The Thin Blue Line
The Thin Blue Line (1988)

This is the fascinating, controversial true story of the arrest and conviction of Randall Adams for the murder of a Dallas policeman in 1976. Billed as "the first movie mystery to actually solve a murder," the film is credited… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: August 25, 1988
DVD Release Date: July 26, 2005
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Josh Larsen

...engaging as a procedural and compelling as a meditation on the nature of truth.

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Noel Murray
The Dissolve

The Thin Blue Line is one of the films that helped make documentaries a viable entertainment option for arthouse moviegoers during the indie-film boom of the 1980s and '90s.

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Cole Smithey

Errol Morris' breakout documentary is immaculate.

Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

A magnificent example of the worth of cinema.

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Tina Hassannia
House Next Door

The Thin Blue Line is proof that sometimes, though rarely, the political impact of a film can be as tangible as an innocent man being freed from prison.

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Jake Euker
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Accomplished but detached; you're pulled in, but you couldn't be blamed for resisting.

James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

Morris was working in a dangerous middle ground between the traditional documentary and the fictional feature film, and his merging of various techniques paid off in a film of singular uniqueness in both its aesthetic approach and its real-world impact.

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Emanuel Levy

Arguably no other film of the 1980s, fiction or non-fiction, was as significant in blurring the boundaries between what's reel and real and in demonstrating the remarkable impact a movie could have.

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Rumsey Taylor
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Furthering its genre irregularity, it employs no narration to guide the viewer, and each shot is carefully static and composed. Its central scene, even, is a fabricated element in what is largely a non-fiction film.

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More reviews for The Thin Blue Line

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
Morris' central achievement in my opinion is placing the viewer non-partially into the judge's chair and, in very, very quiet tones, simply asks you… More
Aj V
A very slow calculated documentary that goes over and over a crime as if the audience are the investigators. I found it really repetitive, but some people may… More
Lorenzo von Matterhorn
<i>"A softcore movie, Dr. Death, a chocolate milkshake, a nosey blonde and "The Carol Burnett Show." Solving this mystery is going to be… More
familiar stranger
While this documentary enlightened about the miscarriage of justice, it is executed in such a way that you don't get too involved in it. I liked 'Dear… More
Dan Schultz
A disturbing look at a judicial system infected with chaos and corruption, specifically in the true story of an innocent man named Randall Adams who is… More
Curtis Lilly
This movie is cool because after it was made, the accused man in the documentary was found innocent due to this film. Errol Morris is my son. However,… More