The Whole Truth is more or less a Law & Order: SVU episode that somehow became a feature-length film. But even so, the acting, albeit nothing profound, was solid enough led way by Keanu Reeves and enough courtroom tension to make this a worthwhile watch.
The Whole Truth
Genre(s): Drama, Mystery
Lionsgate | R – 93 min. – $24.99 | January 17, 2017
Date Published: 01/23/2017 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE — 3.25/5
Note: This review has some spoilers, so readers beware.
The Whole Truth is the kind of movie that isn’t bad yet at the same time you have to wonder how it, initially, was meant for theater screens but with a story that seemed meant for an episode of Law & Order: SVU.
The plot is rather simple: Richard Ramsay (KEANU REEVES) is a New Orleans defense attorney who, with co-counsel Janelle Boyd (GUGU MBATHA-RAW), is representing 17-year-old Mike Lassiter (GABRIEL BASSO) on trial for murdering his father, Boone Lassiter (JIM BELUSHI) as a favor to Mike’s mother, the widowed Loretta (RENÉE ZELLWEGER). It’s an uphill battle as Mike isn’t speaking to anyone and testimony from the crime scene had him confessing, not to mention physical evidence including his bloody palm print on the murder weapon. But the case isn’t exactly a slam dunk as, through flashbacks, the character of Boone is called into question.
This isn’t a complex film nor is this something that features strong performances, but as legal dramas go, it’s more on building the tension along with the mystery which director Courtney Hunt (interestingly, and I didn’t know this before writing my opening, directed two episodes of Law & Order: SVU) did quite well. In addition, there is a twist at the end that was well done. The film was written by Nicholas Kazan, credited as Rafael Jackson, whose previous works include the 2002 Jennifer Lopez thriller Enough and 1998 Denzel Washington supernatural crime-drama, Fallen.
The performances, as I said, aren’t exactly noteworthy. Keanu Reeves (replacing Daniel Craig who left 4 days before filming) does at least make for a believable lawyer; Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a great, on-the-rise talent who gets bits of character development but doesn’t get to show off her dramatic chops (she was excellent in Beyond the Lights); and Renée Zellweger is nearly unrecognizable in her first role in 6 years. Oh, and it was an interesting casting Jim Belushi as an outright bastard; can’t say inspired but out of the box for sure.
In the end, The Whole Truth, while hardly perfect and plot-wise seemed more suitable as an hour long TV drama, at least is satisfying and at the very least, worthy of a rental.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0/5
|This release comes with a matted slip cover; inside is a Digital HD redemption code. Unfortunately outside of some previews for other Lionsgate titles, no features were included.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
|Lionsgate releases The Whole Truth onto Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture quality isn’t bad with well balanced colors, which verge more toward natural tones, and detail that looks sharp and finely defined and it’s clean, free of artifacts, aliasing or banding.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
|The disc comes with a standard and satisfactory DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. This is a movie that is practically all dialogue driven so most of the audio comes through the center channel with front and rear speakers relegated for some ambient noises (such as scenes on a private airplane) and an average dramatic score.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, The Whole Truth is more or less a Law & Order: SVU episode that somehow became a feature-length film. But even so, the acting, albeit nothing profound, was solid enough led way by Keanu Reeves and enough courtroom tension to make this a worthwhile watch. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate is basic with no bonus material and good/average video and audio transfers.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.