The Unforgivable centres around Ruth Slater (Sandra Bullock – Bird Box), who’s just been released from jail after 20 years due to killing a cop, albeit in extreme circumstances. Her father had just committed suicide, she just wanted to take care of her younger sister, Katie, and the police were trying to force entry without any sort of negotiator in place, after she stated she had a shotgun and was prepared to use it.
Going forward, while dealing with her parole officer, Vincent (Rob Morgan), plus jobs at a fish factory – where she meets Blake (Jon Bernthal) – and carpentry, Ruth is not allowed to contact the family with whom Katie is staying, even though she desperately wants to. After all this time, will she find a way round this? Would Katie even recognise her after all this time?
Either way, her situation rather makes things difficult for dating…
Along the way, she revists her old house which has been sold many times over, and is now owned by John (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Liz (Viola Davis), plus as we can see from the trailer, the foster parents – Michael (Richard Thomas) and Rachel (Linda Emond) – do come into this. Plus, note that Richard Thomas – aka John-Boy from The Waltons – is 70 in real life, yet looks about 20 years younger!
Meanwhile, out of the deceased cop’s two sons – Steve (Will Pullen) and Keith (Thomas Guiry) – one of them is hell-bent on revenge.
So, there’s a number of different things going on in The Unforgivable. It’s well-acted, but given that the police are wanting to split Ruth and Katie up, this assumes that the character of Ruth is too young to look after her. I expect Ms Bullock, as the younger Ruth, has been made up to look about 20, but then if she was too young, she’d have to be under 18 at the time… which would make her about 38 now, after around 20 years inside. Sandra Bullock is 57. So, as good as she is in the role, she’s technically too old to be playing Ruth.
As an aside, there’s a scene where we see how good Katie is at the piano, playing Everything In The Right Place from Radiohead, which I recently came across again when they made a bizarre ‘museum’ game, which I’ll link below.
Overall, The Unforgivable is a decent, solid thriller, but there’s something about it – which I can’t quite put my finger on – that just stops it from being great. In part, it’s that the final section of the film feels rather clichéd, but in total, this film does feel less than the sum of its parts.
I never saw the 2009 three-parter on which this is based (the ITV series, Unforgiven), so any outcomes couldn’t be spoiled to me, presuming they’ve not changed anything (I have no idea, either way).
Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.
The Unforgivable is on Netflix from Friday December 10th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Check out the trailer below:
Running time: 112 minutes
Release date: December 10th 2021
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
Director: Nora Fingscheidt
Producers: Sandra Bullock, Veronica Ferres, Graham King
Screenplay: Peter Craig, Hillary Seitz, Courtenay Miles
Based on Unforgiven by: Sally Wainwright
Music: David Fleming, Hans Zimmer
Ruth Slater: Sandra Bullock
John Ingram: Vincent D’Onofrio
Liz Ingram: Viola Davis
Blake: Jon Bernthal
Michael Malcolm: Richard Thomas
Rachel Malcolm: Linda Emond
Katherine Malcolm: Aisling Franciosi
Emily Malcolm: Emma Nelson
Steve Whelan: Will Pullen
Keith Whelan: Thomas Guiry
Hannah Whelan: Jessica McLeod
Vincent Cross: Rob Morgan
Corey: Andrew Francis
Mac Whelan: W Earl Brown
Katie (5 Yrs): Neli Kastrinos
Ryan Ingram: Orlando Lucas
Daniel Ingram: Jude Wilson
Contractor: Paul Moniz de Sa
Foreman: Craig March
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.