Finding a decent “free” movie on one of the many streaming services on my TV isn’t always easy. But we keep trying. One of my more recent finds is Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, a kind of mystery that takes on some characteristics of an Agatha Christie story.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009) Film Review
Part of a small investigative reporter group, C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) is tired of doing fluff piece stories. He wants to chase a bigger story and he has one, only his boss isn’t too keen on his story idea. But this doesn’t stop C.J. from pursuing what could be a big story. He believes that the DA Mark Hunter (Michael Douglas) is corrupt, a man who only gets convictions by faking evidence. With plans to run for governor, C.J. wants to expose him.
He does this by making plans to frame himself for a murder. Only what starts as a risky plan just may end up costing C.J. his freedom.
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This film is a contemporary one, but it gives off some Agatha Christie vibes, especially in some of its twists. It’s not a “frightening” mystery or particularly dark comparatively speaking, either. If you don’t like movies that throw things out of order in ways you might not like, then this won’t be a good fit for you. And yes, I realize how very vague this is. I don’t know what more to say without spoiling anything, so I won’t. Instead we’ll talk about who else you’ll see in the cast.
The additional cast list includes Amber Tamblyn and Joel David Moore (Bones). Based on a story from the 1950s film (of the same title), like I said, this one in some ways feels like a classic kind of whodunit. There’s interesting dynamics and it’s fun to see Jesse Metcalfe in something that’s not the Hallmark network.
There’s a bit of suspense in a car chase, and just the general how-will-this-go-down element. This one isn’t “normal” in how it works out nor does it necessarily give a good feeling, but it becomes something we don’t anticipate and that makes it interesting.
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Content: there’s lots of uses of sh*t, God’s name in vain and other commonplace profanity including one use of the f-word (at the end). There’s two – three scenes of a couple in bed. One has them entangled and obviously naked. There’s some crime scene photos and other evidence seen; someone is terrorized by a man chasing them in a parking garage (in a car). Nothing is terribly graphic. There is one “tense” car chase scene that ends badly. The film is PG-13.
Photos: Anchor Bay Entertainment / RKO Pictures / Signature Entertainment