Witness (1985)

In Peter Weir's thriller Witness, Samuel (Lukas Haas), a young Amish boy, witnesses a murder in the restroom of a Philadelphia bus station. Harrison Ford stars as John Book, the police detective investigating the murder. When Book… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: February 8, 1985
DVD Release Date: June 29, 1999
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A wonderfully entertaining thriller within an unusual setting, with Harrison Ford delivering a surprisingly emotive and sympathetic performance.

Paul Attanasio
Washington Post

What saves "Witness" is its cast, and Weir's artistry in orchestrating and modulating their performances.

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Variety Staff

Witness warms up as the attraction builds between Ford, McGillis and Haas -- all performing excellently through this portion.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

Peter Weir's exceptionally fine Witness finds Harrison Ford earning his first (and, so far, only) Best Actor Oscar nomination.

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Pauline Kael
New Yorker

Weir, an Australian filming in this country for the first time, has succumbed to blandness.

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James Berardinelli

Playing John Book allowed viewers the opportunity to see Ford the actor instead of Ford the action/adventure icon. It is one of the few times he has been given the opportunity to play in a straight drama.

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S. Jhoanna Robledo
Common Sense Media

Taut drama has just a few moments of intense violence.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

A moderately effective, highly affected thriller.

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Time Out

Powerful, assured, full of beautiful imagery and thankfully devoid of easy moralising, it also offers a performance of surprising skill and sensitivity from Ford.

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Emanuel Levy

Harrison Ford renders one of his best dramatic performances, for which he won his sole Oscar nomination, in Peter Weir's beautifully shot feature, which is effective as a cop thriller as well as a chronicle of the rural Amish subculture.

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More reviews for Witness

Flixster Audience Score: 80% Flixster User Reviews
Matthew Samuel Mirliani
I am sure that it impressed when it was released, however today Witness feels very dated, slow, and a bit underwhelming. Nonetheless, one can appreciate the… More
Nicki Marie
Not bad 80's thriller. It does go on a little in the middle with the Amish stuff (I mean, seriously, did we need to see a barn getting built?), and the… More
Sam Barnett
While the script eventually steamrolls over the finer details of a very different culture, "Witness" is nonetheless a very unique 80s thriller that… More
Daniel Mumby
In recent years the thriller genre has become so closely hybridised with action that we expect almost every thriller to be high-octane, ass-kicking… More
Chris Weber
While it isn't wrong to call this 1985 Peter Weir drama a romantic thriller, it should be noted that less emphasis should be put on the thriller side of… More
Wildaly M
I was most definitely impressed with this film. It not only provides insight into the Amish culture and a beautiful love story, but it's also a thriller… More