True Crime

Rated 3.0 Director-star Clint Eastwood plays his audience like a piano as he spoon feeds us a tightly coiled story about serious cracks in human character and a justice-challenged legal system. Oakland Tribune reporter Steve Everett (Eastwood) is a womanizer and reformed drunk assigned to cover the San Quentin execution of an African American (Isaiah Washington) convicted of killing a pregnant convenience store clerk. Everett senses that a shaky conviction and good story has just fallen in his lap, and pushes his superiors at the paper (James Woods and Denis Leary) to let him reinvestigate the case. Strong performances, rich character development and crisp dialogue punch the film through its more contrived thriller elements.