A Murder of Crows
This film is vintage, filmed in 1999. It stars Cuba Gooding, Jr. (a victim of the Oscar curse, when some actors’ careers suffer after winning an Academy Award – is the curses real?) as Lawson Russell, a former Louisiana lawyer who’s been disbarred after knowing his client accused of murder was guilty. He accuses his client right on the witness stand and essentially ends his own legal career.
Needing a change of scenery, he travels to Key West, determined to write about his experience. But he suffers from writer’s block – the kind that has him staring at page one.
He meets a fascinating old man who’s written a book and allows Lawson to read his manuscript. It’s about the death of five lawyers who apparently seemed to deserve it. It’s great fiction.
The old man shares the meaning of the odd title: A group of crows is called a “murder.”
The author suddenly dies (was he murdered?), and Lawson discovers he had no family. The manuscript is still in Lawson’s hands, and it’s so good he decides to pass it off as his own. It becomes the kind of huge success that bookstores put its poster in their windows. He’s sought after and travels around making appearances as the author of the blockbuster.
It’s later discovered that the book isn’t exactly fiction. All five lawyers were murdered, exactly the way the book described them, with many details never shared with the public. Lawson is the main and only suspect. The case is handled by detective Clifford Dubose. The hard-boiled Dubose is played by Tom Berenger, who incidentally has aged beautifully. It certainly seems that Lawson has killed all the lawyers. Having returned to New Orleans, he seeks representation by the lawyer who had been his best friend in the firm (excellent acting by Marianne Jean-Baptiste; you’d never know she was British).
There were some memorable lines spoken by Berenger.
Lawson Russell: “Like a drink, detective?”
Clifford Dubose: Nah, never touch it. Makes me happy.”
Dubose also finds himself “as confused as a nun on a honeymoon.”
The New Orleans accents are attempted, but they’re not accurate. Visitors to New Orleans hear accents that are a lot more subtle. It’s also one of those cities where lot of the population have moved there, not grown up there.
The film received “61% liked it” on Rotten Tomatoes. “A Murder of Crows”
is worth seeing. A lot of twists and turns keep you in your seat.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. stars as a disbarred lawyer who decides to write a book. Suffering from writer’s block, he meets an old man who’s written a great manuscript and suddenly dies, without any family. Gooding’s character passes the book off as his own, and is later accused of committing the murders described in the book.
Movies & TV
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live tv Video Rating: 5 / 5
Category: Movies & TV