True Story – Movie Review

Geek Lab Press
  • Overall


Based on the true story of journalist Michael Finkel and murderer Christian Longo, Franco and Hill recreate the relationship between the two.


The movie, True Story, starts the moment journalist Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) and accused murderer Christian Longo’s (James Franco) lives intertwined. In a moment of lapsed judgment, Michael Finkel is fired from the New York Times because of a story he fabricated in order to enhance the drama of the piece. When Finkel returns in disgrace to his hometown, he is informed that a murderer has used his identity in order to escape the United States.

Release Date: April 17, 2015
Rated R
Writer: Rupert Goold, David Kajganich, Michael Finkel
Director: Rupert Goold
Cast: Jonah Hill, James Franco,

True Story 02Christian Longo is accused of murdering his wife and three small children. While in prison, Finkel seeks him out to why he used his identity and to see if there is a story there. In exchange for the story, Longo wants Finkel to teach him to write. This begins a sort of chess game, as Finkel starts a relationship with Longo in hopes of publishing a book and to also see if Longo committed the crime. The deeper Finkel gets; the darker the facts become.

For all intent and purpose, True Story is a two-man play between Jonah Hill and James Franco. It is the interplay between the two actors that is the most compelling moments of the movie, and it is this interplay that takes up most of the movie. It feels that the sole reason the movie was made because Hill and Franco got together and wanted to make an actors’ movie with one another.

True Story 03That said, I did like the interplay between the two. Franco always feels natural in the roles he takes. Hill does, at times, look like he’s overacting, but as the movie progresses this feeling fades.

Acting aside, the movie is about a disgraced journalist, Michael Finkel, who drawn in by a charismatic sociopath, Christian Longo. The movie traces this emotional and psychological roller coaster ride that Finkel is suffering. Is Christian guilty? Can he be the heinous killer that he’s made out to be? The ride is like a roller coaster it’s riveting and nauseous at times.

But in the end, rather than immersing yourself in an intriguing story, we are still left with a showcase of two of today’s young actors.

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