Witness Protection

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • R
  • Action, Crime, Drama

Though this well-acted but formulaic film reveals fascinating details about the day-to-day workings of the Witness Protection Program, Daniel Therriault's cut-and-dried screenplay promises complex domestic drama that never materializes. Boston-based Mafioso Bobby "Bats" Batton (Tom Sizemore) is betrayed by his self-serving partner and becomes an FBI informant...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Though this well-acted but formulaic film reveals fascinating details about the day-to-day workings of the Witness Protection Program, Daniel Therriault's cut-and-dried screenplay promises complex domestic drama that never materializes. Boston-based Mafioso Bobby "Bats" Batton (Tom Sizemore) is betrayed by his self-serving partner and becomes an FBI informant before his former associates can murder him. Bobby testifies against his boss, who's been indicted for a double homicide, but fails to grasp the full repercussions of his actions. He expects a fresh start as a protected witness, only to learn that the government has drained his ill-gotten assets and that his only future employment opportunities will be blue collar ones. Although his wife, Cindy (Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio), adjusts to their diminished circumstances, Bobby's teenaged son, Sean (Shawn Hatosy), bristles at being uprooted. Bobby must unlearn his lifelong arrogance to keep his family from disintegrating and persuade Sean to build a new life. The best moments in this reversal-of-fortune drama involve the fugitive family's indoctrination; as the Battons try to memorize a fabricated past life in a sterile government halfway house, the film suggests that their dilemma may be a mixed blessing. Disgraced big-shot Bobby must now bond with his loved ones, instead of being an absentee parent and part-time husband. That said, it's hard to truly empathize with the bullying, overbearing Bobby — he's in a tough spot, but he has no one to blame but himself.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Though this well-acted but formulaic film reveals fascinating details about the day-to-day workings of the Witness Protection Program, Daniel Therriault's cut-and-dried screenplay promises complex domestic drama that never materializes. Boston-based Mafio… (more)

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