True Story


Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller


Uploaded By: OTTO
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July 23, 2015 at 05:29 PM



James Franco as Christian Longo
Felicity Jones as Jill Barker
Jonah Hill as Michael Finkel
Ethan Suplee as Pat Frato
720p 1080p
755.97 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 8 / 210
1.44 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 15 / 103

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Paul Allaer 6 / 10

We don't get the pay-off we think is coming after all the build-up

"True Story" (2015 release; 100 min.) brings the story of how a reporter becomes entangled in a murder suspect's world. As the movie opens, we see some brutal images of a young child being stuffed into a suitcase, which later turns up in the water. What is going on here? After the opening credits, we get to know Michael Finkel (played by Jonah Hill), a New York Times reporter, as he interviews young men somewhere in Africa. Alas, later on he is caught fabricating some of the facts for the subsequent NYT piece and he is let go in disgrace. Meanwhile, we get to know Christian Longo (played by James Franco), accused of killed his wife and 3 young kids. When he is rounded up, he claims to be Michael Finkel, NYT reporter. It is not long before Longo makes contact, from jail, with the real Mike Finkel. To tell you more would spoil your viewing pleasure, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: "True Story" is based on the Mike Finkel book of the same name, and if of course a true story. The premise of the movie is really intriguing (and cleverly played up in the trailer), reason I went to see this in the first place, namely is Longo somehow playing Finkel, while being in jail, and if so, what disastrous effects could that have for Finkel? Alas, in the movie it doesn't bear out. There is lots of build up in the movie, and ultimately not enough pay-off. I am all for a long build-up, but there has to be a reward for sticking with the build up, and when the reward finally comes, it's simply not enough. A quick word about the acting performances: James Franco does what he can with the limited material that is given to him. Jonah Hill is okay as the disgraced NYT reporter. The real star of the movie Felicity Jones in the role of Jill, the girlfriend of Mike Finkel. I also want to give props to prolific soundtrack composer Marco Beltrami (recently of The November Man; The Drop; The Giver, just to name those), who once again provides a lovely soundtrack.

The early evening theater screening where I saw this at was attended not very well (less than 10 people), but in fairness, it was a weekday evening. That said, while this is not a 'bad' movie per se, nor do I feel that the movie is all that it could've become. That said, if you have a chance to check out "True Story", be it in the theater or on DVD/Blu-ray, I suggest you do and draw your own conclusion.

Reviewed by d_vsbrgh 6 / 10

True Story comes up short

True Story is based on the novel by Mike Finkel recounting his relationship with Christian Longo(James Franco), a man accused of murdering his wife and three children. Finkel(Jonah Hill)is a young up and coming journalist writing for the New York Times when his career is derailed after he plays a little fast and loose with some facts of a recently published article. While trying to plan the next chapter in his professional life he receives a call from a reporter looking to get an angle on the story about Longo. It seems that he was using Finkel's identity when he was captured in Mexico. Finkel is naturally curious but also smells a story that could put his career back on track.

Finkel and Longo arrange to meet and what follows are a series of meetings where both men engage in a dialogue meant to extract as much information as possible from the other. But how much of what Longo shares is the truth? How does Finkel use the information he gets?

The main problem with this movie is the pay-off, or the lack thereof. The story is simply not as interesting as it sounds. Honestly, it's no ones fault. The direction by first timer Rupert Goold is solid, well paced, and true to the story. The acting is good even if it is a little weird to see Hill and Franco together in serious roles. The best way to describe it might be we all know someone(friend or family member) who is excited to tell a story of something that happened to them or something they witnessed and when they are done, looking to you for a reaction, all you can say is "Is that it?"

The most compelling aspect of the film is Finkel coming to grips with the fact that he has to determining what is the truth and what is a lie. Not unlike his readers had to do after reading his last story for the Times. One liar interrogating another.

In the end, the build up leads to very little. The ride was interesting but the destination was a big disappointment.

Reviewed by Steve Pulaski 8 / 10

Destined to provoke divisiveness in the best possible way

"True Story" concerns Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill), a respected journalist for "The New York Times" who has made a name for himself with numerous front-page articles. When he takes his latest piece, concerning contemporary African slave trading, and deeply obscures specific details about his subjects, he is fired from his job and his reputation is tarnished. While residing in the middle of nowhere with his wife, Michael receives word that his likeness has been used by a man named Christian Longo (James Franco), who is convicted of killing his wife and their three children. Michael travels to prison to meet and talk with Christian, who he is stunned to find is a soft-spoken, frightened soul with a story to tell of his own. After learning of Christian's own personal perspective of the murders, Michael begins to write a book on him, finding himself caught between a wedge of believing Christian's story but also looking at indisputable facts of the case.

Right off the bat, it's odd to see both Jonah Hill and James Franco in a film together and not creating a raunchy, ribald atmosphere. While both men have ventured into drama before (especially Franco, who is, dare I say, the most diverse actor in Hollywood), having these two men work together and not drum up any laughs is a strange thing to note. However, this fact becomes less apparent when we remember, and it only takes moments to do so once the film begins, how great Hill and Franco are at playing complex, layered dramatic roles. Hill's straight-forward seriousness combined with Franco's mannered eloquence creates a story that works from the start on the basis of actor chemistry and effectiveness alone.

The film bears a strong resemblance to Truman Capote's book "In Cold Blood," as we watch a journalist get so invested in the lives of a murderer who winds up developing tunnel vision so narrow that he can't see the obvious guilt and manipulation around him. Michael becomes wrapped up with finding out who Christian really is as a person, enthralled by his perspective, which has been muted by what seems to be sensational headlines and news reports, that he simply wants to get to the heart of his subject. Yet, when we see a family completely broken and another telling his side of the story, not really justifying his actions nor explicitly denying them, we become entangled in a web of conflicting testimonies.

To respond to "True Story" in a manner of confusion is only natural; if anything, you're exhibiting conflicting attitudes the real life Michael Finkel probably did when he met Christian Longo and spoke with him over time. The film subtly answers the questions of truth and examines how perspective and stories, when told rather than pushed aside or muted, do not justify an entire situation, especially one so heinous, but work to complicate it and leave no questions easily answered. We become just as entangled as Michael, and when the film ends, ostensibly without progressing a whole lot, we find ourselves left to our own vices in terms of how we analyze what we just watched.

"True Story" is destined to be one of the most underrated and misunderstood pictures of the year, and the latter because of the fact that there are going to be a barrage of ways one can digest this film. Some have criticized the film for seemingly rooting for the redemption of Christian before doubling back in the concluding trial scenes, yet consider how Michael views him throughout the entire film. He clearly wants the man to redeemed if he had done anything wrong, and tries to believe that he has a troubled, deeply confused soul in his company. However, facts catch up and it is then we realize what we're dealing with, and that's one of the reasons "True Story" is so special; it leads us one way, gets us believing one thing, before calling us on our bluff and letting our guard down.

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