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Scary that this is based on a true story !! Pretty well made, for a TV movie :-)
Without Mark Rendall's stellar performance, this probably wouldn't have been nearly as good a film. But for a kid, and one I've never seen in anything else, he was absolutely amazing. I don't know much of anything about the actual case so I'm not sure about sticking to facts, but this is definitely an engaging film with some great performances.
That poor kid. Those detectives had to have been heartless to do that. It was very hard to watch.
Fares reasonably well as a made-for-TV movie displaying an adverse police procedural & exploring its negative effects.
How our legal system "works."
read more about this case and how the Escondido Police Department operates here:
Saw it today. What a great movie.. really makes me want to think twice in trusting the police.
it is a truly frightening true story about the abuse of police power.<br/><br/>Basically, the story is quite simple. 12 year old Stephanie Crowe is brutally murdered in her own home in Escondido, California while her family sleeps. Without any real evidence, the police decide that her 14 year old brother Michael must be guilty, they ignore evidence pointing to another suspect and they coerce a confession from him after two days of non-stop questioning, filled with lies about what they supposedly "know," threats if he won't confess and promises of help if he will. Young Michael then becomes the object of a relentless prosecution by the District Attorney, who finally admits that there is no direct evidence but won't give up the case, instead dismissing it "without prejudice," thus leaving possible future prosecution hanging over Michael's head, and leaving the viewer wondering what's going to happen to this boy, until the final decision is revealed at the end.<br/><br/>This is truly an excellent, gripping movie. It takes a bit of getting into in the first few minutes, but once you're into it you're definitely hooked. Superb performances come from Ally Sheedy and Michael Riley as Michael's parents and - I'll use the phrase again - there's a positively frightening performance from John Bourgeois as Detective Claytor. Not to be overlooked is young Mark Rendall's performance as Michael. He brilliantly portrayed the fear and hopelessness this young boy must have felt. At times I thought he came across as a bit too mature in his portrayal, but, then again, maybe that was Michael.<br/><br/>This isn't a particularly well known movie, but everyone should see it.
Another storyline about how police can use their powers to get people to believe what they want to believe...if you asked me it shows how police can get tired of working on a case and try anyway possible to close it. It makes me sick to think that there's some departments that try and conseed at it!
This movie is supposed to be both dramatic and educational and I believe it accomplished both. The gravity and serious of the situation coupled with the fact that this is the retelling of a true story allows the viewer to overlook the majority of bad acting and bad character fashion design. it sorts of makes the movie retelling "more realistically". This movie exposes weaknesses and dangers in our criminal prosecution system and therefore is a much watch for anyone going out into this world.