Murder In The First (1995)

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A young convict imprisoned in Alcatraz murders a fellow inmate after spending three years being brutally beaten in solitary confinement.

Murder in The First is a courtroom drama based upon the true story of a man who was transformed into a murderer on the brink of insanity by his merciless treatment at the hands of the American penal system in the infamous state prison. Kevin Bacon takes centre stage as the broken shell of a man and although his performance is a little affected, it’s still a harrowing tale that shocked the nation at the time. The superior cast – including Gary Oldman as the cold and ruthless governor and William H. Macy as the district attorney looking for an open and shut case – are what make the film in general as the direction can be slightly clumsy and the script writer a little too fond of “dictionary definitions”, but it’s an important and moving story that the viewer cannot help but be drawn into.

Murder In The First is one of those films that works because of its origins as a true story and although a little melodramatic, its button pushing works for rather than against it as a result.

7/10

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