Richard Jewell

2019, Drama, 2h 11m

294 Reviews 5,000+ Verified Ratings

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critics consensus

Richard Jewell simplifies the real-life events that inspired it -- yet still proves that Clint Eastwood remains a skilled filmmaker of admirable economy. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, security guard Richard Jewell discovers a suspicious backpack under a bench in Centennial Park. With little time to spare, he helps to evacuate the area until the incendiary device inside the bag explodes. Hailed as a hero who saved lives, Jewell's own life starts to unravel when the FBI names him the prime suspect in the bombing.

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Critic Reviews for Richard Jewell

Audience Reviews for Richard Jewell

  • Mar 28, 2021
    Some of the fictionalized elements seem unnecessarily lurid which sort of undercuts the point being made. Still the movie's perspective, about how narratives are constructed despite the facts, is an important one.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 20, 2020
    From director Clint Eastwood comes the tragic, true story Richard Jewell. After security guard Richard Jewell discovers a bomb in Centennial Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics and helps save people from the explosion he's praised as a hero, but the FBI soon targets him as the bomber, despite having no evident, and destroys his life. Featuring Sam Rockwell, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, Kathy Bates, and Paul Walter Hauser, the film has a strong cast that delivers some excellent (and award winning) performances. And Eastwood does an impressive job at heightening the tension and suspense as the FBI closes in on Jewell, entrapping him. Incredibly powerful, Richard Jewell is a cautionary tale of how easily an innocent man's life can be ruined by reckless and irresponsible journalists and law enforcement officers.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 26, 2020
    Although it's more than 120 minutes, it never* felt like a drag. Most probably because I didn't know already about the case. Excellent performances by all*. *exceptions may apply
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2020
    Whether you're looking at films like Gran Torino or American Sniper, you can call Clint Eastwood masterful even to this day, but you also have to look at his recent works in either Hereafter or The 15:17 to Paris. Although he still has a knack for directing at nearly 90 years of age, he's sort of hit-or-miss over these last 10 years. Richard Jewell is his latest directorial effort behind the camera and not only is it one of his best films in years, but it's also one of the better true stories I've seen in a while. Here's why I believe this film deserves to be seen.  During the 1996 Olympics, a bomb was planted in Centennial Park during a concert. Security guard Richard Jewell noticed it before it went off and ended up saving many lives. Due to coincidences in the story, Jewell was exploited as being the one who planted the bomb to make himself out as a hero. This film tells the truth about what went on and it's one of the more moving stories I've experienced this year. It's bad enough to be falsely accused of something you didn't do, but what this man had to endure was pure insanity.  Performed by Paul Walter Hauser in the titular role, I never once believed I was watching an actor portraying someone else. His performance is so authentic that it brought me to tears on multiple occasions. He absolutely deserves to be spoken about as one of the finest performers of 2019. On top of his incredible performance (which I hope to see much more of in the future), Kathy Bates portrays Bobi Jewell, Richard's mother, and although her character is slightly one-note throughout the course of the film, she brings a needed level of emotion and makes much more of this character than what seems to have been scripted.  Normally I don't praise a film for being slow in terms of pacing, but I believe the slow nature of this movie is actually what made me enjoy it more than I would have if it has been made in a more energetic way. The way Eastwood got calm performances out of the majority of this cast felt like a way of easing the audience into certain scenes. It doesn't hurt that performers like Jon Hamm and Sam Rockwell are in the supporting roles either. Richard Jewell is loaded with talent in front of and behind the camera, so it really shouldn't be a surprise that this story would work as well as it does.  In the end, Richard Jewell is a real triumph in terms of exposing the truth and what this man had to go through. From the screenplay by Billy Ray keeping it honest, yet light-hearted at times, to composer Arturo Sandoval delivering some very subtle pieces to make you feel a certain way, to the editing by veteran Joel Cox, who has been by Eastwood's side for a long time, everything about this film was well-done. It's very straight-forward, but that was clearly the intention, so it's not exactly a negative. Richard Jewell is a great film and one of my favourites of 2019.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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