Murder in the First (1995)

murder in the first

By Scott Goldfine

Christian Slater plays an attorney assigned to defend an Alcatraz prisoner (Kevin Bacon) accused of murdering a fellow inmate in this dramatization of a true story. The trial takes a turn when Slater incriminates the prison and its sadistic warden (Gary Oldman) for driving the convict to murder through inhumane torture.

The interesting story is undermined by overwrought grimness and melodrama. Also stars Embeth Davidtz, William H. Macy and Brad Dourif. Rated R.

GRADE: B-

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