Benefit Of The Doubt

A pretty good thriller of the creepy sort, set in rural Arizona, this loses its steam when it turns into a mechanical cross-country chase but works fairly well up till then thanks to the two leads, Amy Irving and Donald Sutherland. Sutherland plays Irving’s father, just out of prison after a 22-year incarceration for killing her mother, which he still denies doing. His daughter’s testimony at age 12 was pivotal in convicting him. Certain ambiguities and ambivalences keep us guessing about the characters for a while. Jonathan Heap does a routine job of direction, working from a script by Jeffrey Polman and Christopher Keyser; with Rider Strong, Christopher McDonald, Graham Greene, and Theodore Bikel. (JR)

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