Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this suspense thriller, a woman wonders if she can trust her memory when her father returns from prison a very different man from the violent psychopath she remembers. Karen (Amy Irving) is a single mother who twenty years ago delivered the testimony that put her father Frank (Donald Sutherland) behind bars for the murder of her mother. While Karen has no doubts that Frank is guilty of the crime, the years have clouded her memory a bit and she doesn't recall all the events with complete clarity. Now that Frank has been released, he's returned to Karen's neighborhood and is going out of his way to ingratiate himself with Pete (Rider Strong), her son, and Dan (Christopher McDonald), her boyfriend. A furious Karen confronts Frank, but she discovers a father who is not the ogre she sent to prison but a calm, charming, well-spoken gentleman who seems to bear her no ill will. They discuss the death of Karen's mother and Frank begins to convince her that it was all a terrible accident. Frank begins to work his way back into Karen's life as he gradually cuts her off from her circle of friends; when Dan dies under mysterious circumstances, Karen thinks nothing of it, but Sheriff Calhoun (Graham Greene) wonders if Frank might have something to do with the crime. Benefit of the Doubt marked the feature debut for producer Jonathan Heap.
family, father, fear, killing, multiple-murder, murder, witness