Clichéd dialogue, stereotypical characters & unbelievable story development plague this film "inspired by a true story". Felt like a film from the 60s, not one from 2012.
There are many great films dealing with racial issues, but this is not one.
But it was great to Eric Roberts, who was the lone bright spot.
March 5, Addendum Note the two new "positive" user reviews are from the same person. Click on Cole and you'll see that the reviewer's name is Leslie Hutchens! My hunch is she worked on the film or is related to someone that did.
That's another issue I have with the movie. The film's protagonist, journalist Matt Harper, is not a likeable character at all. He blows off his fiancee (a flat character that they awkwardly work in to the rest of the film as his helper) and his hospitalized father to work on a case that will either make or break his career. His publisher and editor are against the unsolved murder story yet, for some reason, Harper continues on against their wishes. The film doesn't show, until the very end, that he actually gives two shits about the murdered boy and the people involved. It would appear, to the audience and to his fiancee, that he only took on the story because of a hot young blonde woman (Lauren Jenkins) who brought it to his attention and he decided that it could be a huge story. There's the slightest bit of sexual tension between those two and then it is forgotten for the rest of the movie.
The film is filled with forgettable scenes including countless (and often pointless) jumps from Amos, Alabama to Nashville, Tennessee. Intelligence-insulting dialogue masquerades as exposition but it really just reiterates what the audience already knows. In all honesty, this movie feels better suited to an episode of some hour-long drama on television. The direction even feels more like television than film. There are a lot of odd shots, which doesn't surprise me considering Director Hahn has only done documentary work prior to Deadline.
There are a few memorable scenes but they are mostly remembered with a hint of nausea. There's a protest scene where Harper finally shows any non-job-related concern for the town of Amos and the scene ends with a long, retreating shot of Harper and his fiancee reconciled and kissing amidst the protestors. Another favorite is in the end at the court room, when claims are being made about the murderer and each one (saved just for the end, so grab your Kleenex!) is more shocking than the last. I couldn't help but laugh at moments that should not be funny but the insincerity of this film's creators is most prominent.
There's no real message or point behind this movie. In fact, it doesn't even live up to its title. There's no actual deadline in the film, the reporters are working on their own time. Deadline is a cheap attempt to pull at your heart strings, plain and simple. Plenty of other movies have featured a similar story and done so with genuine heart and a worthwhile message. Folks, this one isn't worth your time or money!