This is basically the Jonah Hill and James Franco show, in which they sit in a room together and talk for about an hour and a half. There’s a couple of grisly shots of a dead little girl in a suitcase, there’s a scene where Jonah Hill hits a bathroom stall wall because this kind of movie has to have that tension-filled trailer shot, and other than that there’s just a lot of sitting. And talking. And some more sitting.
That’s not to say it’s BAD, exactly. It’s just, well, dawdling. It doesn’t go anywhere. At one point in the movie Jonah Hill’s character gets chewed out for not having anything cohesive to share, and that he’s just an asshole being left in the dark on exciting developments. In reality, for the duration of this movie you’re Jonah Hill in that one situation. Not a whole lot of plot to go on, and what’s there is danced around rather than confronted.
Some people seem to have an issue with the plot itself; with the lackluster ending. Honestly, I kind of liked it. It’s logical, but also slightly clever in an unreal-but-too-real sort of way. My only issue with the plot is that they didn’t show the brutal murders themselves at some point, to clear up any remaining confusion among the audience (if there was any) and to give this movie some semblance of shock value, considering otherwise it’s a drag.
In short, it’s a great twenty page short story, but not one worth elongating into an entire movie called True Story. I haven’t read the actual book that the movie’s adapted from, but I feel like, for a lot of reasons, people who read rather than watched probably got the better end of the stick. And, ironically, if you watch the movie, it informs you as to why the book is better.