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Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011)



Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 91

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1991, Cameron Todd Willingham's three daughters died in a Corsicana, Texas house fire. Tried and convicted for their arson murders, Willingham was executed in February 2004 despite overwhelming expert criticism of the prosecution's arson evidence. Today, Willingham's name has become a call for reform in the field of forensics and a rallying cry for the anti-death penalty movement; yet he remains an indisputable "monster" in the eyes of Texas Governor Rick Perry, who ignored the science that


Documentary, Special Interest



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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (4) | DVD (1)

Alarming viewing for anyone who cares about the American justice system.

November 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Highly engaging.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
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Raises interesting and important questions but suffers from poor organization and glosses over or ignores inconvenient facts.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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It's a sobering look at the danger of fallible people making irreversible decisions.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
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Mr. Martin is confident in his convictions. The filmmakers are confident about their science. Justice, this strong documentary asserts, is at risk in the division.

October 6, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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It's too bad that Steve Mims and Joe Bailey, Jr.'s documentary Incendiary doesn't reach more effectively beyond those who already share its assumptions.

October 6, 2011 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As sober as a lab report, the excellent documentary metes out its findings with calm precision.

June 27, 2012 Full Review Source: UR Chicago Magazine

Rather flatly told but still engaging throughout, this doc should appeal to both newsmagazine junkies and those impassioned by the death penalty debate.

November 19, 2011 Full Review Source:

starts as a meticulous deconstruction of injustice, but ends up feeling more like an elaborate, preaching-to-the-choir anti-Perry campaign film

October 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Documentary about injustice piles on facts still needs to make a cinematic case [with] better graphics and clearer explanations. . .Fire images visually drown out reasoning.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source:

Despite the occasional broad-brush stroke, the filmmakers refuse to tell the viewer which side to take. There's no big-bang ending that tells the audience, once and for all, where the film or filmmakers stand.

October 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Through the use of visuals and extensive interviews, Mims and Bailey have turned the Willingham case into a gripping saga.

October 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Austin American-Statesman
Austin American-Statesman

Incendiary contends that even if it's too late to save Todd Willingham, it's also long past time for the officials who ignored this obligation, Rick Perry included, to own up.

October 17, 2011 Full Review Source: PopMatters

A formally conventional but provocative, and perhaps even important, piece of non-fiction pleading, worthy of being on a double bill with another bit of Texana, Errol Morris' 'The Thin Blue Line.'

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Like a match being lit to a tinderpile of flimsy evidence that led to the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham in Texas in 2004.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine
Hollywood & Fine

Incendiary exposes a crucial social dialectic without affixing a relatable, if reductive, human face to the center.

October 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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