True Story

Critics Consensus

James Franco and Jonah Hill make a watchable pair, but True Story loses their performances -- and the viewer's interest -- in a muddled movie that bungles its fact-based tale.



Reviews Counted: 163

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,482


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3/5

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Movie Info

When disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) meets accused killer Christian Longo (James Franco) - who has taken on Finkel's identity - his investigation morphs into an unforgettable game of cat-and-mouse. Based on actual events, Finkel's relentless pursuit of Longo's true story encompasses murder, love, deceit and redemption. (C) Fox

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Jonah Hill
as Michael Finkel
James Franco
as Christian Longo
Felicity Jones
as Jill Barker
Ethan Suplee
as Pat Frato
Gretchen Mol
as Karen Hannen
Maria Dizzia
as MaryJane Longo
Conor Kikot
as Zach Longo
Charlotte Driscoll
as Sadie Longo
Stella Rae Payne
as Madison Longo
Robert John Burke
as Greg Ganley
Betty Gilpin
as Cheryl Frank
Robert Stanton
as Jeffrey Gregg
Byron Jennings
as Judge Odenkirk
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News & Interviews for True Story

Critic Reviews for True Story

All Critics (163) | Top Critics (45)

  • Franco and Hill's early scenes together maintains intrigue for a while, but True Story never quite indicates that it has something compelling going on beneath the surface.

    Oct 14, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Uninspired and self-conscious performances from Jonah Hill and James Franco are part of what's wrong with this exasperating and unenlightening film ...

    Jul 16, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • An anaemic true crime story which its high-rolling leads are unable to save with their star wattage.

    Jul 16, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • What's the opposite of stealing a movie? Putting it back? Looking the other way? Laziness? Whatever it is, that's where I am with James Franco.

    Apr 24, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Filming a drama about the compromises and conventions of storytelling, Goold falls prey to them. He lacks the pulp verve and the symbolic imagination to illuminate or even convey the characters' mysteries.

    Apr 20, 2015 | Full Review…
  • It's as good as any work I've seen in a film in 2015, and "True Story" is one of the better movies to come along this year.

    Apr 18, 2015 | Rating: 4.0

Audience Reviews for True Story


Jonah Hill puts in a solid performance and James Franco is always magnetic in this fascinating morality study about the responsibility of journalism to the truth and the often blurry line that separates facts and lies, even though the final scene is unnecessary and obvious.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Beautifully shot in a crazy premise with proven actors that somehow ends up feeling pretty lacklustre. Not bad, just underdeveloped.

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer


A slow-burning but intriguing thriller with James Franco and Jonah Hill at the top of their game.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer


"I thought you would be taller." New York Times reporter Michael Finkel(James Franco) romances a German tourist in Cancun. He is arrested when it turns out that he is in fact Christian Longo, an accused murderer from Oregon. Meanwhile, the real Michael Finkel(Jonah Hill) has just written a front page expose of human trafficking in Africa for the New York Times. But instead of the praise he is expecting, he is fired for making up some of the facts. He returns to his wife Jill(Felicity Jones) in Montana with his tail between his legs. While fruitlessly sending out his resume, he finds out about Christian Longo. Based on well, you know a..."True Story" is a dark and intelligent movie, filled with twists and excellent performances to match. A lot of the movie's success comes from what it leaves unsaid. First, there is what leads Longo to look up Finkel in the first place. That might have something to do with him starting his articles with a conclusion and then working the facts to fit it.(We can see there is something wrong with him when we first see him in Africa flashing a $20 bill.) At the same time, Finkel sees himself as a hero and enjoys the applause his articles receive which is probably a result of massive insecurities resulting from a childhood full of being bullied. At least he still rides the subway which is something.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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