DEADLINE is a story about the search for truth and justice concerning the uninvestigated murder of Wallace Sampson, a 15-year-old African American male who was shot and killed in racially charged Amos, Alabama. Nineteen years later, the police chief is murdered. Matt Harper, a young journalist searching for a lead story, commits to following up on the Sampson murder. However, he gets little support, so his boss partners him with Ronnie Bullock, a less scrupulous reporter at the newspaper. Together, they discover the truth behind two murders.
DEADLINE wastes little time or space giving just the right amount of exposition to ground viewers in the story, while also building suspense. The movie has interesting characters and good character development, though the character of the murdered teenager’s girlfriend doesn’t match her character 19 years later. DEADLINE has a very strong Christian worldview with a redemptive theme of forgiveness throughout the story. The fight against racism and a demand for truth and justice are also prevalent themes that drive the plot. Caution is advised for older children due to brief foul language, use of the “n” word, and some adult themes.
(CCC, BBB, L, V, S, AA, M) Very strong Christian, moral worldview with scenes in church in the African American community, scenes with preaching and praying; Racism and elitist mentality of whites over African Americans; several obscenities and profanities, plus crude humor of sexist male character and the “n” word is used repeatedly by racist white people; some violence includes drunk man aims gun at another man who in turn punches him in the stomach and takes gun, car chase with villain rear-ending victim before villain crashes into roadwork, man holds others at gunpoint several times, two incidents of shots fired at an individual; no sex scenes but scattered piles of condom packs found in backroom implying prostitution and man kisses his fiancé; no nudity; man packs alcohol in his case, a few instances of drunkenness by another male character; no smoking or drug use; and, heavy racism but rebuked, unresolved social and racial tensions, and some dysfunctional family/relationship issues.
DEADLINE is an engaging movie that searches for the truth and justice concerning an uninvestigated murder of Wallace Sampson, a 15-year-old African American male, who was shot and killed in racially charged Amos, Alabama. Nineteen years later, the police chief is also murdered.
Matt Harper, a young journalist whose father is a renowned journalist, has no lead stories and is in danger of losing his job at the Nashville Times if he doesn’t produce one. Matt is generally a good person, but his priorities between work and family are out of order. His drive at work causes him to neglect his fiancé, who breaks their engagement. He also neglects his father, a widower who discovers too late he has an aggressive cancer.
Matt commits to following-up on the Sampson murder, but gets little support. Matt’s boss partners him with Ronnie Bullock, a sexist, unconventional, and less scrupulous reporter at the newspaper. Matt and Bullock’s adventures in solving this case take them into the communities, homes, and hearts of both whites and blacks living in Amos that was once overtly dominated by the Ku Klux Klan.
One judge now controls the small town of Amos. He and the rest of the town have very little to say about Sampson’s murder. Two exceptions are a fiery African American preacher in Amos, and Trey, a wealthy, intelligent, beautiful southern belle.
Mary Pell Sampson, the mother of Wallace Sampson, is also Trey’s housekeeper and raised Trey. Against her father’s wishes, Trey asks Matt for help to solve this crime that was never investigated. Together, they discover the truth behind the two murders.
The story in DEADLINE is driven by intrigue and the hope of uncovering the truth. The interesting characters also keep viewers engaged, and some seemingly dead ends keep viewers guessing.
DEADLINE wastes little time or space giving just the right amount of exposition to ground viewers in the story, while also building suspense. Even the computer-generated graphics used to display the credits as newspaper headlines while Matt drives his sports car to his next news story drives the plot along. There is good character development throughout the story, but the character of Wallace’s girlfriend as a teenager doesn’t match her character 19 years later.
DEADLINE has a very strong Christian worldview with church scenes and scenes with preaching and praying. Also, the movie depicts the power of forgiveness on many fronts throughout the movie. This strong redemptive theme finds a satisfying resolution. Overall, the scenes are well established and well filmed with good sound design and credible characters that lend authenticity to the movie, which was inspired by a true story. Racism and a demand for truth and justice are other prevalent themes that drive the plot. Caution is advised for older children due to brief foul language, use of the “n” word, and some adult themes.
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