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Appropriate Adult

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Appropriate Adult is a haunting psychological thriller based on the true story of the unusual relationship between serial killer Fred West (Dominic West The Wire) and his appropriate adult Janet Leach (Emily Watson Gosford Park).

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Emily Watson, Dominic West, Monica Dolan
  • Directors: Julian Jarrold
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Inception Media Group
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008767P84
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,329 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 11, 2011
Format: DVD
APPROPRIATE ADULT may not be available on USA Format DVD as yet, but for those interested in seeing this remarkable achievement in filmmaking, it is viewable now on Sundance Channel. Watch for it. APPROPRIATE ADULT is one of the few films that relates the true story of a serial killer without resorting to forcing the audience to watch reenactments of the murders. Instead the writer, director and actors bring this savage bit of history to the screen solely through a serious of interview conducted with the killer in the presence of the British police and an 'Appropriate Adult' - one who has been trained to help the accused by detecting if the accused has learning difficulties or other encumbrances that might make the interviews invalid.

First a bit of fact: 'Frederick Walter Stephen West (29 September 1941 - 1 January 1995), was a British serial killer. Between 1967 and 1987, he alone, and later, he and his wife Rosemary, tortured, raped and murdered at least 11 young women and girls, many at the couple's homes. The majority of the murders occurred between May 1973 and September 1979 at their home in Gloucester. Rosemary West also murdered Fred's stepdaughter (his first wife's biological daughter) Charmaine, while he was serving a prison sentence for theft. During this time they resided at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester. The house was demolished in 1996 and was converted into a landscaped footpath connecting Cromwell Street to St. Michaels Square.' It is now believed that West was responsible for 20 other similarly executed murders.
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Format: DVD
I watched this film 3 times in a row-and knew I had to add it to my film collection. Unfortunately it is not yet available on USA format. Emily Watson portrays Janet Leach as the Appropriate Adult-an amazing performance. This true story is unbelievable; that this is something that really happened. From beginning to end-it will hold your attention; leave you gasping- and ALMOST feel a twinge of pity for the bad guy.
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Format: DVD
{4.5 stars}

Closely based on a true story, "Appropriate Adult" is more about the subject of its title--Janet Leach, a trained social worker superbly played here by Emily Watson, who, in British police investigations, acts as a sort of neutral witness to the interrogations and prosecution--than it is about the murders or the perpetrator himself. There is no gore or violence to speak of, nor are there any reenactments of the crimes. The acting is plain and unvarnished, which makes it all-the-more effective. Even if it's not really his story, there is excellent character development of serial killer Fred West, and the level of empathy Leach reaches with him--and we, in turn, reach with her--is the most chilling thing about this film. Although a quiet story which moves much closer to the speed-of-life than most in its genre, "Appropriate Adult" still has its share of twists and surprises as well as some brief but engrossing courtroom drama at the end.

Those used to Hollywood crime drama may be frustrated by the simplicity and lack of fast action in this film. Nonetheless, "Appropriate Adult" contains something far better than cheap sensationalism and succeeds in being both highly disturbing and highly touching.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 2:13 hour production from ITV (2011) is a realistic depiction of the events surrounding the discovery and prosecution of the serial killers Fred and Rose West in 1994/5. Thankfully, the murders, which occurred in the 1960s and 70s, aren't shown as they'd probably be too graphic even by today's gory standards. I remember how each day the news revealed more and more about the extent of the West's horrific crimes; this program shows how it all happened. It's a thought-provoking drama not an action-packed mystery All the actors do a superb job and Monica Dolan won the Best Supporting Actress BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) for her portrayal of the vile Rose. Because British procedures are quite different, having an 'appropriate adult' may not seem to make sense to US viewers; the important thing to remember is that, unfortunately, this is a true story. And, in all likelihood, this notorious pair probably killed more young women.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched APPROPRIATE ADULT due to my love for superior, UK cop shows (PRIME SUSPECT, A TOUCH OF FROST, REBUS, WIRE IN THE BLOOD, etc.). I was NOT disappointed. Emily Watson (RED DRAGON, EQUILIBRIUM) is wonderful as Janet Leach, the title character. Dominic West lives his role as the oddly sympathetic serial murderer, Frederic West. The relationship of Leach and West is reminiscent of the cat-and-mouse game shared between Starling and Lector in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Also, Monica Dolan is incredibly terrifying as Fred's sadistic wife, Rosemary. She is truly wicked, w/ facial expressions and stares that do far more than mere words to instill fear. APPROPRIATE ADULT is a masterful true crime / docu-drama. Highly recommended...
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