Witness Reviews

  • Jun 14, 2020

    How a simple thriller is enlarged with the clash of two cultures and brought to greatness still amazes me

    How a simple thriller is enlarged with the clash of two cultures and brought to greatness still amazes me

  • May 28, 2020

    Harrison Ford plays a Cop assigned to protect a woman who is being targeted for murder. He also has to adjust to living with her family because they are all Amish. It’s a really good movie that has some great ideas.

    Harrison Ford plays a Cop assigned to protect a woman who is being targeted for murder. He also has to adjust to living with her family because they are all Amish. It’s a really good movie that has some great ideas.

  • May 25, 2020

    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I watched it when I was younger, and now it's included as one of the best movies out of the eighties. Part crime drama, part fish-out-water, and the mixing of two genres are pretty inspired. Good performances from the cast. Worthy of Harrison Ford and I don't know why, but this is one of his best performances and vastly underrated.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I watched it when I was younger, and now it's included as one of the best movies out of the eighties. Part crime drama, part fish-out-water, and the mixing of two genres are pretty inspired. Good performances from the cast. Worthy of Harrison Ford and I don't know why, but this is one of his best performances and vastly underrated.

  • Mar 09, 2020

    It is not a crime thriller or mystery, since you know what happened and by whom pretty early in the movie. This plot is really just a device to tell a decent story about the Amish using great cinematography and dialogue. The romantic element is forced and unrealistic, and some of the "confrontations" between Amish society and "English" society is very contrived.

    It is not a crime thriller or mystery, since you know what happened and by whom pretty early in the movie. This plot is really just a device to tell a decent story about the Amish using great cinematography and dialogue. The romantic element is forced and unrealistic, and some of the "confrontations" between Amish society and "English" society is very contrived.

  • Feb 18, 2020

    Well-conceived clash of context, despite its come-and-go thriller elements

    Well-conceived clash of context, despite its come-and-go thriller elements

  • Oct 09, 2019

    An interesting look into the living world of the Amish when a police officer hides in their community. Decent crime thriller.

    An interesting look into the living world of the Amish when a police officer hides in their community. Decent crime thriller.

  • Aug 01, 2019

    Harrison Ford has never been my favorite actor as I think he has limited range with his later work with lesser directors showing up his lack of talent but this film was made at the height of his popularity and it uses him well. The film benefits from strong direction by Peter Weir who made the marvelous Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and Fearless (1993) and who brings a tasteful sensibility to this film that is needed to bump it up from traditional action/thriller. The film succeeds not because of it's action elements but because of it's commitment to focusing on the relationship between the central characters and how their lives are affected by the threat of the villains. Widowed Amish woman Rachel Lapp, Kelly McGillis, takes her son Samuel, Lukas Haas, to the city to board a train to Baltimore where her relatives live. Their journey is cut short when Samuel witnesses a police officer being brutally murdered by two other men. Police Detective John Book, Harrison Ford, is assigned to the case and Samuel quickly identifies one of his fellow police officers as the man who committed the crime causing him to realize the corruption the surrounds him. Aware that the three of them will be killed if found he runs away with Lapp and Samuel to their Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he struggles to fit in while dealing with a mutual attraction to Lapp. The romance at the center of the film is buoyed by intense chemistry between Ford and McGillis, well written scenes of the two bonding and a surprisingly realistic end to their relationship. The two go toe to toe as Ford's sarcastic wit and ornery attitude come up against the quiet toughness and innocence of McGillis who never fails to bring strength and integrity to the women she plays. Their flirting seems honest and passionate and the shots of the two gazing at one another are never too heavily laid on for us to be turned off by them. There is also eroticism present in the famed topless scene and the sunset kiss between the two. The connection and excitement is there because tension has been built up between the two slowly and deftly and we actually want to see these two give over to their attraction. We are saddened when Book leaves but relieved by the fact that we have been provided with practical reasons for why these two couldn't be together that seem like issues these two characters would take into account. Oddly, the score was something I took particular notice of here as it was very 1980s with a lot of synth and some strange placement but when it was playing it was hypnotic and beautiful. Over romantic scenes or shots of the idyllic environment that the Amish inhabit the score does so much to draw us into the emotions and moods of these different moments. The score obviously can't rival the iconic work of John Barry on Out of Africa (1985) but it fits the quiet, meditative tone of the film and lets us in on what Book might feel like looking at the new world around him. All of this is not to say that the traditional thriller elements of the film don't work as the climactic battle does impress us with it's ability to build suspense and fill us with horror. Specifically the sight of one of the villains being drowned by grain will stay in my mind for a long time and the return to this moment as Ford fishes a gun out from under the grain and shoots Danny Glover. The excitement of the scene does not overshadow the more serious dramatic elements of the film and we end the climactic battle scene with the Amish running to support Book who they have learned to accept. While Weir does not have the sort of talent in choreographing action scenes that directors like Michael Mann or John Woo do but he is able to skillfully blend a scene that fulfills it's purpose with the more compelling but quieter part of the film in a transition that feels smooth appeals to audiences looking for both elements.

    Harrison Ford has never been my favorite actor as I think he has limited range with his later work with lesser directors showing up his lack of talent but this film was made at the height of his popularity and it uses him well. The film benefits from strong direction by Peter Weir who made the marvelous Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and Fearless (1993) and who brings a tasteful sensibility to this film that is needed to bump it up from traditional action/thriller. The film succeeds not because of it's action elements but because of it's commitment to focusing on the relationship between the central characters and how their lives are affected by the threat of the villains. Widowed Amish woman Rachel Lapp, Kelly McGillis, takes her son Samuel, Lukas Haas, to the city to board a train to Baltimore where her relatives live. Their journey is cut short when Samuel witnesses a police officer being brutally murdered by two other men. Police Detective John Book, Harrison Ford, is assigned to the case and Samuel quickly identifies one of his fellow police officers as the man who committed the crime causing him to realize the corruption the surrounds him. Aware that the three of them will be killed if found he runs away with Lapp and Samuel to their Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he struggles to fit in while dealing with a mutual attraction to Lapp. The romance at the center of the film is buoyed by intense chemistry between Ford and McGillis, well written scenes of the two bonding and a surprisingly realistic end to their relationship. The two go toe to toe as Ford's sarcastic wit and ornery attitude come up against the quiet toughness and innocence of McGillis who never fails to bring strength and integrity to the women she plays. Their flirting seems honest and passionate and the shots of the two gazing at one another are never too heavily laid on for us to be turned off by them. There is also eroticism present in the famed topless scene and the sunset kiss between the two. The connection and excitement is there because tension has been built up between the two slowly and deftly and we actually want to see these two give over to their attraction. We are saddened when Book leaves but relieved by the fact that we have been provided with practical reasons for why these two couldn't be together that seem like issues these two characters would take into account. Oddly, the score was something I took particular notice of here as it was very 1980s with a lot of synth and some strange placement but when it was playing it was hypnotic and beautiful. Over romantic scenes or shots of the idyllic environment that the Amish inhabit the score does so much to draw us into the emotions and moods of these different moments. The score obviously can't rival the iconic work of John Barry on Out of Africa (1985) but it fits the quiet, meditative tone of the film and lets us in on what Book might feel like looking at the new world around him. All of this is not to say that the traditional thriller elements of the film don't work as the climactic battle does impress us with it's ability to build suspense and fill us with horror. Specifically the sight of one of the villains being drowned by grain will stay in my mind for a long time and the return to this moment as Ford fishes a gun out from under the grain and shoots Danny Glover. The excitement of the scene does not overshadow the more serious dramatic elements of the film and we end the climactic battle scene with the Amish running to support Book who they have learned to accept. While Weir does not have the sort of talent in choreographing action scenes that directors like Michael Mann or John Woo do but he is able to skillfully blend a scene that fulfills it's purpose with the more compelling but quieter part of the film in a transition that feels smooth appeals to audiences looking for both elements.

  • Jul 29, 2019

    A really different kind of movie in every way, very cool

    A really different kind of movie in every way, very cool

  • Jul 17, 2019

    Some great acting (especially the dance scene in the barn) but no more. It pretends to ‘honor’ the Amish, yet falls back on telling the audience there is nothing like violent kiss-ass for results. Filled with every cliche in the book. This engaging but trite thing won an Original Screenplay Oscar over the mindbinding original Brazil? Pure Hollywood. In some of the positive ways and all of the negative ways.

    Some great acting (especially the dance scene in the barn) but no more. It pretends to ‘honor’ the Amish, yet falls back on telling the audience there is nothing like violent kiss-ass for results. Filled with every cliche in the book. This engaging but trite thing won an Original Screenplay Oscar over the mindbinding original Brazil? Pure Hollywood. In some of the positive ways and all of the negative ways.

  • Jun 12, 2019

    A win for Amish Culture. The movie makes you feel so soft and emotional. Harrison Ford is definitely out of his zone here there is no swag here or amazing thrills to count on he's just outright brilliant in putting up a heart warming performance. Although movie doesn't give it's bad guys a lot of time you just forget that they were a part of this, it turns into something else from what it promised to be in the 1st half. But take nothing away from the movie the director pulls all the right strings when showing the fish out of pond (Harrison Ford) here. Harrison is trying to fit in the world which is highly contrasting to the world he is from. Harrison Ford and Kelly Mcgillis share a awesome chemistry and leave you with a heart breaking ending. All in all it starts out to be something but ends up being something else just but the turn of events are enough to give you a pleasant and a memorable movie.

    A win for Amish Culture. The movie makes you feel so soft and emotional. Harrison Ford is definitely out of his zone here there is no swag here or amazing thrills to count on he's just outright brilliant in putting up a heart warming performance. Although movie doesn't give it's bad guys a lot of time you just forget that they were a part of this, it turns into something else from what it promised to be in the 1st half. But take nothing away from the movie the director pulls all the right strings when showing the fish out of pond (Harrison Ford) here. Harrison is trying to fit in the world which is highly contrasting to the world he is from. Harrison Ford and Kelly Mcgillis share a awesome chemistry and leave you with a heart breaking ending. All in all it starts out to be something but ends up being something else just but the turn of events are enough to give you a pleasant and a memorable movie.