Trial by Fire Reviews

May 24, 2019
Powerful stuff, but unpowerfully told, in part because the energies in "Trial by Fire" are split between proving Todd Willingham's innocence and building an argument against the death penalty no matter what the verdict.
May 23, 2019
It's a powerful enough viewing experience, but it doesn't leave you with much hope for what to do about injustice.
May 20, 2019
The movie is painstakingly well made and murderously hard to sit through.
May 17, 2019
There's that masterpiece of a micro-performance by Jeff Perry, in that single scene. That alone is worth the price of admission.
May 17, 2019
O'Connell and Dern, meanwhile, find the common ground in their characters that keeps "Trial by Fire" simmering.
May 17, 2019
The film plods at points, trudging along, and there are a few misguided narrative 'devices' tacked on.
May 16, 2019
[I]t's hard not to feel that even at a little over two hours, there's a rushed, assembly-line quality to how "Trial by Fire" wants to work our emotions.
May 16, 2019
It's a haunting, heartbreaking story, told by a movie that never quite makes a case for itself to exist.
May 16, 2019
The movie's raw facts are sufficient to rouse viewer indignation. But the material arguably calls for a more proactively provocative approach.
May 15, 2019
Certain aspects of the story... are addressed so superficially that it would have been more efficient just to show them being crossed off of a checklist.
May 15, 2019
"Trial by Fire" is at its best when attacking the prosecution's bad science. Unfortunately, the film would rather try, and fail, to tug on the audience's heartstrings
May 14, 2019
Wisely, Zwick front-loads the film with its most pronounced asset: O'Connell. That strategy succeeds at partially dissuading attention from its other, much less praiseworthy features, namely hackneyed lines invoking run-of-the-mill melodrama.
May 14, 2019
"Trial by Fire" never really stirs up much outrage or sadness, although it tries. It's a good story, not a great one, that generates fire, but no heat.
May 14, 2019
O'Connell, no stranger to playing spiky, brutish characters, eases into the role, equally adept at portraying the rough and the smooth, and he helps add grit to what can often be staid film-making.
May 14, 2019
Even though "Trial by Fire" is less than a masterpiece, it still came as a gut punch that forced me to examine my own complicated feelings on the issue. In short, it taught me something, and that was a surprise.
May 13, 2019
"Trial by Fire" is not a feel-good movie. It's a feel-bad movie. Yet somehow, if you go in expecting that, you might enjoy it in a weird way.
September 4, 2018
Without flair or fresh insights into its chosen subject, this just seems like spinning more wheels about on oft-discussed subject.
September 4, 2018
What Zwick lacks in artistry, he makes up for in anger, and Trial by Fire burns with a righteous fury that spreads right off the screen.