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A Murder of Crows (1999)

Cuba Gooding Jr. , Tom Berenger , Rowdy Herrington  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Berenger, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Eric Stoltz, Mark Pellegrino
  • Directors: Rowdy Herrington
  • Writers: Rowdy Herrington
  • Producers: Cuba Gooding Jr., Derek Broes, Andrew Stevens, Ashok Amritraj, Elie Samaha
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 1999
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305432317
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,870 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Murder of Crows" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tom Berenger. A lawyer is suspected of murder after claiming authorship of a best-selling novel-which seems to have been based on actual killings-in this psychological thriller. 1998/color/101 min/R/Full-screen.

Writer-director Rowdy Herrington takes innocence, guilt, ambition, and morality, and twists them into a suspenseful, seductive spiral that can't help but suck you in. When defense attorney Russell Lawson (Cuba Gooding Jr.) realizes his client (Eric Stoltz) is guilty, he turns on him mid-trial--a move that costs him both the case and his career. Disbarred and disheartened, he retreats to Key West, where he meets a peculiar retired teacher named Christopher Marlowe and the film's roller coaster ride begins. In a quick reversal of fortune, Lawson makes an ethical compromise and becomes wildly successful--and then just as suddenly becomes a fugitive from the law, trying to track down a murderer before being tracked down himself. Gooding's constant voice-overs tend to distract from the story rather than add to it; however, his down-home earnestness makes him a good foil for a cranky cop (Tom Berenger) who appears to be more interested in making an arrest than in finding the truth. But then nothing here is what it first appears to be, and although Herrington leaves just enough clues for the astute viewer to pick up on the film's central metaphor, the conclusion still manages to surprise. With such a talented cast and tight writing, it's hard to fathom why A Murder of Crows didn't do better in theaters. At least on video the film, like Lawson, is given a second chance. --Larisa Lomacky Moore

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Well Done November 30, 2001
A MURDER OF CROWS redeems Rowdy Herrington and Cuba Gooding Jr. for every bad film they have ever made, and combined... that's a lot of bad films.
MURDER revolves around a disbarred lawyer who scams his way into a success, but, through a devious plot twist, becomes the main suspect in a string of brilliant homicides. The script by Herrington is absolutely involving. It's detailed, well paced, and very smart. Despite a few goofy or cheesy lines, which are pretty much due to bad acting in certain parts, the script is solid.
The direction is as haunting as it should be in this type of film and Herrington really turns up the suspense. His slow shots or disoriated handhelds are in the right places, and it only adds to the tenseness of the story.
Cuba Gooding Jr. is completely fascinating in this role. He gets into it all the way and makes you believe him, even in the most incredible scenes. Tom Berrenger, however, does not fare as well. Even though he proved in the past that he was a decent actor, he slips a bit, and some of his lines are given like he was reading them off of cue cards. However, he's good enough that it doesn't distract from anything else, and in some scenes, he's excellent. The supporting cast, including Marianne Jean Baptiste and Eric Stoltz, is very good and only adds to the film. Stoltz is smarmy and oozes charisma and Baptiste has a very soothing, sweet, grandmother-type air about her. They are the best they could be.
Overall, A MURDER OF CROWS is a highly overlooked film that should be scene by lovers of suspense. The guessing game that is involved throughout the story doesn't make you feel stupid, but it doesn't give much away either.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A smart thriller that is one of the best ever made November 26, 2004
One of my favorite movies of all time, this film teaches a number of moral lessons as it takes the audience on a bungee ride of suspense and murder. In the classic Shakespeare tradition (King Lear; Hamlet), the protoganist Cuba Gooding, takes a tremendous fall from power, wealth, and acclaim to find himself a fugitive thanks to his plagirized book in which he accurately tells of a number of gruesome murders, including details that only the killer could know. The ensuing manhant and redemption rank up there with the best potboilers of their kind (Fugitive), and the smart intelligent script weaves a number of literary allegories into the plot that left an impact on me long after I finished viewing it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Deceptive Screen Format September 15, 2005
The movie is excellent and would deserve 4˝ stars. However, apparantly Lions Gate Home Entertainment has released many improperly labeled DVDs. I ordered the Widescreen version with Special Features, but I received a DVD case that says it is Widescreen/Special Featured, whereas the DVD inside is Fullscreen and has no Special Features.

I returned it for a replacement and got the same problem with the replacement. It seems that Lions Gate Entertainment had a production flaw. The spine of the Widescreen version of the DVD has the number "7265" on it (its UPC is "6-58149-72652-9") and a bluish black & white picture of Cuba Gooding & Tom Berenger on its cover. The DVD that came inside this cover has (on its nonplay side) the number "7265" on the right side of its brown label; however, if you look closely near the spindle hole (on the play side of the DVD) it has the number "ST7266D" on it. "7266" is the number of the Fullscreen/Nonspecial feature version.

Therefore, they labeled the Fullscreen version as if it were the Widescreen version and are being inaccurately sold as such. I contacted Lions Gate's Forum about this problem and they never responded.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This One September 2, 2001
By Elaine
This was a story about a lawyer named Russell Lawson (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.) who realizes his client is guilty of murder so he causes a stir in the trial and ends up getting disbarred. He tries to be a writer, but isn't having any luck actually writing anything. One day he meets an old man and they quickly become friends. The man gives him a manuscript to read, which he said he wrote, called A Murder of Crows. It's brilliant. When Lawson goes to return it, he discovers that the man has died from an apparent heart attack. With no known family, he decides to keep the manuscript, place his name on it, and submit it to a publisher. It's an instant success, but he's arrested for murder when a detective reads the book and recognizes the descriptions as being of murders that were actually committed. He realizes that the details in the book would only be known by the actual killer. Obviously, we know that Lawson didn't commit the murders, but who did? That's what this movie is about. There are numerous twists and turns in the story and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The ending is probably a little too neat, but I still recommend this movie highly to anyone who likes suspense.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Formulaic. April 12, 2007
A Murder of Crows (Rowdy Herrington, 1999)

Herrington, best known for the Patrick Swayze vehicle Road House, turns in a by-the-numbers thriller here. Not awful, but not great, either. Lawson Russell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) is a recently-disbarred lawyer who got the ax after recusing himself from the trial of Thurman Parks III (Eric Stoltz), a slimeball even Russell can't bring himself to defend. A year later, low on cash and running a fishing boat in the Florida Keys, working on his perpetually-unfinished novel, he meets an old man with the improbable name of Christopher Marlowe who wants him to read over a manuscript. He goes to return it the next day and finds the old man has died of a heart attack, so Russell appropriates the manuscript, which of course becomes a smash success-- after which Rusell becomes the target of obsessive-cop stereotype Clifford Dubose (Tom Berenger), because all the murders in the book Russell appropriated really happened, and now he's the prime suspect. I'm pretty sure you can figure out what happens from there.

It's mildly amusing, and good acting is turned in by Stoltz, Gooding, and Berenger, though they have little to do other than play cardboard cutouts. Ashley Laurence also shows up as Gooding's publisher, and any excuse to see Ashley Laurence on a screen is worth your time; it's got an empty-calories feel to it, however, and a few days after seeing it, you're likely to start wondering if you remember certain details (say, for example, the entire last half-hour of the film) correctly. ** ˝
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Ok movie
Published 7 days ago by Adam Hering
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best who done it - right up there with Gone Girl
Published 17 days ago by Carlene Molnar
5.0 out of 5 stars Very suspensful movie
Movie is in excellent and new condition. Pleased with my purchase.
Published 19 days ago by Patricia Parazine
4.0 out of 5 stars Cuba Gooding Jr. really can act.
Well the first thing to understanding this movie is that a "murder" is to crows as a "flock" is to geese. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joseph M. Przygodzinski
5.0 out of 5 stars A great classic!
This Classic was a must have for my collection!
Published 2 months ago by Lisa Alston
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific cast.
Terrific cast....led by Cuba Gooding Jr! He plays a lawyer who becomes fed up with the system....he quits, and has an interesting encounter with a strange old man, who changes his... Read more
Published 2 months ago by eddie ramos
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See!!
Tremendous film; suspenseful, great acting, keeps you guessing
Published 2 months ago by LadyDi13
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
A movie should always show a believable or an unbelievable story. This one seems to be unbelievable, but really could happen! Great story and brilliant play by Cuba Gooding Jr.! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars This one surprised me!
Cuba Gooding Jr. does a good job as a lawyer with a conscience who could not represent his client after finding out that he was guilty. Read more
Published 3 months ago by larry williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one of the best
Published 3 months ago by John J. Scanlan
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