Dead Man Walking

Tucson Weekly

DIRECTED BY: Tim Robbins

REVIEWED: 01-25-96

Sean Penn gives an amazing performance as a death-row inmate in this Tim Robbins film. The movie is based on the true story of Sister Helen Prejean, a nun who befriended a convicted killer bound for a lethal injection. The nun slogs through a moral minefield as she visits the prison, the victim's families, and the family of the condemned man, trying to figure out what she's doing hanging around with a low-life. Susan Sarandon does a fine job as Sister Helen, but it's Penn who really steals the show with his restrained, charismatic portrayal of the convict--it's almost weird how good he is as the hate-filled, anti-social Poncelet. The rest of the story sometimes drifts into sentimentality or preachiness, but whenever Penn is on-screen, everything clicks.

--Stacey Richter

Other Films by Tim Robbins
Cradle Will Rock

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