Matt Hurt’s review published on Letterboxd:
I sincerely wonder if Olivia Wilde watched Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and decided Elizabeth Banks' comedic take on 90s journalists was accurate enough and did the same.
Really though, Olivia Wilde is in an entirely different movie and it feels so forced and incongruous to the rest of the movie.
Richard Jewell is a serviceable enough awards season prestige movie. Paul Walter Hauser another in a long line of strong performances to his career. As is standard in award season fodder, there is at least one very well done scene between him and Sam Rockwell that is sure to be singled out for awards consideration.
Sam Rockwell makes a somewhat tired trope of a role and makes it his own. Rockwell plays Watson, Jewell's lawyer and friend. The movie does a good job of setting up their dynamic but it's such a tired archetype of a role that I'm impressed Rockwell created something strong out of it. He gives a clear sense of the character's frustrations with the investigation and even with his client.
Which is a portion of the movie that's somewhat irritating. Jewell garners our sympathy through the ruthlessness of the FBI and media portrayals in the movie. But when it comes to Jewell himself, he's written as almost comicly dimwitted. Hauser does the best he can with the material, but it just doesn't sell his duty/admiration for law enforcement hard enough to make his actions throughout the film track logically.
It's an alright movie with strong performances. But ultimately, not a lot else sticks out.