Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Accused (1988) - ★★★★½

Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Writers: Tom Toper
Stars: Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis, Bernie Coulson, Leo Rossi, Ann Hearn

The Accused is a hard movie to watch. It's graphic, it's powerful, and my god did it make my blood boil. This movie had a major impact on me personally. I felt sick and angry, which made me really invested in the story. The whole way through I had my fists clenched in hope that the rapists would get a lengthy prison sentence. What makes this film truly powerful is the stunning performance by Jodie Foster, who won an Oscar for this role.

Sarah Tobias (Jodie Foster) was raped in the back room of a scummy bar by three men, whilst others looked on and encouraged the act. When she reported the incident, lawyer Kathryn Murphy (Kelly McGillis) takes on the case to put the rapists behind bars. At first Kathryn was mainly focused on winning the case for her reputation, which means she has to make deals and compromises with the defence attorney. She soon learns that the case is more important than just settling for an offer... it's about those involved in the rape getting sentenced for the right crime.

You know that elated feeling you get after watching a great movie? Well that's what happened to me after seeing The Accused. It's not a masterpiece, but it was very close to achieving that status. What can I say? I was riveted from start to finish. I feel like every aspect of the film was done magnificently, particularly the performances.

I couldn't imagine anyone performing this role better than Jodie Foster. She was absolutely breathtaking. In one scene you see her looking in a mirror, standing strong. In a flash you see the vulnerability, pain, and sadness push through her features. In my opinion, her performance in The Accused is her best. Yes, that's right. It's even better than in The Silence of the Lambs. When people ask me who Jodie Foster is, I'll always answer with her best performance, The Accused.

Kelly McGillis gave a mature and awesome performance too, playing an emotionally invested lawyer who wants nothing more than to see justice done (you don't see too many lawyers like that around). I once heard a joke... "What do you call 1,000 lawyers under the sea?" "A start. It's a start." I don't know what just compelled me to tell you that lame joke, but my father told me it whilst watching this movie. I laughed!

Anywho... I guess you could say that an emotionally powerful story mixed with powerful performances equals a powerful movie! That's what The Accused was to me, powerful. I will never forget this film. I can't wrap my head around it, but it has only scored average ratings on the IMDB. I guess it just got through to me more than it did for others. It was a gripping film that I never lost interest in. Even though I'd still give Glenn Close the Oscar for Dangerous Liaisons, Jodie Foster earned her Oscar through and through.


  1. Great review Ben. A movie I enjoyed as much as Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis's performances.