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True Story

True Story
Posted on July 21, 2015 by James Shults

Release Date: April 17, 2015

Director: Rupert Goold

Overall Rating: Bad

After New York Times reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) is fired for lying in an article, he tries to restore his credibility by writing a book about a multiple murder suspect who used his name as an alias.

The Good

True Story has an interesting concept, circling around the idea of two liars on trial, one figuratively on trial and the other literally on trial. Jonah Hill’s character has been accused of lying in his reporting. James Franco’s character is possibly lying about having murdered his entire family. Is one of them lying? Are both? These are the types of questions that True Story stirs up.

The Bad

The performances in True Story were mostly lackluster, particularly from Jonah Hill. That’s not to say that James Franco is shining bright here. He isn’t. Neither of the performances were remarkable in any way. But how much blame can be put on the actors in a movie where nothing is remarkable?

The Ugly

There’s a point in the movie where Jonah Hill’s character is teaching James Franco’s character how to be a better writer. He explains why a double negative doesn’t work in a sentence. James Franco’s character understands. He says, “Two negatives don’t make a positive.” In a similar vain, it seems having both Jonah Hill and James Franco in a dramatic movie does not make a positive. These are both solid actors. But maybe this movie would have been better with only one of them. Two famously comedic actors playing serious roles opposite each other unfortunately adds up to a negative.

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