Trial by Fire 2.0 stars

Trial by Fire movie poster

Storytelling takes a back seat to the issue of the death penalty in this true-life story of a father (Jack O’Connell) wrongfully accused of setting fire to his three children. Just because life offers up cliches doesn’t mean a director has to play them as such. No stranger to television and movies, Emmy and Oscar-award winning director Ed Zwick straddles the fence by paying passing homage to both mediums. With David Grann’s New Yorker article to guide them, Zwick and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher work quickly to whittle away at what could have amounted to lengthy courtroom proceedings, but that’s not enough to earn applause. It’s only in terms of performance that Trial By Fire ignites the screen. We expect greatness from Laura Dern, and she delivers. It’s Emily Meade who deserves top acting honors. As the grieving mother, I believe every word of Meade’s bullshit-free performance. There’s an authenticity in her, such that she can’t help but hammer home her husband’s innocence. 2019.

Scott Marks

Showtimes

Angelika Film Center & Café

11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

4:45pm, 7:30pm, 10:35pm

Thursday, May 23

10:50am, 1:50pm, 4:45pm, 7:30pm, 10:35pm

Friday, May 24

9:30am

Saturday, May 25

9:30am

Sunday, May 26

9:30am

Monday, May 27

9:30am

Tuesday, May 28

9:30am

Wednesday, May 29

9:30am

Thursday, May 30

9:30am

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego, 858-768-7770 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

2:25pm, 5:05pm, 7:55pm, 10:25pm

Thursday, May 23

10:20am, 11:50am, 2:25pm

Landmark Hillcrest

3965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 619-298-2904 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

4:00pm, 10:00pm

Thursday, May 23

1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm, 10:00pm

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