6.0/10
126
3 user 25 critic

Trial by Fire (2018)

Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
The tragic and controversial story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas for killing his three children after scientific evidence and expert testimony that bolstered his claims of innocence were suppressed.

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

Geoffrey Fletcher (screenplay by), David Grann (based on The New Yorker article by)
Reviews
Popularity
282 ( 364)

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Farewell I (2019)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Chinese family discover their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.

Director: Lulu Wang
Stars: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin
The Souvenir (2019)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young film student in the early 80s becomes romantically involved with a complicated and untrustworthy man.

Director: Joanna Hogg
Stars: Neil Young, Tosin Cole, Jack McMullen
All Is True (2018)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A look at the final days in the life of renowned playwright William Shakespeare.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Lolita Chakrabarti, Jack Colgrave Hirst
Aniara (2018)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A spaceship carrying settlers to Mars is knocked off course, causing the consumption-obsessed passengers to consider their place in the universe.

Directors: Pella Kagerman, Hugo Lilja
Stars: Emelie Jonsson, Bianca Cruzeiro, Arvin Kananian
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Set deep in the wilds of Appalachia, where believers handle death-dealing snakes to prove themselves before God, Them That Follow tells the story of a pastor's daughter who holds a secret that threatens to tear her community apart.

Directors: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage
Stars: Kaitlyn Dever, Walton Goggins, Olivia Colman
The Mustang (2019)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of Roman Coleman, a violent convict, who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs.

Director: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Stars: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jason Mitchell, Bruce Dern
Hail Satan? (2019)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A look at the quick rise and influence of the controversial religious group known as The Satanic Temple.

Director: Penny Lane
Stars: Jex Blackmore, Chalice Blythe, Nicholas Crowe
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life of Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final President of the Soviet Union in chronological order.

Directors: Werner Herzog, André Singer
Stars: Yuri Andropov, James Baker, Leonid Brezhnev
Aquarela I (2018)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Water is the main protagonist, seen in all its great and terrible beauty. Mountains of ice move and break apart as if they had a life of their own. Kossakovsky's film travels the world, ... See full summary »

Director: Viktor Kossakovsky
Ask Dr. Ruth (2019)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Charting the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America's most famous sex therapist.

Director: Ryan White
Stars: Susan Brown, Jonathan Capehart, Leora Einleger
Ramen Shop (2018)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young man who is curious about his deceased parents' past takes a food journey to Singapore where he uncovers more than just delicious meals.

Director: Eric Khoo
Stars: Tsuyoshi Ihara, Seiko Matsuda, Takumi Saitoh
Family III (2018)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Kate Stone is career-focused, and enjoys her life that way. Her brash attitude keeps relationships at arm's length, making her an outcast in her own right.

Director: Laura Steinel
Stars: Taylor Schilling, Kate McKinnon, Allison Tolman
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Laura Dern ... Elizabeth Gilbert
Jack O'Connell ... Cameron Todd Willingham
Emily Meade ... Stacy Willingham
Jade Pettyjohn ... Julie Gilbert
Jeff Perry ... Hurst
Chris Coy ... Daniels
Joshua Mikel
Jason Douglas ... John H. Jackson
Carlos Gómez ... Fire Inspector
William Tokarsky ... Man in the Stetson Hat
Wayne Pére ... George Gilbert
Darren Pettie ... Peter Horton
Blair Bomar ... Sandy
Rhoda Griffis ... Darlene
Katie McClellan ... Margaret Hays
Edit

Storyline

The tragic and controversial story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas for killing his three children after scientific evidence and expert testimony that bolstered his claims of innocence were suppressed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Stand for What's Right, Fight for What's True.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some violence, disturbing images, sexual material and brief nudity
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Trial by Fire See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$78,712, 19 May 2019, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$78,712, 19 May 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Talking Dead: Do Not Send Us Astray (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A true crime story where the truest crime is his conviction.
20 May 2019 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

Director Edward Zwick and writer Geoffrey Fletcher movingly craft a biopic about convicted killer Cameron Todd Willingham (Jack O'Connell) in the late nineties executed for killing his three children in a fire. While there are multiple instances of the filmmakers morphing incidents to make strong their case against capital punishment in Texas, the impressive facts in the case swayed the jury and the parole board and the public.

Yet Elizabeth Gilbert (Laura Dern), a Houston playwright, befriends him and finds strong evidence that he may have had a weak defense, local justice withheld proof of innocence, and forensic evidence showing no arson, was all garnered too late. Although more than half of the film is spent on unnecessary setup, when the biopic gets to Liz unearthing new evidence, it becomes on fire, so to speak.

That last half has moments of tension while at the same time following the Hollywood formula of manipulating music, questionable coincidences, and charming convict. Although clearly the filmmakers make the case that his case was bungled, they also make sure to depict Todd as a redneck loudmouth unlikeable by any stretch, until, that is, he has time to educate himself and be contrite.

Dern and O'Connell are convincing in their roles as unlikely friends, with a hint of romance, the film's singular weakness being not connecting them earlier and getting to the evidence gathering sooner.


0 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed