review for Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge on AllMovie

Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge (1999)
by Brian J. Dillard review

Given the lurid and thought-provoking subject matter, it's amazing that Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge can possibly manage to be as boring as it is. But its formulaic script, prosaic direction, and one-note sense of outrage can't take the shine off the startling lead performance by Heather Matarazzo. The Welcome to the Dollhouse actress gives a sensitive, nuanced portrayal of the retarded girl who may or may not have been raped by a suburban football team. Investing the character with wounded dignity, she never lapses into Rain Man schtick. However, despite (or perhaps because of) the career resurgence that High Art wrought, Ally Sheedy looks pained to be involved in a production this pedestrian. Playing a standard-issue lady cop with a conscience, she sinks to the level of the material, as does Eric Stoltz as the prosecutor she works with. All that leaves is the procession of sweep-it-under-the-rug suburbanites and smug, amoral jocks, both types seen a hundred times before. The ability or non-ability of retarded persons to engage in consensual sex and the cult of athletic heroism that many suburbs adhere to are both issues that could provide compelling subject matter for a film. But with typical TV-movie flatness, Our Guys renders the discussion dull, shrill, and dimensionless.