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Boston strangles truth?

Since millions know the Boston Strangler really existed, my movie bull antenna start quivering when the new release by that name opens with those annoying words, “inspired by true events.” The phrase allows room for changing inconvenient facts. But then, facts remain questionable in the infamous serial killer case that terrorized Boston during the early 1960s. A 1968 movie starring Tony Curtis as the title character views a man named Albert De Salvo as the unquestioned perpetrator, since then other revelations cloud the vista.

This newest version takes a different spin by focusing on two reporters credited with connecting several murders to one killer and coming up with the Boston Strangler moniker. Kiera Knightley heads the cast as the less experienced reporter Loretta McLaughlan, with Carrie Coon stepping in as the more seasoned half. Though stymied in creating accurate Boston accents, both performers use their appealing screen presences and acting skills to good effect under direction by Matt Ruskin, who also wrote the script.

Ruskin's take

blends accepted information with conjectures. For instance, did Loretta ever come face-to-face with a killer? It seems possible as presented in the movie, but more importantly heightens spookiness and emotion in a project that relies more on talk than action. Ruskin provides a plausible scenario in a well-mounted period piece that holds attention without causing much excitement.

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