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Witness Protection
Witness Protection
Actors: Tom Sizemore, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Shawn Hatosy, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Forest Whitaker
Director: Richard Pearce
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2000     1hr 45min

Bobby batton and his family have disappeared without a trace. They cant be reached by phone or by mail. There is no forwarding address. The government will soon sell their house their two cadillacs and their furniture. Whe...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Tom Sizemore, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Shawn Hatosy, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Forest Whitaker
Director: Richard Pearce
Creators: Fred Murphy, Henry S. Schleiff, Howard Meltzer, Sue Jett, Tony Mark, Daniel Therriault, Robert Sabbag
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/13/2000
Original Release Date: 12/11/1999
Theatrical Release Date: 12/11/1999
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

An engaging drama
Mr. B. J. Dutton | North Wales | 06/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Witness Protection is a bit of a curiousity. It takes the viewer into a world that is a little alien - the infamous witness protection program that is run by the US government to protect witnesses from major criminals. The epilogue to the film tells us that 16,000 people have entered the program to date - this is the story of one such family. Tom Sizemore plays the father, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio the mother and with their two children they spend five days in the Witness Protection safe-house where, instead of the family coming together, they are slowly ripped apart by unspoken anger, fear and terror. Yet the movie is neither depressing or solemn - you do feel for these people who have ended up in this situation, but as Forrest Whitaker keeps reminding the family as their liason in the program, they only have themselves to blame for entering this world in the first place. The direction is sharp, and though the writing is sometimes sluggish, it picks up again shortly afterward. Another great movie from HBO."
This one is a good one to rent
Mr. B. J. Dutton | 06/27/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Witness Protection is one of the few movies that focuses on the guys behind the scenes. In this mob story of a man who goes into hiding with his family, few things are clearly stated to the viewer. The acting is decent, a good director is in the making with Richard Pearce, but the story moves slowly and is very choppy. You are left to wonder how they got from one place to another. It had a well-developed plot, but it never followed through. I was particularly disappointed with the ending and the fact that the wife really had no idea what her husband did. All in all it was a decent movie. But rent it before you consider buying it."
Transition into the witness protection program isn't easy
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 06/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This 1992 HBO film dealt with a subject that has always fascinated me and yet I knew little about. What happens to a family that goes into the witness protection program? What kind of problems do they face? And how, exactly, does the transformation work. This film attempts to answer some of these questions. And, if the characters are a little larger than life, and the story sometimes dips to the level of a soap opera, it really didn't matter to me. Because by then, I was so involved with the story and the personalities of this particular fictional family that I was too caught up to care.

The story starts out strong and continues its hectic pace. We soon learn that Tom Sizemore is involved with the mob who are out to kill him. It becomes apparent that his wife and children are also in danger. That's when Tom Sizemore goes to the FBI and agrees to testify in exchange for his family's protection.

The teenage son who is doing so well is school that he could get into a prestigious college is heartbroken. He has to leave his girlfriend too. And give up what looks like his whole future. The little 5-year old girl has to learn to lie about her name. And the wife, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, has to give up all the luxuries she's become adjusted to. This family is going to be poor in their new location and the father is going to have to work as a laborer.

This change doesn't happen overnight however. First, the family must spend 5 days in an FBI relocation house which looks like a house but is really a fancy prison. Here, they have to learn how to behave in their new environment. Forest Whitiker is cast as the FBI agent who will help make this happen. He plays his "tough love" part well and keeps saying he doesn't care. But it is clear that he does care about this family.

There are arguments between the husband and wife and one scene where the dishes fly and she hits him with a frying pan. There is one scene where the son refuses to go along with the relocation. The little girl cries a lot and we wonder how this will all affect her little life. Tensions do more than mount. They explode. And there were times that my own emotions were touched and I found my eyes tearing up.

I enjoyed this film and its unique angle on what the witness protection program means in the lives of one particular family. It made me think."
Flawlessly Performed
M. Hencke | New York, NY United States | 11/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The performances make this made for cable efforta must see. Some of the writing particularly in the middle section of the film is really strong. Give it a chance it is quite fascinating."