True Story (2015)

  • All around decent acting, especially from Jonah Hill
  • One of the more interesting 'true story' movies out there about the relationship between a murder and a writer
  • A very nice set up for the story and introduction to the characters
  • Who is deceiving who?

  • There is no overall tension to speak of that makes the movie engrossing or thrilling
  • The movie seems to promise some unexpected twist or turn, but we end up getting neither
  • An unsatisfying ending that plays out just as you would expect
  • How did they end up drawing the same doodles in their notebooks?
  • In order to make James Franco look scary or intimidating, the movie relies very heavily on close-ups of his scruffy face
  • Longo's fifteen-minute account of his side of the story that couldn't have been any more boring or mundane that it already was
  • The whole movie relies on the deception of Longo (Franco), but it just isn't there or satisfying enough to carry the movie
  • This is one of those movies where the trailer is better than the actual film

Score: 5/10

Sadly, there is not much to say about True Story. It's a crime/mystery 'thriller' (labeling this a thriller is questionable) that plays out just as you would expect. There were far too few surprises to speak of, which the movie seemed to be moving toward. Everything here felt like 'the calm before the storm' but when it came time for the storm, there was nothing there. The story in itself is quite interesting, a murder taking on the identity of a writer which leads to the two interacting and trying to determine the motive behind such a weird act. But nothing ever comes of it, at least nothing interesting or thought provoking. True Story is a straightforward crime drama that finishes as a courtroom drama.

The acting was decent enough, a strong cast, but the camera work tries to force the creepy persona of James Franco down our throats with a ton of close of shots of his face. It was difficult to see a monster here, he may look scruffy but down under there was no beast to be found here. The character of Longo was never creepy enough to carry the movie (Hopkins had 13 minutes of screen time in Silence of the Lambs and created a truly frightening monster).

So while the trailer might look appealing, just know that it's quite deceptive (just like the main theme of the movie). Like I said, everything found here was too calm for its own good, there was no huge reveal or anything like that to make this movie interesting. Certainly a forgettable movie within Franco and Hill's growing filmographies.