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The Thin Blue Line

The Thin Blue Line

1988
Documentary
Crime
1h 41m
Documentary investigating the 1976 murder of policeman Robert Wood in Dallas, Texas. Randall Adams was convicted of the crime and sentenced to death, after 16-year old David Harris blamed him for the crime. But filmmaker Errol Morris pursues the question of who was in fact responsible for the crime.
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The Thin Blue Line

1988
Documentary
Crime
1h 41m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 74.44% from 1463 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1463)
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Rated 31 Jul 2008
87
83rd
Really fascinating, shocking (sort of), and downright scary that the justice system could be so messed up. Morris's use of varying reenactments and the way he let the story tell itself made for a really gripping documentary. Looking forward to seeing more of his work.
Rated 27 Apr 2014
85
65th
A true crime story told so well it set the groundwork for every other true crime story put to film afterwards. The saturation of the film's techniques in other places kind of numbs the intended effect, but this is still very careful, very clever documentary filmmaking.
Rated 06 Jun 2014
85
50th
Interesting but I guess none of Morris' films will match The Fog of War for me. It is a nicely rendered tale of miscarried justice with some pretty fascinating subjects (especially Harris). Maybe I'm obscenely cynical or culture has changed since 1988 but nothing here strikes me as profoundly unique or shocking.
Rated 06 Sep 2012
81
81st
Fuck. That was amazing.
Rated 28 May 2011
80
66th
An interesting film, and the results of its release make it even more so.
Rated 27 Nov 2016
9
71st
Patience, research, listening - these are the skills Morris uses to free an innocent man and methodically craft a work that shows there is a definitive truth waiting to be known, as long as one works hard enough to find it. The Glass score turns this into a elegiac meditation on justice and fairness. Incredible that even without the Interrotron, this work is as powerful and personal as his later work. An inspiring piece of documentary film, to say the least.
Rated 11 Dec 2009
71
50th
Morris's collage approach (utilizing interviews, newspaper articles, documents, photographs and reenactments of the crime) effectively conveys the nightmarish quality of an innocent man condemned. Adams was finally released -- several years after this film raised a public outcry.

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