All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
The Thin Blue Line
A softcore movie, Dr. Death, a chocolate milkshake, a nosey blonde and "The Carol Burnett Show." Solving this mystery is going to be murder.
Errol Morris's unique documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer's murder in Dallas.
Not a documentary about pregnancy tests
I knew what Thin Blue Line was about and I had some idea of its real-world implications, as that seems to be the central discussion surrounding the film the majority of the time but holy shit - what an absolutely transcendent piece of documentary filmmaking.
Morris’ haunting, repetitious use of re-enactments. The way the aesthetic at one moment bleeds into sensationalism and then highlights truth in the next. The way it's constructed to slowly reveal details, letting the audience participate, constantly evaluating then re-evaluating the information we’re receiving and our perceptions of those feeding it to us. The way it masterfully builds to a joke the same way it does to its most shocking revelations. And of course, the way it exposed a corrupt system and literally saved a life. Thin Blue Line is a film truly like no other.
If there was ever a hell on earth, it's Dallas County.
Proof that films can actually change lives with verifiable results. Originally Errol Morris was doing research for a planned documentary on psychiatrist Dr. James Grigson (aka Dr. Death), but in doing so met Randall Adams, a man convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The chance meeting not only changed the subject matter of Morris' documentary, but changed lives and created the template for practically every investigative crime documentary film and television show made in the last 25 years.
The film is deeply disturbing by simply asking questions to people in power and letting them run their mouths in front of a camera. It becomes painfully evident…
The Thin Blue Line is famous documentary-maker Errol Morris’ most acclaimed work - a law case study on the prosecution of Randall Dale Adams who allegedly shot and killed a police officer in Dallas 1976, which was so successful that it eventually led to a reopening of the case and the freedom of the innocent Adams. For this fact alone, the film deserves recognition and applause, which I grant it, but to be completely honest I think that the execution of this documentary could’ve been much better if it showed more concern to work as a film as well as it works as an argument. I say this because through many unnecessary repetitions and a certain monotonousness it wasn’t exactly…
Review In A Nutshell:
A fascinating crime/legal story, intelligently told through excellent editing and engaging re-enactments. It is films like this that makes me want to dip my toes into the world documentary filmmaking.
"If there was ever a hell on earth, it's Dallas County."
As of recently I have become very interested in murder cases and court proceedings, involving the question of innocence at the tragic loss of a life. I just finished the engrossing podcast Serial, that questions the guilt of Adnan Syed over the murder of Hae lee. I didn't really come out with any definite opinions on his innocence, but it was a very interesting listen, going into remarkable detail on the most minute aspects of testimonies and alibi's. And it felt all the more intense because it actually happened, and real people are suffering, it is not the same as actors being paid millions of dollars an episode to…
I am so pleased I finally got round to this. Perpetually on lists of the all-time best documentaries, Errol Morris's classic film is still a great watch. The impact of the socio-political criticism of the narrative is lessened, though, by the many similar stories that have since followed. We are almost inured to the importance of miscarriages of justice due to their frequent retellings; Paradise Lost, Making a Murderer, The Central Park Five: the same questions continue to be posed in the media. Few documentarians, however, share Morris's love of artistic and surreal imagery, which he uses with stylish subtlety to enhance his narratives. The familiarity of the story only serves to demonstrate the ongoing relevance of the events Morris chose to explore.
I literally just finished spending two weeks serving on a jury and I was feeling good about the judicial system.
Errol Morris ruined it for me.
A landmark documentary that virtually invented a number of things we take for granted now when watching even the lowliest of prime time shock docs. Morris' film is as concerned with mood and character as he is narrative drive here. We spend time building up to the fatal shooting and learning about the people surrounding the case - from both the defence and prosecution and investigative team.
What starts as a procedural morphs into a story of corruption and legal malpractice. The injustice of the story takes over and you're confronted with basic facts that were overlooked in the favour of a conviction statistic. Without giving anything away, it's interesting to note that this is just one story (now almost thirty years old). In the age of Serial and Making a Murderer, you find yourselves questioning how many people are inside the US prison system who are just a victim of circumstance.
It's dated but still hugely relevant and impactful.
It's like making a murderer but shorter.
Those cops were not on point with their sunglasses or their puns. How did they even graduate from police academy?
I suppose that every ridiculous murder story with cheesy reenactments that I saw on cable TV in my youth owes The Thin Blue Line a great debt.
It's fascinating documentary about the criminal justice system, focused on the murder of a police officer in mid-70's Dallas. The re-enactments are absurd and not particularly effective, but the score by Phillip Glass is on point, and the often shockingly candid interviews reveal an incredible fact based story.
Except for a final, audio-only interview, the filmmaker's voice is not heard. This leaves the viewer to make their own determinations about the quality of the witness and the degree to which the prosecution misbehaved. In many ways, it makes the case for injustice stronger - it is hard (but certainly not impossible) to argue that Errol Morris laid out a biased case in order to promote his own view when all we're given is the words of those involved.
screened via Netflix
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UPDATED: September 11, 2016
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