Reversible Errors (TV Movie 2004) Poster

(2004 TV Movie)

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More Huffman and Macy/Might have worked better as a 3 hr. movie
FilmNutgm27 May 2004
This movie deals not only with a heinous crime, but with the relationships of two different couples (Huffman/Macy and Potter/Selleck) and how those relationships intersect and impact the criminal investigation. I prefer Scott Turow's writing to John Grisham's--mainly because I feel Turow's writing has better character development and dialogue--and he seems better able to write believable female characters--but, he keeps you guessing as to whether the "good guys" are going to survive--much less win-- and that can be exhausting.

Other people have done a fine job of delineating the plot. I can only add that I felt the movie suffered every time the Selleck/Potter storyline was the main focus. I felt that it just didn't have the emotional resonance of the other subplots. Since I have not read the novel--yet--I don't know if this is the script's fault or the actors'. I DO know that I didn't want the story re: the defense lawyer and the judge to end. The movie brightened every time that couple was on the screen. Was it because of better writing or better acting or because I enjoyed seeing a married couple play a couple--who can say? I also must say that I felt since a character's life was literally at stake that it would have been nice if his plight was explored more fully. Movies or books can be interesting without a romantic subplot.

This film might have been more effective as a three hour movie shown on one night rather than a miniseries spread over two nonconsecutive nights. There were so many plot twists that I lost track of some characters' actions and names from one night to another. It also didn't help that CBS showed upcoming scenes and trailers that spoiled one of the key twists. I have never understood why networks or studios will spend a fortune making a movie than spoil it by giving too much away in the advertising! Perhaps it will play better--and tighter--on video.
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8/10
Courtroom Drama With Excellent Character Study
jcanettis14 August 2007
Although "Reversible Errors" is basically a courtroom drama, its big strength lies in the fact that it is in fact much more than that. As I will explain later, the plot is weaved on the intersecting relationships of two couples (Selleck/Potter and Macey/Huffman), whose complexities define the course of events.

The story starts with Arthun Raven (Macey), quitting the prosecutor's office due to a personal tragedy. His colleague Muriel Wynn (Potter) asks him a last favor: Could he drop to Judge Gillian Sullivan's (Huffman) home, to get a warrant for a new case she has been assigned with her lover Sgt. Larry Starczek (Selleck)? Raven agrees, and this is how he makes his first encounter with an enigmatic woman he will fall in love with later on.

The case Starzek and Wynn are working on is a triple homicide, and things seem to clear-up very fast: Squirrel (Plummer), a small-time crook, is caught and confesses to the murders, and Judge Sullivan sentences him to death. The arresting duo gets their dues, and especially Potter is set for a shining career path.

However, seven years later, everything gets turned upside down. Sullivan is no longer a judge, as she has been convicted and jailed for graft. On top of that, she has also received a letter by Erdai (Rebhorn), a dying inmate who claims he is the perpetrator of the old triple crime, and this haunts her conscience for perhaps having sentenced an innocent man to death. Enter Raven, who coincidentally has just been assigned to represent Squirrel in his last weeks before his execution. Raven quickly believes in Squirrel's innocence, and begins a harried crusade to save his life, getting Sullivan on board as well. However, things now have gotten complicated, as the former duo of Selleck and Potter is by no means willing let him destroy their precious case due to the dubious testimony of a dying crook. A dirty race begins for the ultimate search of the truth, and a clash becomes inevitable.

Scott Turow's excellent story is lengthy and complex; after all the movie lasts nearly three hours. And yet, at no point does the viewer get bored. There are no visible plot gaps, and the pace is steady and fast. Moreover, there some great twists throughout the film, so it is easily understandable why the three hours pass so quickly and enjoyably.

And yet, although the plot is very good, the strength of the film lies elsewhere: In the development of the characters and their relationships. These are four completely different persons: The inexperienced but overly ambitious Potter, the introvert and ethical Raven, the erratic but well-intentioned Sullivan, and the experienced but perhaps hypocrite Selleck. Director Mike Robe studies each character in depth, and artfully shows us how everyone interacts with everyone else in this complex and evil web.

An undiscovered gem, "RE" is a movie really worth seeing. 8/10.
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8/10
The Dirty Side of Justice
claudio_carvalho14 November 2006
In 1996, there is a triple homicide in a dinning place, and Sergeant Larry Starczek (Tom Selleck) is in charge of the investigation. His lover, the ambitious prosecuting attorney Muriel Wynn (Monica Potter) follows him and they get the name of a suspect. The smalltime crook Romeo 'Squirrel' Gandolph (Glenn Plummer) is arrested, confesses the crime and is sentenced to the death row. Seven years later, Muriel is married and has had a meteoric professional ascension in her career; Starczek is retired; and the judge of the case Gillian Sullivan (Felicity Huffman) has just been released from prison after the accusation of bribery. A couple of weeks before the execution of Squirrel, the corporate lawyer Arthur Raven (William H. Macy) is assigned by his associates to defend Squirrel for free as a part of a political marketing. However, the confession of a cancerous prisoner assuming that he had committed the murder reopens the case exposing secrets and wounds.

I have never read Scott Turow's novel and I really liked "Reversible Errors" a lot, actually a great surprise as a drama, thriller and even film-noir. I can understand the disappointment of the viewers that had read the book first and saw the movie later since the same usually happens with me. But the performances of William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, in the first plane, followed by Monica Potter and Glenn Plummer are awesome and must be acknowledged and recognized even for those that did not like the film. I liked very much the despicable, ambitious and ambiguous character of Monica Potter. The story has an excellent beginning, then it slows down, but the plot points, the dirty and amoral behavior of Starczek inclusive destroying evidences and the romance between Gillian and Arthur hold the interest on the plot until the last scene in spite of the running time of 172 minutes. Last but not the least, in my opinion, this movie is underrated in IMDb. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Erros Irreversíveis" ("Irreversible Errors")
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6/10
Old school noir crime flick
=G=19 February 2005
"Reversible Errors" is a three hour film noir TV B-movie which tells a convoluted tale of a homicide cop (Selleck), his prosecutor lover (Potter), a defense attorney (Macy), and a judge (Huffman) who all become involved in a triple homicide investigation, a possible wrongful conviction, and another investigation to find the real killer(s). As the film wends its way toward its feel good conclusion - which seems too long in coming - it delves into sex, scandal, drugs, deceit, conspiracy, politics, infidelity, and more all served up in good old fashioned Hollywood movie style; not particularly convincing or believable but not ashamed about it either. A mildly entertaining whodunit which does an acceptable job of covering it's low budgetness with a mediocre score, Canadian locations, and an uneven production which focuses on the characters in a handful of sets (court, prison, lawyer offices, etc.), this PG-13ish film will make a so-so no brainer lets-stay-in-tonight TV watch for the not too jaded or discriminating. (B-)
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8/10
Selleck is sadly Irreversible, but...
armsandman-124 May 2004
Wm. H. Macy and Felicity Huffman make it worth watching.

Turow's complex novel has been dumbed down to fit the mini-series format, but that's a trifle. Watch it for the magic that Macy and Huffman bring to small screen.

These are two stars who would not get big screen attention as romantic leads, but their performances sing here, given a chance to play center stage.

Watch how Huffman, as a disbarred and disgraced judge, plays her scene at the dept. store cosmetic counter. In a matter of seconds, she expresses purposeful employment, unguarded hope, crumbling shame, and icy self-contempt.

Macy's opening scene on Labor Day weekend, packing up his office, brings his character to life with uncommon line readings. This script is hardly Mamet, but Macy's skill raises the level of the writing. He clips off one line, talking about his sister's death: "Better this way, instead of her living like a ..." He never says the word vegetable, as if he recognizes the inadequacy of the cliché. No he's not commenting on the script, but letting the character halt himself before dishonoring his dead sibling with dead metaphors.

Let's hope this husband and wife team both get Emmy Awards for such remarkable work. And let's hope we see more of them on the big screen too.
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First half exciting, second half didn't live up to expectations
vchimpanzee26 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
The movie starts with the introduction of several main characters, some of which are naked before we ever really get to know them. But these two characters have to put their clothes on quickly, because there is a triple murder to investigate.

The first half of the movie had lots of exciting twists and turns and many great acting performances. I would say everyone with more than five lines the first night--and a waitress who was great with only three lines--did a good job. To me, the standout performances came from three actors:

Glenn Plummer as Squirrel, a nervous African American prisoner suspected of the murders, who had a speech impediment and frightened quite easily, even though he had apparently spent a lot of time on the wrong side of the law.

James Rebhorn as Erno, the head of security for the airport where murder victim Louisa Remardi worked, especially after he ... you can read about it after the spoiler warning.

Shemar Moore as Collins, a demanding prisoner with critical information about Louisa's murder, and the black nephew of Erno, who was white. Again, I can't say just why he was so good without a spoiler warning.

The first half could have been an exciting movie in and of itself, because enough loose ends were wrapped up, and enough information had been presented, to decide the case ... if it had all been true. But certain things weren't quite right. I knew they wouldn't be because I knew the movie was continued on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, I found the second half less enjoyable. Most of the information had been presented, though new revelations were still to come. Too much time was spent on relationships, and the excitement level was uneven. Good performances still made even the second half worth seeing. But the ending proved to be less than dramatic. Many movies like this, and most 'Perry Mason' and 'Matlock' episodes, have the suspense and the amazing plot twist that leads to, say, an exciting confession. This movie just ended. And the ending couldn't just be an ending. The future of some of the relationships had to be established.

I have to wonder if this was intentional: the detective on the triple murder case was named Larry, and the man who studied the murder weapon and bullets was Moe. So where was Curly?

This movie certainly wasn't for kids. Bad language and dialogue almost pushed the limits of what network TV allows, and one particularly nasty crime kept tripping up the investigation of the murders. You don't hear much about this particular act on network TV, which is fine with me.

Still, I would say this was worth seeing.

************************SPOILERS FOLLOW*****************************

Erno became terminally ill by the end of the first half, which gave Rebhorn more of a challenge as the movie progressed.

Collins became 'born again', and certain events he wished he could put behind him finally had to come out. He asked Jesus for forgiveness all the time, but only when he was chased and confronted did he come clean. Moore effectively portrayed the dramatic change in the character. Yes, his race was a factor in the case.

Gillian, the judge who tried Squirrel's case, was an alcoholic and a drug addict who eventually did prison time--not a guarantee Squirrel would be released, but information helpful to the case. By the time Gillian was released, that case was being handled by Arthur, who found himself attracted to Gillian.

The 'nasty crime' wasn't the crime it was believed to be, but it was disgusting nonetheless.
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Interesting but uneven
BrunoX9 August 2004
I found this movie to be extremely well written but uneven. Writing is superb, criminal side to it is involving as the secrets are revealed, but the movie mainly concentrate on two couples: the one where Macy is concerned had me emotionally linked, while the other, lead by stoic Selleck remains cold and uninvolved. You end up hating one couple whose actions brings to light the past of the other. So if you're interested in criminal thrillers, you'll enjoy it. If you are a William H Macy fan, you'll love it, but if you're a Tom Selleck fan, well, aside from him showing his naked butt, you won't get any thrills. Mustache should have been told to lose the typical western face in this one or to lose his underwear earlier in his career when he wasn't 30 pounds too fat for us to care.
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5/10
A good book seldom results on a good movie!
clodio10 December 2005
Scott Turow's books are always thrilling and surprising, but filming them are not easy tasks. Despite the great performances of William Macy and Glenn Plummer, Reversible Errors turns out disappointing. The abrupt cuts, may be to fit in the TV format, makes the movie loose the suspense and the pace. The come and go of the plot seems much unreal and absurd. Tom Selleck overact and Monica Potter does not convince as a prosecutor. Gilliam Sullivan does not compromise. The only reason that prevents you from giving up watching it before the end, is the hope that something really unexpected would happen. At the end you get a feeling that another good story was spoiled at the screen.
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7/10
good Scott Turow story
blanche-211 April 2013
"Reversible Errors" seems to have been a TV movie, based on the Scott Turow novel, and starring William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Tom Selleck, Monica Potter, and Shemar Moore.

The story concerns a triple murder for which one man, played by Glenn Plummer, confesses to a police detective, Larry Starczek (Selleck) and is condemned to death by a judge (Huffman) after a bench trial. It's a career maker for the young prosecutor, Muriel Wynn (Potter) having an affair with Starczek.

Fast forward to seven years later - the judge now works at a perfume counter, having been removed from the bench for taking bribes; Muriel Wynn is married and running for office; Starczek is still a detective; and Gandolf, one sandwich short of a picnic, is still on Death Row and now proclaims his innocence. He is assigned attorney Arthur Raven (Macy) who reluctantly looks into the case. The more he looks into it, the more confusing and messy it gets.

Complicated, strong story made even better by the team of Macy and Huffman, who are wonderful and on a much higher level than Selleck-Potter. Potter, with her flat delivery, has always reminded me somehow of Julia Roberts, and every time I hear her name I think of the old I Love Lucy episode when Ethel returned to her home town: 'Ethel Mae Potter, we never forgot her.' Selleck is handsome and comes across as a detective, but in actuality, this is a character role, and he's not a character actor. There's no spark between them. There is some very good acting by Plummer, Moore, and James Rebhorn.

I recognized several Canadian actors, so I guess this was filmed there.

I found this an involving story and one really becomes interested in the Macy-Huffman relationship. Recommended.
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