Matt Ruskin‘s Crown Heights (Amazon/IFC, 8.25), a true-life ’80s and ’90s saga of wrongful conviction and incarceration, won the Audience Award for Best Dramatic Features at last January’s Sundance Film Festival. And it stars the very cool Lakeith Stanfield. I tried to call him “Keith” Stanfield in my review of War Machine, in part because his Wikipedia page says so. What if I called myself Lejeff Wells? I’ll tell you what would happen. I’d be called a pathetic copycat.
From Andrew Barker’s 1.23.17 Variety review: “Essentially structured like a reverse Law & Order episode, Crown Heights sketches an effective, if ultimately somewhat schematic, picture of the legal system’s countless crevasses and sinkholes into which a blameless person can easily be shoved.
“It doesn’t break much new ground and it takes a while to find its footing, but thanks to strong, unshowy performances from Lakeith Stanfield and Nnamdi Asomugha, the film does project the feelings of helplessness and frustration that come from fighting against such an immovable object.
“Adapted from a This American Life episode that detailed the case of Colin Warner (Stanfield), who spent 20 years behind bars for murder before being freed in 2001, the movie offers an interesting companion piece to Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th, and ought to receive a look from festivals going forward.”