- Abigail Breslin, Sebastian Quinn, Emily VanCamp, Ryan Phillippe
- Written by
- George Kolber, Richard Lasser, J. Craig Stiles
- Directed by
- Michelle Danner
- Run Time
- 2h 7min
- Release Date
- October 6th, 2023
“You have the right to remain silent,” a sentence we’ve all heard in countless movies and TV shows involving the police. Some might say that some of us hear those words more often than “I love you,” but only if you’re a cop TV show junkie. The question is, when you hear those words, do you ever wonder why they’re read to us when we’re getting arrested? Miranda’s Victim answers that question, but not from the perspective you might expect.
Trish (Abigail Breslin) is a rather shy girl who simply wants to make her mom happy. Trish’s mom (Mireille Enos) has high hopes for her daughter, as they’ve saved money for her to attend secretarial school, where she can get a good job and meet a successful man to marry. However, that path is shattered when Trish is attacked and assaulted after work, and the perfect life planned for her now seems impossible. Thanks to some good old-fashioned police work, the cops are able to catch the man responsible for the attack, Ernesto Miranda (Sebastian Quinn), and get him to sign a confession.
This is where the screenplay by George Kolber, Richard Lasser, and J. Craig Stiles transitions from a police procedural to a courtroom drama, which is where the emotional depth should have been explored further. But it kind of stalls there. That’s not the only issue with the script; it also suffers from excessive exposition and tonal inconsistencies. The initial courtroom scenes offer little drama, as Miranda is found guilty, and Trish tries to move on with her life.
The story fast-forwards to a few years later when a prominent defense attorney believes that Miranda’s rights were violated and secures a new trial. Here is where we learn about Miranda’s rights, but this story isn’t about him; it’s about Trish and how her life was affected. While I appreciate the idea of telling the story from this perspective, I believe the script is weakened by opting for an objective point of view instead of a more personal one. The writers also attempt to address various issues, but most of them are only mentioned and lack any in-depth discussions. Despite the script’s weaknesses, the movie remains engaging, primarily due to the performances.
Miranda’s Victim has ambitious intentions but feels like a small-scale movie. The cast is what carries this film, featuring some of your favorite actors in smaller roles. While Breslin is fantastic, so are the likes of Andy Garcia, Ryan Phillippe, and Luke Wilson, among others. I just wish they hadn’t taken on so much, as it feels like it almost diminishes the weight of this story. Despite its shortcomings, Miranda’s Victim is a movie worth watching because Trish’s story is the one we should have known all along.