Richard Jewell Review



Zach Dulny, Critic

“Richard Jewell” is a 2019 Drama based on the true story of Richard Jewell and his relationship with the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park Bombing. It follows a security guard who found a bomb and was called a hero, then loses it all when he is named the top suspect. With powerful performances by its leading cast, a heartbreaking story and a great director, this movie is set up for success. It falls with its slow pacing, awkward cinematography and harsh ending, making it feel less like an enjoyable movie and more like a documentary.

The movie has a strong cast. Paul Walter Hauser plays Richard Jewell with amazing precision, showing an uncanny resemblance to videos of the real Richard Jewell being interviewed (which they use in the movie). Kathy Bates gives a heartbreaking performance, putting her whole heart into it. Sam Rockwell plays an interesting lawyer character and Olivia Wilde does amazing as the reporter. Overall, the acting is amazing in this movie.

The plot tries to pull at your heartstrings frequently. It works on some occasions and causes some very emotional moments. The main character frequently talks about his love and respect for public safety officers, until they slowly betray him. This movie conveys political statements on how powerful the media and the government are and how much they can abuse citizens. It’s confusing and may give people the wrong perspective on what really happened.. Other than that, this is a really sweet movie that gives an emotional experience.

The worst parts of the movie have to be the pacing and cinematography. It feels really slow at some parts. The cinematography is confusing at parts, leaving the rest of the movie with a basic lookSince the editing isn’t doing anything to help the cinematography, the movie looks worse than it really is. 

The ending is where the movie falls short. It seems forced and focuses very little on the resolution. Even though I think the filmmakers were trying to give you a feel-good ending, it doesn’t convey that the story is over. Rather than ending happily, the storyline takes it another direction that leaves a sour note. 

It’s a heartwarming movie, but it still feels slow at some points and isn’t breaking any movie boundaries. It’s a decent movie and nothing more. 


Grade: C+ (3.4/5)