A Murder of Crows Movie 1998 Scene Cuba Gooding Jr. as Lawson Russell confronting the killer

A Murder Of Crows [1998]

A Murder of Crows is one of those thrillers that feel like they’re based on a novel but actually aren’t. Even the storytelling fits in perfectly with this vibe complete with just a tad bit pretentious narration. We will be following Lawson Russel, a lawyer who narrowly escapes death in the opening scene by giving up his guilty client. A masked killer decides to spare his life and from then on, things start getting complicated. The mystery behind the masked man (or a woman) will be revealed only during an intense finale, edging you to stay and find out what’s really going on.

The pacing is steady and you’ll get this feeling you’re reading a book and not watching a movie. A Murder of Crows just flows off the screen and with a runtime of just ninety minutes, it will be over before you know it. I remember watching it more than twenty years ago which says something about its authenticity. Sure, it’s a bit gimmicky and contrived but all of these B thrillers are to some degree. On top of that, locations are quite good as we will be going back and forth between New Orleans and Florida.

I just love when movies take these sharp but entirely logical turns when it comes to the plot. The cast was solid, led by versatile Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Berenger whom I feel should’ve gotten a larger part. I also must mention Eric Stoltz who channeled his inner douchebag and created a really despicable character. Despite A Murder of Crows being a murder mystery, the atmosphere is oddly aloof and easygoing. It dances a fine line between not taking itself too seriously and efforts to sell you this larger-than-life story.

Lawson Russel, a successful lawyer working in New Orleans faces a huge dilemma. He just found out that his asshole client is probably guilty of murder and because of his skillful work, he will most likely go free. He feels he needs to recuse himself from the case but he’s not sure yet. And while he’s ruminating over this decision, a man dressed as a devil and holding a gun appears behind him. Russel decides to recuse himself and phones the judge immediately which prompts the killer to back away. This simple decision will set in motion events that will change Lawson’s life completely.

Despite this being a late nineties movie, it still feels like a late eighties thriller. Just like Shattered also starring Tom Berenger following a man who loses his memory and must figure out who tried to kill him. From this time perspective, A Murder of Crows also has a certain nostalgic charm. And for younger generations, it offers a view into a different world. 

Director: Rowdy Herrington

Writer: Rowdy Herrington

Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Berenger, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Eric Stoltz, Mark Pellegrino, Ashley Laurence

Fun Facts: There’s an Indian remake of this movie, Fox [2009] starring Arjun Rampal and Sunny Deol.

Rating:

IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133985/