20th Century Studios’ latest true-crime thriller is “Boston Strangler”, which tells the story of Loretta McLaughlin, played by Keira Knightley, who is a reporter for the Record-American newspaper and becomes the first journalist to connect the BostonStrangler murders. As the mysterious killer claims more and more victims, Loretta attempts to continue her investigation alongside colleague and confidante Jean Cole, played by Carrie Coon, yet the duo finds themselves stymied by the rampant sexism of the era. Nevertheless, McLaughlin and Cole bravely pursue the story at great personal risk, putting their own lives on the line in their quest to uncover the truth.
This gritty thriller is going to be heading straight to Disney’s streaming services around the world, and as with other recent releases like “Prey” and “Rosaline”, it’s hard to work out why this film wasn’t given a theatrical release. It’s got some well-known actors such as Alessandro Nivola , David Dastmalchian and Chris Cooper among the cast. It probably wouldn’t have made a huge splash, but I’m sure it would have pleased audiences to see this on the big screen.
My only complaint with the film was how I never really clicked with Keira Knightley, with an American accent, as it just seemed really weird, but that’s not a reflection of her performance. The film also had some pacing issues, as it dragged a little in places, but this is me just being a little picky.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this film, having no prior knowledge of the crimes. I was taken along for the journey, as Jean and Loretta slowly uncovered the truth about these murders, basically doing the job of the police, with some little breadcrumbs being left throughout the film, but ultimately enjoying the satisfaction of when everything is finally revealed. The whole whodunnit aspect of this film was a great hook to keep me watching and engaged throughout.
A major aspect of this story is also a look at the sexism of the sixties, where women reporters worked in the lifestyle section or stayed at home to look after the children. Throughout the film, we see how Loretta is in a constant battle to prove herself, not just to those at the newspaper, but to her husband and, most importantly, to herself. The little comments here and there from police officers, family members and co-workers, just because they are women. It’s an interesting subplot throughout the film, that is subtle but also powerful, to show how much harder it was for them to solve this story, giving this movie something different to others in this genre.
“Boston Stranger” is a solid true-crime thriller that I really enjoyed, and while it might not be a film I could go back and rewatch now I know the outcome, this is an easy recommendation to anyone who loves a good murder mystery. It’s got a great cast, and the story kept me intrigued throughout. For true-crime fans, this one should go on your watchlist for this weekend!
Rating: 4 out of 5
“Boston Strangler” is coming out on Hulu in the United States, Star+ in Latin America and on Disney+ around the world on Friday, 17th March 2023.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.