Before And After (1996)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

USA, 1996.  Caravan Pictures, Hollywood Pictures.  Screenplay by , based on the book by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Barbet Schroeder.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson play small-town parents who come close to being torn apart when their delinquent son () is a suspect in the murder of his trashy girlfriend ().

Neeson decides to go for major cover up in the tough “we’re not going to let this family fall apart!” way and hides every possible bit of evidence that involves his son. Streep eventually realizes what her husband is up to and points out that his obstruction of justice could actually be concealing evidence that proves her son’s innocence.

This film is part family drama, part courtroom mystery, and all flaccid: every time a new issue is brought to light you can be guaranteed it is not going to be dealt with. Streep is especially disappointing, as her character is nothing more than a wishy-washy housewife who can never make a concrete decision for two straight hours.

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