On August 22, 1992, 400 Federal agents armed with rifles, choppers and tanks, surrounded the Ruby Ridge, Idaho, cabin of White Supremacist Randy Weaver (Randy Quaid, Independence Day). When Weaver resists a Federal arrest ... more »warrant, the U.S. Government declared war on the separatist and his family. Following an 11-day standoff that left his wife (Laura Dern, Wild at Heart) and son (Bradley Pierce, Jumanji) dead, Weaver surrendered and inexplicably was brought to trial on trumped-up murder and conspiracy charges, in this EmmyŠ nominated docudrama based on the real-life events that shocked a nation. Co-starring Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man) and Diane Ladd (TV's Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital).« less
William F. (furmage) from APPLE VALLEY, CA Reviewed on 5/24/2011...
This is a really good movie, keeps you watching till the end. All the cast do a super job of bringing this true story to life. 5 stars, all the way.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
It Was Ten Years Ago: Remember Ruby Ridge
John M. Sweat | Raleigh, N.C. United States | 05/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have read several books about the Ruby Ridge murders. I also have an amature video with footage taken during the siege. This made for tv movie is about 75% accurate. That is pretty good for Hollywood. The story told in the film is not complete and I urge anyone to read "Ambush At Ruby Ridge" by Alan Bock first.
The movie has some mistakes. Randy Weaver was a short man and Randy Quaid was a poor choice to play him. He was a former Green Beret and not a slacker as he is sometimes portrayed in the movie. Laura Dern is made up to look like Vicki Weaver very well. Vicki was a strong woman but not the domineering type as she is sometimes made to be in the film.
Kirsten Dunst played Sara Weaver very well and was true to the character for the most part.Her performance in the second part of the movie alone is worth the price of the video .
There was no Confederate flag in front of the Weaver's cabin as is shown in the movie. There was never any real evidence that Randy broke the law and this is not shown well in the film. The shoot-out that took the lives of Vicki and her son was very well done. The part of the movie that shows the shoot-out and what followed is very accurate. In fact, the second part of the movie shows just how in the wrong the government was in what it did.
This August 21 will be the tenth anniversary of the Ruby Ridge murders. Read the book I mentioned and then view the film. Only then will you understand the danger our country is in from overbearing and power hungry tyrants."
Donna Williams | DE USA | 07/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Until I saw this film, I didn't really know anything about Ruby Ridge and what happened to the Weaver family. I'm glad that I've finally seen it because what happened there was inexcusable and must be told.Watching the movie and not knowing what to expect, I found that it was very cleverly done and the story seamless.A must see!"
No heroes, no villains, no political correctness. Outstandi
Peter Vinton Jr. | Not near Washington, DC | 12/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite my revulsion at using such a phrase, the best summation I can give to this work is "Fair And Balanced." Director Rodger Young somehow manages to present a view of the escalating situation in Idaho that is not tainted, slanted, or driven by a politically correct agenda. There are no Bad Guys and no Good Guys in this docudrama. (Although I might stretch a point to name as a "bad guy" Deputy Director Stagg, the supervisory US Marshal who, upon seeing Weaver's name on the front page of the newspaper, demands that the stakes be raised and armed tactical units be brought in. This particular character gets all of 30 seconds' screen time, but I think it's far to say that, if Stagg's ego hadn't been so badly bruised by the thought of Weaver not being arrested for 18 months, that the situation could have stayed under control.)
Working with a script by Lionel Chetwind, which was developed from the book "Every Knee Shall Bow" by Jess Walter, Young does a frankly amazing job of portraying the Weavers' early life together, dropping hints of racism, separatism, and some decidedly unorthodox religious viewpoints along the way --but none of it in a condemning manner. Yes, Vicki and Randy were almost certainly not the sort of folks you'd want to associate with much, but for all the character flaws, NOTHING justifies what their situation came to. In truth, the triumphant scene in which the family finally "discovers" the spot of land that will become their home SHOULD have been the end of the story.
I've always been something of a Laura Dern fan, but my admiration for this actress's talent and professionalism is definitely raised a couple of notches by her portrayal of Vicki. You see in her eyes the fervent belief and complete assurances that, while perhaps misguided, are certainly NOT out to cause trouble or violence --indeed, in the end it is Vicki who asks Randy to stop associating with the skinheads, and he is more than happy to do so, clearly not having been very comfortable with the association all along. The disintegrating lines of communication between Vicki and the rest of her family is especially well performed and is particularly hard to watch. As for Quaid, he manages to deliver the soul of a truly conflicted man, even from behind the exhausted eyes of someone who finds himself the number-one subject of discussion across America when all he truly ever wanted was to be left alone to raise his family. Bradley Pierce puts across an absorbing combination of childhood innocence and hard-hearted bigotry into the role of 14 year-old Sammy Weaver, who, together with Jacob Davis as the younger version of Sammy, turn the character into an audience favorite by the time the Marshals open fire.
It is when the family starts associating with area Neo-Nazis and Aryan Nations members that Kirsten Dunst really starts to shine in the story, absorbing the hateful propaganda and neatly tying it into the religious views in which her mother has diligently raised her. The end result is both compelling and disturbing. Darren Burrows also delivers a first-rate performance as Weaver family friend Kevin Harris, who manages to anchor Weaver to reality even as he lies bleeding and delirious.Another particularly compelling performance is brought to life by Bruce Locke, who plays FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi, who killed Vicki even as she held her baby. Locke injects a sense of anger and naked revenge into the eyes of the sniper --this is a man who has chosen to interpret the already badly-explained Revised Rules of Engagement for himself, and all he can think about is getting even with the evil bastards who killed US Marshal William Degan. Also worth a look is Joe Don Baker as legal living legend Gerry Spence of "Silkwood" notoriety, who manages to switch on some desperately-welcomed humorous moments in the movie's coda. A few points of trivia: the works of Hal Lindsey ("Late Great Planet Earth") are referenced early on in the story as being a catalyst to the shaping of Vicki Weaver's beliefs. Longtime independent journalist J. Orlin Grabbe, one of the first to publicly denounce the FBI as domestic terrorists, appears as an extra in several scenes.
In short, the movie does not flinch: Weaver was a loving dad and devoted husband, but was also a bigot and a petty thief. The Feds framed him, botched the case, and overstepped their authority. There are no excuses. Nobody comes out of this story completely innocent and not a single tenet of Hollywood-style political correctness is observed. No single scene truly emerges as the pivotal "here's where it all went wrong" moment. Gary Graham's performance as a reluctant US Marshal is particularly convincing --here is a law enforcement figure that obviously doesn't want to follow up on this case and would happily let him be, but for the orders he is getting from above. The movie takes us from one sequence of bad decisions to the next, ultimately revealing the real "villain" of the piece to be miscommunication. The Marshals aren't listening to the local residents, Weaver's not listening to his neighbors, Vicki isn't listening to her parents (nor are they listening to her), the press isn't listening to the Marshals, the US Attorney isn't listening to the ATF case agent, and of course the FBI isn't listening to ANYONE. It is only at the end of the action when Bo Gritz (excellently played by Bob Gunton) delivers the horrifying news to an agitated crowd that the "villain" reveals itself --and in one deft move, Gritz defuses the miscommunication, states the simple truth, and even calms down an unruly ready-for-blood mob.
Did the Federal government learn its lesson from the tragedy at Ruby Ridge? Well, of course. You can just imagine the internal memos flying around: "Next time, punch holes in the walls with tanks, flood the place with flammable gas, and then shoot anyone who tries to escape the fire."
Hats off to Hollywood for this effort, particularly to Quaid, Dern, and Young for delivering a product that tells the story without apology and never slants audience sympathies too far to one side or the other. A clear warning trumpet that is very much worth renting or owning, regardless of your religious views, or where you think you fall on the political spectrum."
Not all is the truth
S. Bryan | Sandpoint, ID | 04/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I live a few miles away from the cabin where this took place by Ruby Creek. I haven't seen this movie yet, suprisingly, but I frequent all of the stores where the Weaver's used to buy their supplies in Elmira and Sandpoint. I know many people who were good friends with these people, and Randy was tricked...hook, line, and sinker. He was pestered by a man who was posing as a white supremecist to convince Randy to sell him a sawed off shot gun. The man who bought the guns was offered clemency to set up Randy. Randy and many others claim that the barrels of the guns were of legal length when he sold them. Also, from all of the people I have spoken to that knew the family, they weren't "white supremecists". They attended 1 meeting. I drive by the "church" where this meeting supposedly happened every day. I don't believe it. There are more federal agents and cops lurking around in this county then you could imagine. I have had several FBI agents come to my business and ask me questions about other people that I have served food to. They have also asked questions about my husband, and we are only ski bums who own a small deli. We don't do ANYTHING illegal. We had a guy try to "set up" a drug deal with my husband, and we have never used an illegal drug once in our lives! I think the government needs to back off a little, and arrest people that are truly dangerous, not people who they are afraid of. The minute the government comes to your home to "disarm you", is the minute you may think you need to start shooting. We are afforded the right to own guns to protect ourselves "from our government". It's in our own constitution. I'm a 29 year old mother of two, and I am certaintly not a racist or fundamentalist. I'm really excited to finally see this movie, and I'll let you all know what I think."
Close to the truth...not bad for Hollywood
EMTecBOB | Undisclosed. Somewhere West Of The Rockies. | 03/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all....the comments from "An Australian perspective" make me sick. This is America, and if anyone wants to hold "anti government views" those veiws are protected by our constitution. The Weavers were not racists, they were separatists. And if they wanted to live on the top of a remote mountain by themselves, so be it. This IS America, you are suppossed to be able to do that here without having your wife shot in the head and your son shot in the back by government agents."