Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter Source:
Curt Hahn and Molly Mayeux
Eric Roberts, Steve Talley, Lauren Jenkins
Steve Talley and Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts star in DEADLINE, the story of a murder of an African American youth in rural Alabama that has gone uninvestigated, unsolved and unpunished for almost twenty years. But that changes when Nashville Times reporter Matt Harper meets an idealistic blue blood bent on discovering the truth. Harper undertakes the investigation despite the opposition of his publisher, violent threats from mysterious forces, as well as a break-up with his fiancé and his father's cancer diagnosis. Inspired by a true story adapted from Mark Ethridge’s novel Grievances, Deadline is a story of murder, family, race, and of redemption - for a small Southern town and for Matt Harper – depicting the power of forgiveness on all fronts.
Worldview: Limited Theatrical Release - Here is a compelling and powerfully told film based on true events. The story of two reporters seeking justice for a murdered young black man 19 years after his death is a strong plot and this movie presents it very well.
Matt Harper is the reporter who becomes so intrigued by the story that he follows the woman who brought it to him to Alabama to search for the little clues which can finally break the case and solve the murder. He meets the local pastor who, strangely enough, says he hates the cross in his church, because it was fashioned from a tree that was used in the lynching of a black man years before. One man made the cross to find hope but the pastor says he wants justice so he can finally take down the cross.
During the movie we meet Matt's dad, who is dying from cancer and, despite being a bit of a legend, his father never could say, "I love you" to Matt while Matt was growing up. He wants to know why and what part the death of his brother, if any, played in the situation.
This film features realistic racist characters who use the word "ni*ger" but ultimately this movie is about justice for the blacks who suffered unfairly and the ending should please a lot of viewers. This is a powerful story and we gladly award it our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal for ages twelve plus, as there are some intense scenes in the film. This film shines as a beacon in the dark cesspool of racism.
Content Description: Sex: Girl kisses young man on cheek; kissing by a couple; man says a woman is his common law wife; Language: H-2; Crap-2; Several utterances of the word "ni*ger"; "Punk"-1; Geez-1; Frickin-1; Sucks-1. Violence: A young black man is shot in a non-graphic scene but a young girl cries out in terror; three people are locked in closet by an officer but they get out; a man grabs a man by the arm; a car bumps another car a few times; man tries to shoot man. Drugs: Drinking in a few scenes; woman says her daughter was an addict; a sedative is put in an officer's drink and he passes out. Nudity: Shirtless man seen who gets out of shower; cleavage. Other: A cross is symbolically burned (it had been used as a lynching tree before) after justice has been served for the black community; racism and racist attitudes; a white man calls a black woman "brown sugar".