American Hangman (2019)

American Hangman Poster

An unidentified man posts a live feed on social media showing that he has kidnapped two strangers and intends to kill one before the day is out. His intention is to hold a capital 'trial' online. As the authorities recognize what's happening, it becomes apparent that the online public is going to act as judge and jury.

Film Overview
"American Hangman" is a thought-provoking mental thriller released in 2019. Directed and composed by Wilson Coneybeare, the movie takes a fresh look at the justice system through the lens of social networks. The lead roles are played by Donald Sutherland and Vincent Kartheiser.

Plot Summary
The film starts with the unusual kidnapping of Judge Straight, played by Donald Sutherland, and Ronald Stampler, represented by Vincent Kartheiser, by an unidentified man. The kidnapper establishes a live feed upon social media and presents Judge Straight to the world as a man who, in his past, passed a judgement that resulted in the execution of an innocent man.

The abductor, who introduces himself as the "American Hangman," changes what appears to be a standard kidnapping into a trial by making Judge Straight the accused. The American Hangman puts forward a series of arguments mentioning the flaws in the justice system, especially concentrating on the capital punishment and its irreversible outcome.

The film then takes an unanticipated turn when it is exposed that Ronald Stampler is accomplice to the kidnapper rather than a fellow hostage. The American Hangman then puts Judge Straight on a virtual trial, commanded by the audience viewing the live feed. The web is the Hangman's court, where anyone viewing can make a life-or-death choice based exclusively on what the Hangman allows them to see.

The live kidnapper likewise drags in the regional police, led by Police Chief Pawlowsky (Paul Braunstein), who end up being desperate to find the live-stream origin in an attempt to conserve the judge. On the other hand, news anchor Helen (Joanne Boland) controls the situation to her benefit, leading to an unforeseen collaboration with Pawlowsky.

Ending and Themes
In the end, the verdict of the online 'jurors' on social media goes against Judge Straight. However the American Hangman, comprehending the manipulation of this stream, decides not to continue with the execution. The authorities locate the broadcasting website, find the Judge alive however the American Hangman takes his own life, leaving behind numerous unanswered concerns.

"American Hangman" is not simply an easy criminal offense thriller, but a deep conversation on public trials, media manipulation, and the inherent trust we place in the justice system. The film tracks how public opinion can be affected through selective details and sensationalism, and the worrying power of social networks in modern society.

Performances and Reception
Donald Sutherland's efficiency as Judge Straight was widely praised, asserting his strong screen existence and character arc throughout the movie. Vincent Kartheiser's representation of the American Hangman was likewise admired for its intrigue and depth. However, despite its prompt and powerful styles, the movie got mixed reviews from critics. While some applauded its initial plot and deep discussions on major topics, others felt the movie didn't quite reach its capacity due to the execution of these styles. Regardless of these criticisms, "American Hangman" stays an engaging film for those interested in thrillers with social commentary.

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