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Jeanne Jackson | Manhattan Beach, CA United States | 07/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally a movie about a man who has murdered but doesn't want to pin the blame for his actions on someone else. An emergency room receptionist, a nurse and a doctor ignore the pleadings of a desperate father (Kingsly) to help his five year old son who is critically ill. The son dies of a highly treatable burst appendix on the way to a different hospital. Six weeks later the father kills these three people and turns himself into the police. What follows is a complex story about politics, a man's grappling with right and wrong before his own God and a lawyer (Baldwin) who, caught in the middle of the devine and the corrupt, faces the biggest moral decision of his life. The performances by all are excellent and I highly recommend this movie.... It's not a perfect film but beats most of the low-brow films resting on the shelves these days."
If you totally suspend belief at premise, maybe decent
R. Kyle | USA | 02/26/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Did anyone who worked on this film ever hear of the concept of TRIAGE? No, I am not a healthcare professional, but I have been in ERs in three states myself or with family and friends. No patient is ever brought in and told to just 'sign in, we'll be with you in a minute.' You're interviewed by a triage nurse who assigns you a rating based on battlefield assessments:
1. They'll recover on their own if they're not seen to. This category has the longest to wait.
2. They'll need your help to recover. Generally, this is the priority one patient.
3. They need your help, but they're not going to recover. Priority two---because they can save lives if they see priority one first.
If they'd just done their research, they'd have known this--and I'm certain the writers could have found a more believable premise to slam the healthcare industry. For example, waiting on approval for your HMO to refer you to a specialist, waiting on board approval for surgery, etc.
What's the plot? Harry Fertig (Ben Kingsley's) son is ill with what they think is the flu. He and his wife Sara (Amy Irving) take their son to the ER. They're told to 'sign in and sit down.' As their son's condition worsens, Fertig pleas with a doc and nurse for help--they're on break. They finally go to take their son to another hospital and he dies in the cab from a ruptured appendix. In justice, Fertig shoots the doctor, nurse, and ward clerk. High powered and high profile attorney with serious ambitions, Roy Bleakie (Baldwin) is hired by Fertig's boss to defend Fertig and get him off on an NGRI (Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity) defense. The catch: Fertig doesn't want off. While one shrink will testify that he is insane and he could rest on that, Fertig believes that copping the plea lessens the 'just' killing of the three people. As Bleaky gets further and further, into the case, he realizes the man hiring him to defend Fertig may have other motives.
If you ignore that the initial setup of the film is highly flawed, "Confession" is an interesting study of society, right and wrong, fathers and sons. Is it right to kill people whose uncaring kill a member of your family? Is it acceptable to ruin a colleague for your own ambitions? And, when can you not look away?
This is a great film to rent once, but I would not purchase this film for my collection. It has limited appeal as a rerun.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 04/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If nothing else, THE CONFESSION is an honest attempt to look at our society and see what is really important: when healthcare professionals take their jobs seriously, when does a cigarette break justify the death of a five year old with a burst appendix? Ben Kingsley stars as a father whose son dies in his arms in a taxi on the way to another hospital, because the clerk, doctor and nurse in the emergency room failed to meet their responsibilities. While a bit overblown in execution, the movie achieves its thrust on this tragic incident. Kingsley later murders in cold blood those three medical professionals and then wants to be punished for the crimes.
Step in seedy Alec Baldwin as a career-driven lawyer who wants to become District Attorney, who is given the case and told to plead Kingsley not guilty due to insanity. There's a deeper reason for this plot device, and it involves more than just Kingsley's guilt.
While Baldwin and Amy Irving do well in their roles as the lawyer and Kingsley's wife, the movie suffers most because of the fiercely unemotional performance of Kingsley. While one can feel his rage, his cold demeanor, the way he treats his wife, and his inability to think outside his own rage, makes for a very unsympathetic character. Softening him up some would have made the movie more relative.
Still, a good, well done film overall."
Almost deliberately disappointing
Michael Butts | 09/27/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
""The Confession" is a respectably good legal-thriller plot marred by wooden, stereotyped acting and directing. I'm not a bit surprised to learn that the director works mostly in TV - this has the feel of one of those USA Network evening dramas, all slick surfaces and cardboard characters. The plot appeals to the viewer's intelligence at the same time the presentation insults it. Alec Baldwin, as expected, does creditably well in the role of Alec Baldwin, but the "A" list aspirations of the picture are lowered to "B" movie level by the presence of cartoons like Jay Sanders' Jac Renoble. Sanders plays the big coporate bad guy as your typical TV alpha male powermeister, purring pre-fabricated menace with every whispered syllable (at one point he even says: "When I buy things..I do what I want with them," while caressing a large wooden model yacht.)The biggest hole in the picture is Ben Kingsley's portrayal of the devout murderer. We're obviously not meant to fall in love with him, but Kingsley's Harry Fertig is barely even worthy of our sympathy - stiff, pious, grave, talking in Old Testament platitudes, it's difficult to imagine him truly loving his dead son or anything but the idea of God he's always going on about. It left a taste in this viewer's mouth that distracted from what otherwise was a compelling story.I'd be interested to read the novel this was made from. The story undoubtedly deserved better treatment."
What do you think of triage now?
Sheryl S. Schelin | North Myrtle Beach, SC USA | 07/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's interesting to see all these reviews focused in on the "ludicrous" plot hook -- a sick child is allowed to get worse and die in an ER waiting room. I wonder what all the reviewers think now, when (as I write this) leading the news is the story of a woman who died in an ER waiting room waiting to be seen.
Not that this small bit of vindication helps the movie in any way. It's still meandering, rough, less than compelling."