Verdict in Blood

| November 13, 2004

At least the title is intriguing. The rest of the movie made me wonder if it would have been my blood on the floor if I had asked my husband sit through it.
Before I get started with the rest of the review, I’d like to say how pleased I am to be joining the rest of the reviewers here at Film Monthly. With three young children in the house, stealing a moment or two to watch a movie by myself is a real treat.
Now, on with the bad news. When you build yourself up with a good title, you expect more from the first fifteen minutes of the movie than a hesitant judge, a bad replay of a purse snatching, and the obvious murder of said judge after an unpopular verdict. When the family members start to arrive on the scene later, the predictable family mystery begins to replay in my mind.
This unimaginable movie touts the leading suspect as a violent ex-convict who has turned his life around and now wants to help others. Guess who put him in prison a few years ago? Please! As soon as he was arrested and questioned, I could almost imagine myself watching a Law & Order re-run.
I guess some could say this is a movie that most women would love to watch. Wendy Crewson (Air Force One) plays the cop-turned reporter who happens to be profiling the judge when she dies. I actually felt sorry for her. The dialogue is stilted most of the time; I’ve seen better script writing from my seven year-old. There are a few subplots with potential; too bad they were overlooked.
The film’s one saving grace: very little overt violence. For this reason alone, some will watch it and actually think it’s a good story.
Did I mention that Crewson is supposed to be a single parent with a hormone-crazed teenager, no love life (except for the lead detective assigned to the case)? I have yet to figure out how that subplot plays into all of it, and I made myself sit through this one twice to see if I missed something.
A second suspect enters the picture from the judge’s tendency to take in stray drug-addicted street kids. Of course you know how this one ends. The attorney who prepared the judge’s will(s) also seems to be a composite from every bad lawyer joke you’ve heard at the water cooler this week.
Verdict in Blood doesn’t even earn a rating from me; save your money and time. Watch an old Law & Order re-run. Sometimes those can still surprise you.

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