When young superstar prosecuting attorney Mitch (Dominic Cooper; Captain America: The First Avenger) accidentally hits a pedestrian with his car, his life gets turned upside down. Racked with guilt, he’s shocked to find out that not only did this man die, his body was found in the van of blue collar mechanic Clinton Davis (Samuel L. Jackson; Django Unchained), but also that Davis has been charged with the man’s murder. Mitch gets himself assigned as the prosecutor on the case and thus a very interesting little thriller gets on its way.
I was a little annoyed by the setup to this film. It seemed too coincidental and easy that Mitch would find himself in this position, but I was rewarded for sticking it out. Reasonable Doubt takes some really unexpected turns that will surely keep the audience guessing. The dynamic between the two main characters is electrifying and both actors play their characters to perfection. I never expect much from Jackson when he’s not being directed by Quentin Tarantino, but his performance here is very impressive. Not to be outdone, Dominic Cooper also does a fantastic job with the subtleties of his performance. The English born actor not only covers up his natural accent to play an American, but he’s playing a character who is already trying to cover up a southern Chicago accent, which Cooper does perfectly and the attention to detail he has while appearing in a little known thriller blows me away.
Thrillers are usually plagued by gratuitous amounts of twists and turns so the audience gets vertigo by the end. At first, I thought Reasonable Doubt was going to fall into that trend, but after the opening few scenes, when the film finds a genuine rhythm, it really clicks and works well for me. The structure is a little convenient in the beginning, and the script could have used another rewrite because of it, but fortunately it doesn’t taint the rest of the film. Different events fold in on each other, and things we see in the beginning are brought to a new light by the end. There are still questions not being answered, but a little speculation can sweep these issues under the rug with little difficulty.
Special Features include deleted scenes and interviews with the cast and crew. Available on Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate on March 18.