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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Crown Heights"

To be wrongly convicted is unfortunately a part of our legal system and part of life. To be realistic, we have a good legal system, but there have been many miscarriages of justice for so many reasons whether it be narrowly-visioned police who want to get an arrest, a DA who wants to have a great conviction rate, or even just badly processed cases. Most people who were exonerated will say, once you are convicted, the system is against you and appeals rarely happen, and there have been some great films documenting wrong convictions like, “In the Name of the Father”, “The Hurricane”, and Conviction”. Matt Ruskin takes his look at one of these true-life cases with “Crown Heights”.

Starring Lakeith Stanfield (Get out, Death Note), Nnmadi Asomugha (Fire With Fire, Cubed), Natalie Paul (Luke cage, Power), Luke Forbes (Atlanta, Bull), Adriane Lenox (The Blind Side, The Path), Marsha Stephanie Blake (Girls, Getting On), Zach Grenier (Fight Club, Blindspot), and Josh Pais (Touchy Feely, Going In Style), it of Colin Warner (Stanfield), a man with a criminal past for some petty crimes who is arrested for murder in New York with the only evidence against him being one eyewitness who has credibility issues. After he is convicted and is given fifteen years to life, his journey begins to prove his innocence and get released from prison.

This film has a dark look that compliments it well in its prison scenes as well as his community in one of the worse sections of the city. The three lead roles played by Stanfield, Paul, and Asomugha do very well with great chemistry and give and take between them. If I have one complaint, it would be that Stanfield tries to overdo it a little on the Jamaican style accent, and even though the real-life person talks in that manner, his performance kind of reminded me of the rookie go ‘round of WWE superstar Kofi Kingston, but beyond that, the acting was spot on.

The film is about 90 minutes long, which flows well and does not drag at all. It did keep me interested with a good explanation within the story and gives a good look into the legal system the principle characters were fighting with a lot of emotion, pulling not punches without going too much into any underlying agenda. Now, this film is not as good as “In The Name of the Father”, (and also not for the entire family due to some of its subject matter) but is still good and I highly recommend it as a twilight showing in the theaters.

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