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Incendiary: The Willingham Case Reviews

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John Esther
UR Chicago Magazine

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

Full Review Source: UR Chicago Magazine

June 27, 2012
Brent Simon

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

Full Review Source: | Original Score: B

November 19, 2011
Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 19, 2011
Shannon M. Houston
Paste Magazine

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.

Full Review Source: Paste Magazine | Original Score: 7.3/10

October 18, 2011
Charles Ealy
Austin American-Statesman

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

Full Review Source: Austin American-Statesman | Original Score: A-

October 17, 2011
Cynthia Fuchs

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.

Full Review Source: PopMatters

October 17, 2011
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion

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.'

Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion | Original Score: B

October 13, 2011
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Highly engaging.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

October 13, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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It's a sobering look at the danger of fallible people making irreversible decisions.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 7, 2011
Marshall Fine
Hollywood & Fine

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

Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine

October 7, 2011
David DeWitt
New York Times
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

October 6, 2011
Sam Adams
AV Club
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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.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

October 6, 2011
Rob Hunter
Film School Rejects

Full Review Source: Film School Rejects | Original Score: B+

October 5, 2011
Nick Schager
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If occasionally a tad dry, it's a doc that successfully inflames one's righteous indignation at government-sanctioned anti-intellectualism, even as it leaves slightly open the question of its deceased subject's actual guilt.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

October 4, 2011
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
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Crime doc about a dubious arson case is made more interesting by the involvement of Rick Perry.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

October 4, 2011
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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A gripping, appalling and finally galling tick-tock of justice denied in modern-day Texas.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

September 30, 2011
Joe Leydon
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Incendiary: The Willingham Case is a frequently unsettling account of how dubious "science" possibly led to an irreversible miscarriage of justice.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 28, 2011
Kimberley Jones
Austin Chronicle

You know what they say: Everything's bigger in Texas, including the irrational hostility toward science, toward learning, toward temperance, as Mims and Bailey's well-made, deeply disheartening film demonstrates.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 3.5/5

September 23, 2011
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

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

Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 24, 2011
Nora Lee Mandel

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.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/10

October 21, 2011
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