belushi . "All witnesses lie," Ramsey says several times. That's all he seems to care about, in fact. When, right before the verdict is read, Mike leans toward him and whispers cynically, "Appeal?" We think, This is just how poor representation by a mediocre lawyer goes. That impression is wrong.Renee Zellweger plays Loretta, the wife of Boone Belushi . She is a horribly abused wife, abused in every way. It's no stretch of imagination to think her son, apparently hers and Boone's only child, is in the jam he's in because a son of the South could endure his mother's abuse only so long. Zellweger is fantastic in her role, pitiful and soulless all at once. That a neighbor boy has a crush on her is believable, because she has the undeveloped character of a preteen.So when two third-act shocks come, one involving Mike, the other, Janelle and a stewardess Nicole Barre , you can't take your eyes from the screen. The scene between Janelle and the stewardess is unquestionably the film's high-point...as it should be. Neither is a person of importance to the plot, just as in a real- life courtroom, testimony or witness-stand shocks often come from people whose fates don't depend on the trial's outcome. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is not only a stunning actress, she is Reeves' kind, underplaying a role that at first seems as if it will be the one that will tilt the believability meter. Janelle has a Rich Daddy we thankfully never get to meet. "The Whole Truth" is an ensemble effort that by not going for the big legal drama deal, succeeds in being exactly that. Enjoy 80's and 90's courtroom melodramas; they were great in their day. But don't trust reviews of this film. Hopefully, "The Whole Truth" will mark the re-emergence of the legal thriller as a genre recently neglected. A very significant character at the end screams, "What now?" after the best verdict possible is read. And you just know that that's from real life.
Good to see Keanu Reeves now that he's matured and his acting has improved. I loved the twist at the end.
Great Ending Makes It Better (by AudioFileZ)
Did you like those old Perry Mason shows? Are you an attorney? If you answered yes to either of those questions it's likely you'll enjoy "The Whole Truth". What this movie does well is slowly reveal the truth, very slowly. In the mean time it shows a kind of love of the law itself. How it can be worked to an unlikely outcome, yet one that has some legs as in "well, I didn't see that coming". To a viewer that is not particularly connected to TV law or isn't even that interested in it, let alone being an attorney, there is still quite a compelling story here. <more>
Granted it takes the strangeness of an accused killer attempting to protect someone besides himself. But, who?As I write this the rating for "The Whole Truth" is hovering around 6.5 and I've got to think it's just a bit low. This film is better and the reason is that it shows a lot about people and the law. Sure, an attorney could love this, but it's more than that. It's about how a pat situation isn't always pat, at least when it comes to a critical mass in court. It's about different party's agendas colliding with something huge at stake. It's about what you think you know, but in reality you don't because it comes down to just a compacted courtroom re-casting of even less. It's a chess game, but one in which there's more than two players. There's at least three and within the three there is some tremendous manipulation. So, whose the master manipulator whose agenda prevailed? And who are the parties that got played? It can't be denied these are fantastic questions. They're woven well too. I was never bored watching this movie even if it moved quite slowly and revealed little to nothing until the final third. This kind of enigmatic progression worked expertly building up to a real "home run" ending where there was a huge turn of events.Keanu Reeves isn't right for every role. His detached acting skills seemed spot-on here. He played poker with the big boys even though, as actually happens, he lucked into his final courtroom victory. But, as the movie closes the question looms if he was ultimately the played one has to be addressed in ways you wouldn't have seen coming. That's what I call a great ending to an otherwise good courtroom drama. It raised the bar, and the rating.
A great ending tops off a solid film (by jtindahouse)
There's nothing like a good courtroom thriller. The thing I love about them is that everything can't possible be as it seems, because otherwise there would be no point in making the movie. There's nothing at all interesting about a straightforward court case, however one with a twist is a thing to behold. The only problem with this is that a lot of them end up getting rated purely on the strength of their twist. Everything that has happened up until that point can tend to be forgotten. That's sort of the case again here. A solid, but not stunning movie comes alive with a very <more>
strong ending, and it certainly adds some plus points to the final opinion of the film.I tend to really like Keanu Reeves thrillers. A lot of his dramas and sci-fi films are completely forgettable, but when he signs on to a thriller it often seems to turn out very good. Renee Zellweger on the other hand is far from a personal favourite of mine. She has a serious lack of charisma and her appearance change is very distracting in this film. I feel like there are a lot of actresses who could have done a better job in this role.'The Whole Truth' is a film that is entertaining throughout, partly because you are almost certain there is a twist coming, and partly because the story is well written and movies at a good pace. Then at the end it goes Bang! I really enjoyed this film and I think any thriller lovers out there will have a good time with it too.
You have a defendant, a victim, a prosecutor, a judge and a jury. Then you have the defence. He has to come up with an argument for different kind of themes and topics that's being brought up: emotions, rationalities, causalities, effects, subjects, objectives, helpers, opponents. His dexterity is in co-authoring a story against the prosecutor that a jury sympathises with. It's like a game of chess. And if you are clever to follow the story that's being authored on the fly, you feel like getting warmer, getting to figure it all out.Except, you're wrong. And you were naive and <more>
too self-confident. Witnesses lie. They "all lie." And now, it's too raw for you to stomach.