Killer: A Journal of Murder (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Killer: A Journal of Murder (1996)

Killer: A Journal of Murder





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Based on a true story, this psychological study concerns Henry Lesser (Robert Sean Leonard), a prison guard who witnesses the brutal beating of an inmate, Carl Panzram (James Woods), who attempted to escape. Lesser tries to befriend the convict, whom he senses has an intelligence that has gone unrecognized by his jailers; he gives Panzram a notebook and pencils and encourages him to keep a journal. Panzram responds by writing the story of his life of crime -- a shocking litany of violence and brutality in which he takes credit for 21 murders, numerous armed robberies, several acts of arson, and over 1,000 homosexual rapes. Lesser has a difficult time reconciling the intelligent, articulate man he sees in his cell every day with the monster documented in his writings (though as far as anyone can tell, his claims are entirely accurate). Lesser believes that there's a humanity in Panzram that can be brought out, and that he can be redeemed and perhaps rehabilitated. Panzram, however, doesn't seem so convinced; his violent behavior continues behind bars, and attempts by opponents of the death penalty to prevent his execution only inspire his scorn -- as he sees it, society made him a killer, and it's society's responsibility to stop him once and for all. Killer: A Journal of Murder was the first directorial project for screenwriter Tim Metcalfe.more
Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Tim Metcalfe
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 19, 1997
Spelling Entertainment


James Woods
as Carl Panzram
Robert Sean Leonard
as Henry Lesser
Ellen Greene
as Elizabeth Weaks
Cara Buono
as Esther Lesser
John Bedford Lloyd
as Karl Menninger
Robert John Burke
as R.G. Grieser
Steve Forrest
as Warden Charles
Jeffrey DeMunn
as Sam Lesser
Richard Riehle
as Warden Quince
Harold Gould
as Old Henry Lesser
Conrad McLaren
as Judge Kingman
Eddie Cairis
as Young Carl Panzram
Seth Romitelli
as Teenaged Carl Panzra...
John McKay
as Jack Turner
James Murtaugh
as Walter Bailey
Richard Spore
as Jury Foreman
Stephen Mendillo
as Hiram the Guard
Martha A. Woods
as Lady Bartender
Reathel Bean
as uncredited
Samuel Resnikoff
as uncredited
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Killer: A Journal of Murder

Critic Reviews for Killer: A Journal of Murder

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (6)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

Full Review… | October 8, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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