Witness

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Paramount Pictures Released 1985

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User Score: 40

8.8
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Movie Summary

Director:
Peter Weir
Released:
1985
Rating:
R

Witness centers on a tough detective, John Book, who becomes a young Amish boy's protector after he is targeted by a ruthless killer after witnessing a murder in Philadelphia's train station bathroom. It had been Samuel Lapp's first trip into the outside world but it ended up being quite a memorable one as he accidentally witnesses the brutal murder of a police officer in the bathroom. Captain John Book however in his investigation stumbles upon a larger corruption stemming within the force and sets out to protect Samuel and his widowed mother Rachel (Kelly McGillis) from the corrupt officers. Wounded, Book takes the two back to their farm, also housing Rachel's father-in-law Eli in Pennsylvania in order to hide out. As he heals, he begins to take part in the Amish life, wearing their clothes, learning how to run the farm, and eventually taking part in a barn raising. Of course, their safety only lasted for so long as Book's "English" ways marks him different to the local community.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This is, first of all, an electrifying and poignant love story....And it is also one hell of a thriller.

  • 70

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    It's not really awful, but it's not much fun. It's pretty to look at and it contains a number of good performances, but there is something exhausting about its neat balancing of op...

  • 60

    Variety

    Witness is at times a gentle, affecting story of star-crossed lovers limited within the fascinating Amish community. Too often, however, this fragile romance is crushed by a thorou...

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    Themes

    Crime, Love & Romance, Thrillers