An Amish Murder

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
An Amish Murder Movie Poster Image
Slow-moving Lifetime movie has stereotypes, violence.
  • PG
  • 2013
  • 84 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Perseverance; community; reconciliation; uncovering the truth. Some stereotypes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kate is honest, hardworking, but flawed and works to make amends for her misdeeds. 

Violence

Flashback of a teen girl fighting off a would-be rapist; discussion of being raped. A man is shot and shown with blood coming out of his abdomen and mouth. Multiple scenes show the dead bodies of teenage girls in various states of undress, including underwear around one girl's ankles. Bruises on wrists and ankles, carvings in abdomen, pictures of bodies, a body identified in the morgue. Several scenes of police holding, pointing, or pulling guns on suspects; man is said to have hanged himself; a house burns.

Sex

Man and woman kiss a few times; shown next morning in bed, covered up, with intercourse implied.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Man lights, smokes a cigarette in the office; guy says he needs a drink; characters have drinks at a bar, drink liquor together at home.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that An Amish Murder is a middling Lifetime movie about a chief of police who must investigate the killing of a few teenage girls. There are a few scenes involving girls' dead bodies with injuries, a flashback of attempted rape, and some scenes of gunfire and bleeding. Sex between characters is implied. Overall the film is not exceptionally graphic, but it has little to offer in terms of a well-crafted narrative or deep insight into the community it portrays.

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What's the story?

Kate Burkholder (Neve Campbell) was once a member of the Amish community, and she now serves as chief of police. But when two teen girls from the community are murdered, her former involvement only complicates her investigation and leads her to reconcile a dark secret from her past that tore her family apart.

Is it any good?

AN AMISH MURDER fails on two accounts: It's not a particularly gripping murder investigation, and it's not a particularly gripping tale of the Amish. Instead, it feels like a glossed-over account of both, with a frustrating pace and characters that are too surfacey to feel well developed. Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder is the film's most compelling actor, and she gives a nuanced performance with limited material. Fans of her work may find enough here to sustain them. To its credit, An Amish Murder isn't needlessly graphic or exploitative and relies instead on the emotional pull of community, family, and loss to drive the narrative. But, in spite of this restraint, there isn't much left to go on, and there are better versions of both subjects out there to engage viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about movies about the Amish. Why do you think they're so popular?

  • Does this movie seem to portray the Amish community accurately? Why, or why not?

  • Does the movie stereotype the Amish? If so, in what way?

Movie details

For kids who love mysteries

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