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on November 18, 2009
I did not expect much from this movie. Mostly because it stars Jesse Metcalfe and Amber Tamblyn. Amber is ok but Jesse Metcalfe clearly needs some more practice. He's so emotionless. This movie would have been even better if he were replaced with a better actor. Sorry, but the guy needs work. I was definately wrong about the film though. This is actually a pretty good film. It's about this reporter that decides to frame himself for murder so he can expose the dirty D.A. played by the great Micheal Douglas. This movie has a really strong script. I don't think anyone with common sense would frame themselves for murder but this movie had me going. It also has this surprise ending that will make your jaw hit the floor. I would definately rent this one. If you can find it cheap on DVD it might even be worth buying. Decent actors,good story, and a surprise ending, you can't ask for much more than that. At least not from a straight to dvd movie. HOLLA
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on September 14, 2009
What happens when your plan to convict a guilty man backfires? In "Beyond a Reasaonable Doubt", a remake of the 1956 film noir movie of the same name, a journalist, C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) finds himself in this predicament. In attempting to snare the lawyer Martin Hunter (Michael Douglas) for tampering with evidence, C.J. Nicholas instead finds himself convicted of a crime he never actually committed. This interesting premise leads us into the real action of the story, as his girlfriend, Ella Crystal (Amber Tamblyn), attempts to uncover the truth, and save him from his impending death sentence. The film seems to play out predictably from here, or so we think, but then another twist leads us into an altogether new direction. Once this movie, directed by Peter Hymms, finally gets moving, it's an engaging, edge of your seat thriller.
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BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (2009) is a noir remake of a 1956 Fritz Lang drama (his last film) that in several ways improves upon the original. In that earlier version the reporter is a writer who's not out to catch a corrupt DA but to get capital punishment banned, so the motivation in the remake is actually an improvement. Also, the newer version has a dark turn at the end that's not in the '56 picture. There's also a couple of well-done action sequences of the sort that were non-existent a half century ago.

Here, Jesse Metcalf is the fifth estater who purposely makes himself look like the perpetrator of a murder. He has an accomplice in acquiring certain pieces of evidence who can prove Metcalf's innocence once DA Douglas does his expected evidence tampering. In the original movie Andrews' ally, future father-in-law Sidney Blackmer dies of a coronary. With the '09 version, cohort Joel David Moore is also eliminated and the exculptory video discs destroyed or stolen. All this after Metcalf is arrested on murder charges and put on trial. Without Moore's help and discs things look bleak for Metcalf. Only his GF, Amber Tamblyn, who's also in the DA's office, is left to try to prove his innocence.

It's always good seeing Michael Douglas, who in this movie has the "guest star" as his role of the corrupt lawyer who hopes to become Louisiana's next governor. To this end he'll do anything to win cases, even have people murdered.

One thing that surprised me is the studio that released this drama, good old RKO.
I thought that outfit was long defunct, but apparently not so.

I enjoyed BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, and feel it doesn't deserve its current middling 5.9 IMDb rating.
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on January 21, 2010
What speaks volumes about the overall quality of this movie is that it was released in only half a dozen movie theaters nationwide, and grossed less than 20k at the box office.

At best it's an average movie with no quality acting, which reflects the fact that only 5% of voters on Rotten Tomatoes actually enjoyed it. The complications that arise with our main character as the movie progresses are predictable, as is the "twist" that occurs at the film's conclusion.

The biggest mystery of this film is how they were able to land Michael Douglas on the cast. Douglas has virtually no real screen time in this movie, which is a major disappointment for those of us who enjoyed his work in movies like King of California, Wall Street and Basic Instinct. No need to wait for the jury to return to the courtoom; my verdict is that it's not worth even a Redbox rental.
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on May 7, 2014
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is a fair movie. It actually grabs your attention and does a pretty good job of keeping you interested until the end. The ending is really bad and will leave you disappointed and saying to yourself "That's it!?" I don't recommend this movie.
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WHILE MICHAEL DOUGLAS IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE PLOT, AS A CHARACTER, HE DOES NOT HAVE THAT MUCH SCREEN TIME.

IT DOESN'T MATTER- WHEN HE IS ON SCREEN, HIS APPEARANCE CARRIES IMPACT AND KEEPS THE FILM'S MOMENTUM GOING.

WHILE HE PLAYS HIS ROLE WELL, ANYONE WHO COULD CARRY A COCKY AND SINISTER ATTITUDE FOR THE PART, COULD HAVE HAD THE ROLE.

THE PLOT IS A BIT DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU ARE USE TO SEEING AND SO, IT DOES PULL YOU IN, ONCE YOU SEE IN THE FIRST 30 MINS WHAT THE INTENT IS.

IF SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY THIS MOVIE WAS MADE GIVES YOU THE FEELING OF A * MADE FOR TV* FILM- DON'T LET IT DETER YOU FROM FINISHING THIS MOVI

THE PAY OFF IS HERE, EVEN IF YOU REALLY HAVE TO WAIT FOR IT AND NOT WANTING TO OFFER A SPOILER, ALL I CAN SAY IS SIT TIGHT AND LET IT UNFOLD.
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on May 6, 2013
The film is pretty much a disaster. You can read all about why in the other 1 star reviews. The thing that gave me pause is we watch a DVD copy of part of a documentary that the "hero" made and that got him out of Buffalo, NY to San Francisco. The part of the documentary we see are REALLY bad, however. And you are supposed to be tipped off that something is off about the hero because the terrible documentary (bad acting, bad dialogue, bad cinematography, bad lighting, you name it) does not deserve the job promotion and his new girlfriend. The documentary is intentionally bad, in other words. The film itself is almost as bad. And that does not seem to be intentional. It is a film I watched only for professional reasons. I just wondered if the director identified with the hero and wanted his viewers to murder him for making this film. By the way, the original film by Fritz Lang is really great.Beyond A Reasonable Doubt (1956)
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on June 15, 2014
I elected the 5 star rating for the actors, one whom I recognize, Douglass. The plot had me fooled until the final 'twist' and that pushed up up to 5 stars. I do not critique actors, but I do have actors that I like and some I dislike. They were all 'likeable' actors in this movie. Good performances by all.
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on May 8, 2014
Jesse Metcalfe plays C.J. Nicholas, a young and hungry-for-excitement journalist who frames himself for murder in order to expose the evidence-tampering and phony convictions by the corrupt D.A.of Shreveport, LA. Amber Tamblyn plays Ella Crystal, the pretty young Assistant D.A. who suddenly and rather unconvincingly falls in love with Nicholas and enters into a fall-on-her-sword relationship with him. While I'm not personally a huge fan of Michael Douglas's too-cool-for-words acting style, his fans will probably enjoy his performance as the D.A.

BEYOND a REASONABLE DOUBT is, of course, a remake of a somewhat better 1956 film by the same title. This version is probably worth seeing if you're a not-too-picky legal thriller fan. It's generally well-filmed and keeps your attention with some nice courtroom drama: Sharon London is a standout here as Judge Sheppard. On further scrutiny, however, it's all quite contrived, and the supposedly big twist at the end is awful sudden and tacked-on.

SEMI-SPOILER ALERT! In the end, BRD is a poor rip-off of a much, much better film from 1996, Primal Fear.
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on March 6, 2016
THIS IS A REMAKE OF A DANA ANDREWS MOVE! well kind of. I saw this so many times and being a MD fan I always wanted to at least
see it once. I finally got a VHS of this and for a Hollyweird movie made in last 15 years it's better than average but it doesn't hold a candle
next to the original which everyone should see! that movie is so much better with the theme of a politician who is convicting people of murder
on circumstantial evidence and the state has the death penalty which his is against. The local reporter and publisher who are against capital
punishment scheme up a frame to catch the prosecutor but when the publisher is killed in accident they reporter is about to be sentenced to
death until he's cleared but then more evidence shows he actually did commit the crime! This movie is not even close in the drama and the
twist and turns and of course the acting except for Douglas who is not the main focus of the movie which could have helped make it better.
The lead cast is pretty lame and he has none of the star quality of Dana Andrews who stars in the first one. He's a pretty boy who's pretty
boring. The actor who plays his partner in crime is actually pretty good in his role. The girl another pretty face with pretty boring acting.
This script is different than the original but it does have it's moments and is a good watch for those who don't like classic black and white
movies but I can tell you if you try the original you will see the difference and that movie if far superior to this Hollyweird remake.
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