Jonah Hill plays Mike Finkell, a New York Times Journalist who was sacked from his job for fabricating a story about slavery in Africa.

Just after being sacked and struggling to find another job, Finkell finds that Christian Longo (James Franco) has been arrested for the murder of his wife and three children and at the time of his arrest Longo had been using Finkells name.

Puzzled as to why Longo was using his name Finkell visits Longo in jail where Longo tells him that he is an admirer of his writing and he asks if Finkell will teach him to write. In return for the writing lessons Longo gives Finkell exclusive access to his story, the idea being that Finkell will be able to write a novel based on Longos story. As the pair become closer Finkell is taken in more and more by the charismatic Longo, the only person that can seemingly see through his false persona is Finkells girlfriend, (a woefully underused Felicity Jones).

Even although True Story is based on true events that were in no doubt harrowing, the film version is a hard slog with very little in the way of tension. Most of the scenes see Hill and Franco sparing with each other in a prison interview room whilst the outcome of the trial, that is meant to be the climax of the film, is never going to surprise the audience.

True Story is a film based on the flimsiest of stories with very little to recommend it other than two fine performances from Hill and Franco.

True Story (15)


Director: Rupert Goold

Starring: Jonah Hill, James Franco, Felicity Jones, Robert John Burke, Ethan Suplee, Gretchen Mol

UK release: Friday 17th July 2015