Tom Selleck (THREE MEN AND A BABY) turns in a riveting performance as Jimmie Rainwood, an average citizen whose life becomes a living nightmare when he's framed by a pair of crooked cops and sent to prison for a crime he d... more »idn't commit. With his life torn apart, Rainwood swears revenge, vowing to fight back and deliver justice to the dishonest cops who set him up -- no matter what the price! Ultimately, Rainwood risks everything to recapture his normal life, and prove once and for all that he is an innocent man!« less
Ellen H. (grammieofsix) from PEMBROKE, GA Reviewed on 8/10/2009...
Best Selleck Drama
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 04/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I always like Tom Selleck movies. Some are actually very entertaining. This is by far his best dramatic role. I was very impressed how well he played the part of a framed Airline crew chief Jimmie Rainwood. F. Murray Abraham gives a great performance as one of the prison inmates, Virgil Cane, that befriends him. It has all the elements for some good drama, bad cops, drugs, decent and really bad convicts, attractive loving wife, and motive for revenge.
David Rasche and Richard Young do a fine job as the crooked detectives that frame him. I have recommended this to many people since many Selleck fans are not even aware of it. Whether you like Selleck or not you will enjoy this film if you like movies like "The Fugitive","US Marshals", and "Shawshank Redemption". It is being released on DVD soon and you can bet I pre-ordered a copy."
A well done prison movie
C. A. Luster | 03/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tom Selleck is not an actor known for making blockbuster films. Although several of his movies (Quigley Down Under, Mr. Baseball) have several interesting scenes, on the whole they seem to lack a certain staying power.One of his best big screen attempts is An Innocent Man. Aside from a well-rounded supporting cast, Selleck makes the audience feel for his character as he is thrown into a seemingly impossible situation. He shows a wonderful ability to change from a meek new fish to a respected convict in order to keep himself alive while inside. Although the prison film theme has been done over and over, this one takes us to a place where few others have. A well done film, and more importantly, one of Sellecks best to date."
An Entertainingly Uncomfortable Film
J. Reynolds | Houston, TX United States | 04/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even though you know what's going to happen to Tom Selleck's character, and you know that the ending will be happy, watching the process is enjoyably discomfiting. This is a plot film -- stuff keeps happening to the main character, things he appears utterly incapable of controlling, and everything spirals right into disaster. Great Friday night fare. Make a lot of popcorn and savor it."
An excellent movie
T. Humbert | Maisons-Laffitte France | 11/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very entertaining movie. The characters are all great, the plot and the suspense are terrific."
Mild-mannered John Q. Citizen gets backed into a corner
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 01/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Innocent? Yes, aren't we all? But in AN INNOCENT MAN, Jimmie Rainwood (Tom Selleck) really is, albeit a presumably highly paid one as a senior mechanic on the aircraft maintenance line of American Airlines in Southern California. Married to Kate (Laila Robins) and living in a hillside house with a view of Los Angeles-San Pedro Harbor, Jimmie has the good life. That is, until he runs afoul of two corrupt drug squad detectives from the local constabulary, Parnell (David Rasche) and Scalise (Richard Young), who supplement their income partnering with a major narcotics supplier, stealing from competing dealers, and selling the goods to their patron. Mistakenly led to believe that a deal is going down at Rainwood's home, they bust in while Jimmie is home alone finishing up a shower. Parnell and Scalise shoot Rainwood thinking the hair dryer he's holding is a weapon. Realizing their mistake, they cover their tracks by planting drugs in the home and a gun in Jimmie's hand, with which he ostensibly took a shot at the officers. Ultimately, Rainwood angrily refuses to plead guilty to lesser charges to get a reduced sentence, and a jury trial results in six years in the state pen.
While incarcerated, Jimmie must thrust aside inhibitions and learn how to literally kill to survive. He does this under the tutelage of fellow con and self-admitted criminal, Virgil Cane (F. Murray Abraham), also put away by Parnell and Scalise, though they beat up Cane's girlfriend during the process of the arrest. Eventually, Rainwood is let out on parole after three years. Returning home, he and Kate continue to be oppressed by the two crooked cops, and Jimmie falls back on his hard-won survival skills to break himself and his wife free.
My Mom recommended AN INNOCENT MAN since, in her former capacity as a staff psychiatrist for the Nevada Department of Corrections, she worked out of the men's prison in Carson City, where the exterior shots of Jimmie's lock-up were shot. If you've ever been to Nevada's state capitol, you'll recognize the adjacent Sierra Nevada range in the film. (The interior shots were apparently filmed at a disused prison in Cincinnati, OH - no mountains there.)
Now, the corrupt cop Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) in the 2001 film Training Day was one bad dude. Here, the Parnell and Scalise characters, while dangerous, are played as obnoxious wise guys almost to the point of caricature; Rasche and Young rendered them positively annoying by overacting, which is probably why Washington is an "A List" performer while the latter two aren't and never will be. At the other end of the spectrum is Detective Fitzgerald (Badja Djola) of Internal Affairs, who sympathizes with Kate's and Jimmie's dilemma and knows Parnell and Scalise are dirty, but can't prove it. Djola's performance is about as animated as a wooden hitching post.
Kate Rainwood, played competently by Robins, is believable and sympathetic as Jimmie's loyal wife, but her character is essentially tangential. The best supporting performance is undoubtedly by Abraham as the wily, prison-savvy Cane, whose motive for helping Rainwood is mostly inscrutable until the film's end when the payback Virgil is now enabled to deliver is delicious in the audience's contemplation.
Tom Selleck reminds me of John Wayne. The Duke never really acted; any role he played was essentially John Wayne dressed in a different costume. Wayne was, in my opinion a superlative entertainer, but not a great actor. Selleck, I think, falls into this same category. The majority of his movies are class B flicks more suitable for television, but his on-screen characters are so consistently engaging and attractive - perhaps accurately reflecting Tom himself - that I'd rather watch any one of his efforts than a substandard outing by a Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. For Selleck's presence alone, I'm awarding AN INNOCENT MAN four stars.
There's one aspect of the film that continues to niggle at my mind. At the conclusion, Jimmie packs a pistol that evolves in the plot as the one placed in his unconscious hand by Parnell and Scalise during the original frame-up three years previous. How did Rainwood come into its possession? Wouldn't it have been confiscated as evidence, and then destroyed by the police after his conviction?"