The Laramie Project (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Laramie Project (2002)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

After the brutal 1998 murder of 21-year-old homosexual Matthew Sheppard in Laramie, Wyoming, Moises Kaufman, head of the New York-based Tectonic Theatre Project, took his actors to Laramie, intending to conduct an unofficial but in-depth investigation of one of the most heinous hate crimes of the 1990s. Over the next several months, Kaufman and his fellow performers interviewed Matthew's friends and family, the police involved in the investigation of the killing, and virtually everyone else in Laramie. Digesting the reactions to, and long-ranging effects of, the shocking crime, the Tectonic troupe ultimately mounted the stage presentation +The Laramie Project, which incorporated the interview transcripts in the form of monologues reflecting the sorrow and anger expressed by those closest to the situation. The production was filmed on location in and around Laramie in 2001, utilizing some of the original cast members but also including such "A-list" peformers as Amy Madigan (as Laramie cop Reggie Fluty), Frances Sternhagen (as Reggie's mother) and Peter Fonda (as a local doctor); Moises Kaufman himself was portrayed by Nestor Carbonell. Presented at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2002, The Laramie Project was slated to be telecast by HBO on March 16 of that same year, but was moved up to March 9 to avoid competition with NBC's own TV-movie spin on the same tragic incident, The Matthew Shepard Story.more
Rating: R (adult situations)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Stephen Belber, Leigh Fondakowski, Jeffrey LaHoste, Stephen Wangh, Barbara Pitts
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 25, 2002
HBO Films


Nestor Carbonell
as Moises Kaufman
Christina Ricci
as Romaine Patterson
Steve Buscemi
as Doc O'Connor
Laura Linney
as Sherry Johnson
Dylan Baker
as Rulon Stacey
Tom Bower
as Father Roger Schmit
Clancy Brown
as Rob Debree
Jeremy Davies
as Jedediah Schultz
Peter Fonda
as Dr. Cantway
Ben Foster
as Aaron Kreifels
Janeane Garofalo
as Catherine Connolly
Bill Irwin
as Harry Woods
Joshua Jackson
as Matt Galloway
Terry Kinney
as Dennis Shepard
Amy Madigan
as Off. Reggie Fluty
Camryn Manheim
as Rebecca Hilliker
Lois Smith
as Lucy Thompson
Frances Sternhagen
as Marge Murray
Mark Webber
as Aaron McKinney
Garrett Neergaard
as Russell Henderson
Noah Fleiss
as Shannon
Amanda Gronich
as Zackie Salmon
Margo Martindale
as Trish Steger
John McAdams
as Jonas Slonaker
James Murtaugh
as Reverend Fred Phelps
Andy Paris
as Stephen Belber
Greg Pierotti
as John Peacock
Kelli Simpkins
as Leigh Fondakowski
Grant Vargas
as Greg Pierotti
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Laramie Project

Critic Reviews for The Laramie Project

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3)

The bottom line is the piece works brilliantly.

April 8, 2002
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

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

The Laramie Project is not really about Matthew Shepard but about this question of identification with Matthew, and of identification with the larger community of Laramie that admitted, sustained, eliminated, grieved, and civilly avenged Matthew.

Full Review… | February 5, 2012
Nick's Flick Picks

A fascinating chorus of outrage and sadness, hatred and hope.

Full Review… | September 24, 2007

Though well-intentioned, dealing with the relevant issues of hate crimes and gay bashing, artisticaly speaking, Moises Kaufman's film, the opening night of 2001 Sundance Fest, is quite disappointing.

Full Review… | November 15, 2006

Audience Reviews for The Laramie Project


Moving and important story. Great cast.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


The Laramie Project is the movie to watch on the Matthew Shepard ordeal. Although far from perfect, this is a well acted and directed docu drama that tells a remarkable true story. Although far from perfect, the story is compelling and is worth seeing if you want to watch something truly engaging. This is a must see film for people interested in this poignant story. I thought that it was a well made movie that could have been a bit better, but it is much better than The Matthew Shepard story. The performances are pretty good and the story is engaging from start to finish, and there are some very good cast members here that give some good performances. There are things that could have been changed to make the film better, but for what it is, it works as an interesting docudrama. Although not perfect, it's still well acted and tells a great story. What Happened to Matthew Shepard should never happened, but it also opened the door to much needed action against hate crimes and equality. This is the film to watch if you're interested in the Matthew Shepard ordeal, and it is entertaining with good, memorable performances and well written story. However like I said, it could have been reworked slightly just to make it better. The Laramie Project will most likely have an impact on any viewer that will watch the film, and it is a film that you can't forget. The film has its flaws of course, but it is a well made movie that brings to light an important issue.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

The story is sad & tragic since it happened for real, but it doesn't work too well as a docudrama. I mean, it's just about okay. I thought that it was a documentary before I went for it, but later realized (after seeing Christina Ricci) that it's a docudrama.

Don't have high expectations & you might be able to sit through it.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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