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Review: 'Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,' a none-too-subtle take on real-life courtroom drama

Review: 'Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,' a none-too-subtle take on real-life courtroom drama
Dean Cain in the movie "Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer." (Hat Tip Films)

You can say one thing for “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” — it will never be mistaken for having a liberal bias.

A sensationalistic police procedural/courtroom drama chronicling the criminal investigation and subsequent 2013 conviction of Kermit Gosnell (Earl Billings), an African American abortion doctor charged with the murder of three infants and one mother, the film adopts a sanctimonious tone that’s anything but subtle.

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What initially began as a probe into the dispensing of illegal prescriptions takes a gruesome turn when police and FBI agents descending upon Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic discover a veritable house of horrors filled with severed body parts of fetuses, a number of which were witnessed to have been born alive.

While Michael Beach’s district attorney informs his team (including Sarah Jane Morris and Dean Cain), that they’re trying a murder case and not an abortion case, whatever pretense the production may have exhibited as doing likewise is quickly cast aside with every clinically graphic description and pointed jab at the mainstream media it accuses of burying the trial.

Directed by character actor Nick Searcy, who also plays Gosnell’s smug defense attorney, and adapted in part from the book co-written by Ann McElhinney, who previously made a documentary examining “global warming hysteria,” the film never loses sight of the choir to which it is plainly preaching.

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‘Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer’

Rated: PG-13, for mature thematic content including disturbing images and descriptions.

Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Playing: Starts Oct. 12 in general release

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