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The Unforgivable Review – A Decent Sandra B Outing In A Stale Drama

By Binged Binged Bureau - December 16, 2021 @ 7:26 am
Binged Rating2.5/5

The Unforgivable Review – A Decent Sandra B Outing In A Stale Drama BOTTOM LINE: A Decent Sandra B Outing In A Stale Drama

Rating: 2.5 /5

Skin N Swear: Some swearing, no skin. A little blood.

Platform: Netflix Genre: Crime, Drama

What Is the Story About?

Ruth Slater gets out of prison after serving a twenty-year sentence. The world around her has changed and the people around her are not willing to forgive her violent crime. However, she still as one hope for happiness in life – her younger sister. She left behind her 5-year-old sibling twenty years ago and is now looking for a way to reconnect with her. But how will she fare against the system? Will anyone be willing to help a convicted murderer?


There are a lot of decent performances on screen, but almost everyone is hampered by the script, including the lead, Sandra Bullock. Obviously, most of the film’s screen time is held by Sandra Bullock and while this is not Bullock at her best, like in her other “solo-type film” – ‘Gravity’, she is still one of the few driving forces of the film. Surprisingly, Viola Davis doesn’t have much of a role in this movie. She has a couple of good scenes – but is mostly wasted in ‘The Unforgivable’. Vincent D’Onofrio was a nice addition to this film and while he doesn’t have much to do; his performance as John Ingram, a conflicted family man and lawyer has all the nuance the character requires.


Where to start? While the film is not exactly bad… it could definitely have been better. The unnecessary brother side plot (which we understand, was used to “justify” Steve’s state-of-mind), the poorly edited “flashback” timeline and the very erratic pacing of the film (starts off pretty fast, but then slows down at the most inconvenient places) were few of the major problems from ‘The Unforgivable’ which Sandra Bullock’s acting and the film’s main plot twist had to “counter”. And they barely manage to do so.

But there are other small issues as well. While the overall story is nice, the film feels quite stale and looking at an expressionless Sandra Bullock face throughout a majority of ‘The Unforgivable’ slowly starts to turn boring. The plot requires Bullock to be stoic – which we get, but we eventually tire out of that part of the plot quite quickly. What could have rectified this problem was better direction and even better editing.

While the cinematography and music part of the film was great, one of the biggest problems of ‘The Unforgivable’ is how poorly edited the flashbacks were into the main story. Sure, some of them were decent, but a lot of the major “reveals” from the past come with some poor editing. While the music department tries to cover up this problem through, well, music – this issue persists.

There is also the plot twist in the film – turns out that it wasn’t Ruth who killed the sheriff, it was her five-year-old sister, Katherine. This part comes with two problems. If Ruth had told the cops that it wasn’t her that did the killing, then they both could have gotten out of the situation in a better shape than they are in right now. While protecting her sister is admirable, she made a bad choice of staying out of her sister’s life for twenty years, especially since her sister would very likely not face any jail time – because Katie was only five years old at the time, and probably didn’t understand what she had done. The second one is how the “reveal” happened. While the flashback definitely helped us understand – we do not know how Viola Davis’ character, Liz Ingram, understood it. “She was only five years old” is something, granted – but it is too thin; especially since Ruth doesn’t explain what she meant by that. Steve letting Ruth and Emily go and Katie hugging Ruth is a little ridiculous also.

Overall, ‘The Unforgivable’ is a one-woman show featuring Sandra Bullock. While the film doesn’t allow the actress to give her best performance, she still does a decent job. A definite one-time-watch.

Other Artists?

The film also has a few side characters and they have a few good actors portraying them. Jon Bernthal is one of them and does a decent job as Ruth’s co-worker, Blake. The character is quite complex, and while he doesn’t get much screen time, Bernthal is good. The other actors worth keeping an eye out for are Richard Thomas, Linda Emond, Aisling Franciosi, Emma Nelson, Rob Morgan and Will Pullen. All of these actors have to play important supporting roles and they all do a job worth checking out.

Music and Other Departments?

The music and cinematography from ‘The Unforgivable’ are good. While direction and editing are decent, it could definitely have been much better – as mentioned earlier. The screenplay is a mixed bag – the overall story is good, but the minutiae parts need work.


Sandra Bullock’s Performance

The Plot Twist


The “Flashback” Timeline

The Pacing

Tacked On Side Plot

Did I Enjoy It?

It was okay.

Will You Recommend It?


The Unforgivable Movie Review by Binged Bureau

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