Murder in the First

Tucson Weekly

DIRECTED BY: Marc Rocco

REVIEWED: 02-02-95

Kevin Bacon plays a small-time criminal who was cruelly sentenced to three years of solitary confinement in Alcatraz, and Christian Slater plays the idealistic young attorney who fights on the prisoner's behalf after he is charged with killing a fellow inmate. In this showy attempt at courtroom drama, everything comes down to a question of whether it's wrong to torture people and throw them in dark little rooms. Bacon's performance as a man permanently stunted by his victimization is amazing, but Slater doesn't make a very convincing idealist (despite the fact that he appears to be wearing Kevin Costner's clothes), and the focus on the two men's friendship almost seems imposed on the material to make up for the movie's lack of a strong villain.

--Zachary Woodruff

Film Vault Suggested Links
The Minus Man
The Gingerbread Man
Anatomy of a Murder

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