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  • This movie debuted on the Lifetime network last week in the states. I had never read a Patricia Cornwell novel, and it had been ages since I'd seen an Andie MacDowell movie. Having missed the premiere of Cornwell's "At Risk" on the same network the week before, I have just these few observations.

    1. "The Front" assumes some familiarity with either Cornwell's characters or (I assume) the previous film. In "The Front," one must listen carefully for clues, not just with respect to the mystery, but regarding the identity of the characters and their relationships, as well.

    2. Of the two principal actors, MacDowell and Daniel Sunjata, the latter presents the better performance. I'm sorry, but MacDowell's D.A., Monique Lamont, just didn't convince me as worthy of her office. In fact, I can't imagine how she ever got elected. (Or, as the governor's mistress, did she somehow get appointed?)

    3. The dialog is sometimes so rapid-fire as to be unintelligible. In some scenes, notably early scenes between Sunjata's Win Garano (D.A.'s investigator) and Ashley Williams' "Stump" (cop), the conversation runs faster than that of some Harvard students I once knew, as if director Tom McLoughlin is trying to squeeze in all the words in the time allotted.

    In short, this movie is probably not the easiest one with which to familiarize one's self with the work of Partricia Cornwell.
  • The Front is a bit trite as far as the plot goes, but most characters have depth enough to make watching this Lifetime movie worth watching.

    Daniel Sunjata makes an interesting detective, and he seems at ease with his role. Diahann Carroll also has an interesting character as Sunjata's grandmother. Ashley Williams has an adequately damaged character but her performance is a bit thin in places but fine in others. Andie MacDowell is very sleazy and a bit one-dimensional. Patricia Cornwell makes a cameo appearance. Dane Dehann stands out in his portrayal.

    While the characters have depth, their dialog doesn't. That is the norm for this type of production. These films get made without a prolonged effort. It is a four-door sedan of a movie. Don't set your expectations too high and you won't be disappointed by the film.
  • This is a terrible made for TV film and does not do the author Patricia Cornwell justice. I love murder mystery films but watching this was a complete waste of two hours. The acting was really poor and the plot, although it may have worked in the book definitely did not translate well to the screen.

    The characters were weak and quite unbelievable. I was left feeling I didn't quite get something, but actually there wasn't anything to get. I didn't care about the characters or what happened to them.

    The plot centres around a police officers investigation of an old case. This is brought into the current by a similar crime occurring. The police officer is an OK actor but Andie McDowell is very poor as the DA and you really do not care what happens to her.

    All in all not a good choice.

    Do not waste an evening watching this film you will be disappointed!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is so bad that I had to watch it in its entirety in hopes that it would get better. Daniel Sunjata & Patricia Cornwell are the names that would attract viewers. However, the plot is confusing, the characters are unbelievable & there is no chemistry among them. I'd rather see Sunjata on Rescue Me, than in this contrived piece. Patricia Cornwell has written many enjoyable mysteries. This interpretation is a travesty. Everyone seemed to be walking through their parts, as a "fill-in" for their "day jobs". I think it is an insult to viewers. Andie McDowell has never been a favorite, & she's playing the hair, as too many actresses are now doing. It's no substitute for a good performance. I say, pass on this. Watch a rerun of something else.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As in her other novel, there is just too much going on here. Suddenly, Andie MacDowell is much more aggressive and really bitchy here. She is also quite a tramp. She is carrying on with the governor who came in when the old governor literally checked out.

    The plot here is easily lost. We see a story that's questioning whether the Boston strangler is at it again. This seemingly good plot is soon lost when one of the assistants decides that to be able to solve crimes, you have to start doing them. Thereby, the bodies begin to pile up and our Barack Obama-Harold Ford look alike is almost framed for one of them.

    We finally find out why Diahann Carroll acted in the way she did with the scene with the dogs. She placed a curse on the guy who was hurting them. While she took her nephew away, his parents succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. This should have been explained in the previous chapter.

    Miss Carroll is as weird as ever and is always being threatened.

    Ms. Cornwell should keep her plot direct and not have it all tie in within the last 5 minutes or so.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Unfortunately one is not permitted to vote with a zero or even a minus figure. I think this film has to rate as the worst I have ever seen. Slow. Poor pacing, bad acting, utterly ludicrous script. Why a supposedly intelligent, professional woman such as DA Lamont would have anything to do with the incredibly creepy Cal the student is beyond me. The guy apart from being sleazy and creepy, clearly has a major screw loose. No woman would give him access to anything. I was so disappointed, I've been reading Patricia Cornwell for years. This was a serious let down. The only actor who comes out of this mess with his dignity intact is Daniel Sunjata. You are left with the feeling he could have done a fantastic job, but does his best with the join the dots, painting by numbers script he has been given. Andie MacDowell is a disaster. It defies credulity that she would ever have achieved the post that she has. No one in their right mind would vote for her.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Patricia Cornwell's At Risk" (a.k.a., "The Front," a.k.a. "Undercover") ultimately revolves around an unsympathetic Boston District Attorney named Monique "Money" Lamont. "Money" is a careerist seeking to move up the ladder from her power position in Boston to become Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Unfortunately, she is an oily politician from start to finish, as well as a crybaby, broadcasting that "I am not a victim," which is no more that posturing about her bleeding-heart victimhood.

    The film's convoluted plot ties together "Money's" run for high office in Massachusetts with a decades-old cold case in Tennessee. The most interesting character in the film is Win "Geronimo" Garano, who becomes the lead on the case to solve the old crime and, reluctantly, aide "Money" on her way to the becoming governor.

    Win works closely with Delma Sykes, the savvy Tennessee detective tracking down leads on the death of an elderly woman, a police officer, and an unknown man who was decapitated along the railway tracks. Somehow the leads discovered by Delma lead back to a perp in Boston. Win's dearest Nana is another interesting character who figures prominently in the action when her life appears to be endangered.

    A major problem with the film was that the dialogue sounded "scripted," as opposed to deriving from character motivation. With the exception of Win, Delma, Nana, and a beautiful little dog, the cast of characters was generally sleazy and unpleasant. A standard montage of short clips at the end served to summarize the entire film. It was a long slog to finally get to that summary and bring down the curtain on this dud of a film. Monique "Money" Lamont may not have been a victim, but the viewer of this film certainly was!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I go into these movies knowing that it's going to be corny, predictable, with a cast of so-so actors and very seldom will anything that happens be something you didn't see coming. Still I am still a sucker for them and every once in awhile you find a diamond in the rough. This was not the case in this movie.

    I found the characters bland and unlikeable. Andie Macdonalds character I kept hoping would be knocked off. That's how little I felt for them. One part where the murderer was speaking to one of the investigators grandma and she realized he was the bad guy. You expected something to happen. They locked eyes each knowing what the other was thinking and then cut scene. When we went back there was police and an ambulance and I thought oh oh she got it. But no she was sitting in her living room talking to the investigators explaining what had happened and I'm sitting here going. Did I fast forward to far? Did they accidentally cut off the scene? Cause there seemed to be a whole scene missing. How did she get away? Did the people who were suppose to be guarding her break in? Was there a fight? Hellloooo...... Nothing not a word about it. She tells her grandson and his partner that this guy (at this point they still don't know who) was bad and wanted to be her grandson....... Uh OK. Now at this part I was now just waiting for the top of the hour to change the channel. Oh If that wasn't enough. The worst part and the part I didn't see coming was the two investigators who spent 3/4 of the movie fighting were all of a sudden all over each other. I will say I didn't see that coming. But not because it was written so well. You don't see it coming because there was nothing to see. The arguments they had had no heat behind them. You can't have sexual tension between 2 people with no heat. Now whether this was because of the poor acting or the script I couldn't tell you. Each was as bad as the other. And thinking about it I think it was done because they didn't know what else to do to fill in the time. I found that in a few of their scenes. Things not needed to see or know but the writers didn't know how else to fill the 2 hours. Personally I think they should have opted for an extra commercial. I'm not going to summarize the movie cause you can read that on your own. Plus it's a bit fuzzy in my head. Most things are when there that forgettable. It's a hit and miss for movies like this. Take my advice and give this one a miss. but if you do decide to give it a try make sure you are comfy in bed, dogs have been let out and your bladder is empty. You'll be asleep long before the credits roll.
  • SnoopyStyle12 September 2016
    In Boston, a killer is on the loose and possibly copying the Strangler. Police detective Win Garano (Daniel Sunjata) takes on the case since his grandmother lives nearby. District Attorney Monique Lamont (Andie MacDowell) is politically ambitious and running for re-election. She assigns the one-legged Stump (Ashley Williams) to be his partner. Stump had helped found FRONT, a neighborhood watch police program, but Lamont had tried to co-op it. There is creepy guy Cal Tradd (Dane DeHaan) and a mime dressed as Raggedy Ann.

    I'm guessing this is part of a series and these characters have a history. The movie doesn't take much time setting them up but it's easy to figure it out. This is standard police drama without much intensity. It simply feels inferior in many ways. There are a couple of reveals but they don't excite me much. It starts off badly with the very silly Raggedy Ann. It puts the movie in an awkward position. The look is lower level TV.
  • When I put this disc into the machine, I saw something that made my blood run cold: Lifetime.

    So I have no excuse. I knew what I was in for.

    The film is based on a novel by Patricia Cornwall, a very good and popular mystery novelist. She, like Mary Higgins Clark, had her books, or at least this one, sold to a cheesy production company. I'll never understand how some authors get top film productions and others are relegated to bad TV movies.

    "The Front" concerns a detective (Daniel Sunjata) in Boston who is assigned by the randy female DA to an old murder case, similar to that committed by the Boston Strangler. Complications follow.

    The acting ranges from fair to pathetic, with some good people wasted -- Diahann Carroll and Daniel Sunjata, specifically. Andie MacDowell as a DA was a mistake.

    This is one of those unfortunate cases where you didn't care what happened to anyone, except maybe the Sunjata character.