Trial by Fire (I) (2018)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama

Trial by Fire (2018) Poster

The tragic and controversial story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas for killing his three children after scientific evidence and expert testimony that bolstered his claims of innocence were suppressed.




  • Jack O'Connell in Trial by Fire (2018)
  • Jack O'Connell in Trial by Fire (2018)
  • Laura Dern in Trial by Fire (2018)
  • Darren Pettie and Jack O'Connell in Trial by Fire (2018)
  • Trial by Fire (2018)
  • With Ed Zwick

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13 August 2019 | akcenat
| Death row drama
"Trial by Fire" is based on David Grann's 2009 New Yorker article of the same name and it dramatizes the tragic and controversial story of a case against the death penalty - by focusing on the real-life ordeal of a Cameron Todd Willingham, man executed in 2004, weeks after the emergence of definitive evidence attesting to his innocence.

Willingham is played by Jack O'Connell, who gives a very good performance. He was able to capture the man's initial naivety about the severity of these charges and gradually show a maturity which would have naturally occurred over the years he spent in prison. Laura Dern joins the film halfway through, as a playwright-turned-activist for whom this case becomes an obsession and who works to have his conviction overturned. The two parts, his and hers, never quite successfully merge on screen, though the few scenes the actors have together work nicely.

"Trial by Fire" is an intriguing, often hard to watch and surely not entertaining motion picture. As a film, it is is a tough but worthy reminder of the illusion of fairness in real life and that justice is not always served.

Rating: 7

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