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A Murder of Crows

124 customer reviews

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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

Special Features


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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305432317
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,911 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Murder of Crows" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By James Andresen on November 30, 2001
Format: DVD
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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Schreuder on November 26, 2004
Format: DVD
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Elaine on September 2, 2001
Format: DVD
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Cross on September 15, 2005
Format: DVD
The movie is excellent and would deserve 4½ 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom VINE VOICE on May 26, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Cuba Gooding, Jr. plays Russell Lawson, a black defense attorney in present day New Orleans, Louisiana. The film opens on Lawson, who is having an epiphany regarding his perception of his job and the people he defends. The camera picks up a red-faced devil walking deliberately through the Mardi Gras-packed streets and the metro party that is in full swing. The devil pays a visit to Lawson, pulling out a pistol and preparing to kill him when he hears Lawson tell the judge that he wants to pull out of the current case he's trying. Thurman Parks III, Lawson's client, only that afternoon admitted that he killed the lap dancer he's accused of murdering. The next day, Lawson destroys his legal career, throws away his future, and crucifies his client on the witness stand. In only a short time, Lawson is a fishing charter captain in Florida. He meets an old man who gives him a novel about the murders of five attorneys who used their skills to help killers go free. Later that day, the old man turns up dead. Having what he is certain is a bestselling novel, Lawson rewrites the book, claims it is his own, and becomes an overnight sensation and millionaire. Then he's arrested because the murders in the novel were all based on the murders of prominent attorneys. Lawson becomes part of a cunning cat-and-mouse chase that keeps the viewer glued to his or her seat.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. has been in dozens of movies and has been an outstanding actor. Writer/Director Rowdy Herrington has also written STRIKING DISTANCE and ROAD HOUSE, both action flicks known for cunning little plotting loops. Although only in the movie for a short time and never completely living up to his past potential, Tom Berenger plays the NOPD homicide cop that chases Lawson down.
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