* * * *
(Amazing true story)
Some of the best films of the year have been based on true stories (Dark Waters, Judy, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood). Richard Jewell is right up there with the best.
You may remember the Centennial Park bombing during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where a bomb went off killing two people and injuring over 100. Security guard Richard Jewell was credited with discovering the bomb and saving many people, declared a hero, and then, after an FBI investigation, named a key suspect in the bombing. The hell that the U.S. government and the FBI put Jewell through is documented in this chilling movie. Unknown actor Paul Walter Hauser plays Jewell with an incredible sense of what this man is going through.
Jewell fits the profile. He is a manic cop wannabe, moving from stock room clerk to college security to a security job during the Olympics. He considers himself to be as much a law enforcement officer as the FBI that is investigating him.
Sam Rockwell is equally good as his lawyer, who although believing in his innocence must work overtime to control him. John Hamm plays the relentless FBI agent who will do anything to convict him. Kathy Bates plays his beleaguered mother.
Jewell plays right into the hands of the FBI, putting himself on the same level as they are, overstepping his authority in the name of justice and making him look the guilty part. If you don't remember what happened, you will be reminded in incredible detail.
Hauser is so good at playing this simple man (Joyce saw signs of autism in him) that you will want to shake him to wake him up as to what is happening to him.
This movie, like Dark Waters will make you look over your shoulder and question authority.
Rated PG-13, with some profanity and the terror of the bombing.