Detective “Stevie Grimes” (Jack Conley) kept his faith in the brotherhood of the badge, and always managed to stay on the right side of the law. But for the past year he’s been suspended,
on trial for the accidental shooting of a young boy. The trial ends in a “hung jury” and finally after twelve months Stevie is reinstated, but the possibility that the state may retry the case still remains,
forcing him to relive the nightmare.
During his suspension, Grimes’ ex-partner has risen to the rank of “Lieutenant” (David Groh), and it seems that while Stevie suffered the Lieutenant prospered.
Now the Lieutenant has aspirations of attaining higher public office, but he and Stevie share a secret that could destroy everything he has achieved. It was actually the Lieutenant who shot the young boy and Stevie took the blame,
believing that he could beat any investigation. Should the case go back to trial, the Lieutenant must be sure that Stevie will be there to shoulder the burden.
When word comes from the District Attorney’s office that the case is going back to trial, the Lieutenant desperately creates an elaborate plan to set Stevie up using a small time con man,
LEO (Tommy Hicks), and ensure Stevie’s allegiance through blackmail. Now the line between cops and criminals is blurred, and Stevie must choose between loyalty and survival.
The only problem with the Lieutenant’s scam is that Leo has a plan of his own. Using his skills to manipulate and deceive, Leo offers Stevie a chance to get out with his dignity intact.
But to do so he must trust Leo implicitly and become what he despises.
At first he is shocked and sickened by their crimes and as he tries to reach them they are wary, uncommunicative and resentful. They sit in emotional isolation unresponsive to attempts to draw them out.
In desperation Sanders distributes paper and paint and requests the group each compose a self-portrait. The tension builds as the patients ignore him. Finally there is a breakthrough as Lincoln splatters colors onto a sheet. The others slowly join in.
This is the start of a connection and as each killer’s story unfolds, Sanders learns something of their background. Slowly, as more is revealed in riveting intensity and vivid flashback, his incomprehension turns to understanding and his disgust gives way to compassion.
He deals with Lincoln’s outburst at a Halloween party and Suzy’s severe response to a suicide. He helps Artie emerge from his shell to shake the hand of a new friend and lets Kenny know the world is not his enemy. He watches Greta search to find the path away from anger to reunite with her children, to form relationships, to trust, to care, to hope. As Sanders experiences the defining moment of each of the five’s violence, he finds not killers but damaged people whose vulnerability touches his heart.
In dramatic and poignant moments, each member of the group faces their past life – some are able to deal with this and make headway towards rehabilitation but some cannot accept their deeds and an unpredictable series of events lead to a powerful and unexpected climax.
Director : Tripp Reed
Producer : Sean McGinly / Tripp Reed
Cast : Jack Conley / Tommy Redman Hicks / Karl Wiedergott
Running Time : 94 minutes
Release : 1996
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