The Confession 1999 R

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(20) IMDb 6/10
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THE CONFESSION is a gripping courtroom thriller about a man who loses everything an in return gains his soul. It explores one man's quest for justice and another's man's perception of morality. The scheming dynamics of each character builds to a pulse- pounding conclusion when the lines between good and evil are crossed.

Ben Kingsley, Amy Irving
1 hour, 55 minutes

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The Confession

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director David Hugh Jones
Starring Ben Kingsley, Amy Irving
Supporting actors Ryan Marsini, Alec Baldwin, Boyd Gaines, Anne Twomey, Lázaro Pérez, Becky Ann Baker, Mike Hodge, Mark Ethan, Kevin Conway, Richard Jenkins, Joe Mosso, Kevin McClarnon, Jay O. Sanders, Ken Marks, Laura Esterman, Christopher Lawford, Marian Quinn, John Seitz
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

They always find out what is wrong.
It does however have a single strong point; because Fertig's lawyer urges him to plead insanity, his complete refusal to do so confirms, to the courts, that insanity.
Mr. Cairene
Very good movie with lots of great acting and twists.
Barbara Mollenkopf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 26, 2005
Format: DVD
Did anyone who worked on this film ever hear of the concept of TRIAGE? No, I am not a healthcare professional, but I have been in ERs in three states myself or with family and friends. No patient is ever brought in and told to just 'sign in, we'll be with you in a minute.' You're interviewed by a triage nurse who assigns you a rating based on battlefield assessments:

1. They'll recover on their own if they're not seen to. This category has the longest to wait.

2. They'll need your help to recover. Generally, this is the priority one patient.

3. They need your help, but they're not going to recover. Priority two---because they can save lives if they see priority one first.

If they'd just done their research, they'd have known this--and I'm certain the writers could have found a more believable premise to slam the healthcare industry. For example, waiting on approval for your HMO to refer you to a specialist, waiting on board approval for surgery, etc.

What's the plot? Harry Fertig (Ben Kingsley's) son is ill with what they think is the flu. He and his wife Sara (Amy Irving) take their son to the ER. They're told to 'sign in and sit down.' As their son's condition worsens, Fertig pleas with a doc and nurse for help--they're on break. They finally go to take their son to another hospital and he dies in the cab from a ruptured appendix. In justice, Fertig shoots the doctor, nurse, and ward clerk. High powered and high profile attorney with serious ambitions, Roy Bleakie (Baldwin) is hired by Fertig's boss to defend Fertig and get him off on an NGRI (Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity) defense. The catch: Fertig doesn't want off.
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Format: DVD
MAYBE, if this film was set in the 1960s--when the novel was actually written (1966, in fact)--it would have been much more credible--MAYBE. As another reviewer points out, the central incident of the film that triggers all the ensuing events which occurs in a hospital emergency room is just too ridiculous to be believable. In that ER, two of the main characters--a married couple played by Ben Kingsley and Amy Irving--are told that their very sick son is not any more important than any other patient waiting to be seen.

These days, even in crummy hospitals, the ER nurse determines the severity of the patient's illness or condition to assign a priority of physician evaluation. And that was probably true even in the 1960s. But since this film is set in modern times (it was released in 1999), the events that follow from the tragic incident in the ER really lose their importance.

In spite of that, there are some good performances here, principal among which are, interestingly, Alec Baldwin and Jay O. Sanders as the mega-millionaire who's hiding a secret of greed and corruption. Ben Kingsley and Amy Irving are good in their roles as the grieving parents, but for my money, it's really Baldwin and Sanders who stand out. As well, Kevin Conway, in a smaller role, adds some strong acting chops as a PI on retainer by the Baldwin character, a hotshot lawyer who's out to prove how hot he can be...and winds up changing his mind. Ann Twomey, as the sexy judge Baldwin has the hots for (and it's definitely mutual) is also good.

Probably the best way to view this film is as a parable without taking the ER incident literally. The real issue is ethics--what is a good man? Is he someone who never sins?
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
I have several problems with this movie. First of all, what child with a high fever suddenly sits up in bed and cries out "Mom, Dad!!!!"
No, when you are that sick you are just laying in bed. They should have come in and discovered that he had a high fever when checking on him.

Secondly, did they consider putting him into a bath of cold water/ice???? Or giving him and asperin??? Or????

Thirdly, as others have mentioned, the scene in the hospital was not believable. Also, they had to make the doctors and reception guy 'nasty' - what, they wouldn't have listened to see what was wrong? They always find out what is wrong.

And perhaps my biggest complaint: The Father seeking 'punishment' for what he did is not actually acting in a loving manner. He has ridged ideas, and he takes little to no concern about his wife. He doesn't really act truly remorseful. The same thinking which led him to murder these people (and they did not 'kill' his son-appendisidis killed his son) leads him to believe that somehow the scales will be 'balanced' if only he goes to prison. He is actually being very selfish.

He might be able to do some good in the world with his life, that his wife NEEDS him should be enough.

Finally, although he says that he knew that what he was doing was wrong, he probably was suffering from mental illness at the time he comitted the murders. I think that his views about pleading guilty are at least partly about staying in denial about what he actually did and the finality of it. If he was walking around talking to himself before the killings, regardless of the legal definition of insanity, he was not in a normal frame of mind.
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