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Hot Docs 2014 Review: Mugshot

Ever wanted to look at mugshots for an hour? No? What if it was in a really captivating documentary that shed a new light on the centuries old procedure? Well too bad, because this documentary doesn’t.

Dennis Mohr’s hour-long film feels a lot longer than sixty minutes. Viewers will spend that slow, drawn out hour looking at pictures of mugshots, old and new, and watching talking heads describe their history. The film examines the procedure in both the United States and Canada, describing different mugshot policies in both countries. One southern town even has a monthly newspaper displaying all their residents’ mugshots. While the people in the town get very excited about the whole idea, audience members will not.

Many times the film feels as if it’s approaching something very interesting but instead ends up shying away from ever exciting its audience. The film does provide a chance to see some celebrity mugshots including Canada’s own Justin Bieber, and even a young Rob Ford. Besides that, there are not many other reasons to see the film. Just read the Wikipedia page about mugshots and you’ll be fine.

[star v=2]

Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.