An ACLU attorney and a former narcotics officer help a single mother (Nicole Beharie) in her battle to establish that she was wrongly arrested on drug-dealing charges.
" A conventional but wholly gripping docudrama. "
" A docudrama that may have an outcome we already know, but is a loud lesson about truth, justice and the Texas Way. "
" A harrowing, compelling and profoundly true story that dares to tackle an important but too rarely exposed issue of the abuse of power in the American criminal justice system. "
" A torn-from-the-headlines tale of institutional racism and injustice in the Lone Star State of not-so-long-ago, American Violet might not be subtle, but it's certainly powerful. "
" American Violet dramatizes Kelly's case, and does so in a way that will leave audiences applauding in their seats -- and wondering how much of the film is true. "
" American Violet is a justice story, with some honest justice. It's nicely reassuring that it happens to be true. "
" American Violet, which is based on real events that took place in late 2000, has the quasi-documentary feel of a well-made television drama. "
" An artlessly powerful performance by newcomer Nicole Behaire anchors American Violet, an instructive, sturdily built drama based on a true story worth teaching. "
" Director Tim Disney and screenwriter Bill Haney lay out Dee's story with a minimum of fuss. They are smart enough to realize that the material is compelling all on its own. "
" This flaw in the justice system might affect anyone, but American Violet shows how easily it can be racialized in a place where hardened social attitudes combine with drugs and poverty to create a permanent black underclass. "
" What does it taste like? There's a slight aftertaste of force-feeding, to be sure. But mostly, thanks to excellent, nuanced performances by Beharie, Woodard, Nelson and Patton, it tastes like justice. "
" While it may be about as subtle as a swinging sledgehammer, it does leave its mark. "
" You can laugh at American Violet, but most defendants are scared into pleading guilty and need all the poster girls they can get. "
" A docudrama with a good heart but a heavy hand. "
" A well-played if too-familiar story of oppression and injustice. "
" American Violet feels less like life and unreasonably more like the movies. "
" Its blaring earnestness and thin characters (all of whom practically wear badges identifying them as good or evil) fail to add nuance to a story that keeps making the same point in virtually every predictable scene. "
" Its simplistic, heavy handed treatment of a complex issue gives it the weight of a contrived movie of the week melodrama. "
" The badly titled American Violet comes from filmmakers who had clearly made up their minds long before they had written a word. And it's aimed at people who have too, before they've seen a frame. "
" The narrative is infused with chilling facts, and the filmmakers know how to build their case, but a drama demands more. "
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