Loosely inspired by a true story, “Bond of Silence” is a Lifetime movie like they used to make ’em, with Kim Raver as the driven heroine seeking justice after her husband’s death. The “River’s Edge”-like twist is that much of the movie focuses on the group of teenagers who were in some way responsible for his murder, sustaining a fair amount of mystery regarding what actually transpired until the final reel. “Silence” is nothing to shout about, but it’s just slick enough to hold onto an audience.
Raver plays Katy McIntosh, whose idyllic life is shattered when her husband Bob (David Cubitt) ventures across the street to quiet a New Year’s Eve party at the neighbor’s house, where teenagers are carrying on in the absence of parental supervision.
Bob is found dead, with a local detective (Greg Grunberg) reporting back that he was murdered. But which of the kids was responsible?
Katy’s ongoing crusade to uncover the truth — which includes offering a $10,000 reward for information, and later filing a wrongful-death lawsuit — causes ripples through the town, with the kids banding together and threatening anyone who might snitch, and their parents generally supporting them.
“I hate feeling powerless,” Katy protests at one point, which, honestly, could just as easily be an alternative name for the Lifetime Movie Network.
Inevitably, director Peter Werner and his trio of writers have to tease the conflict out somewhat beyond the story’s weight, but the payoff proves reasonably satisfying, if fairly predictable.
Much of that has to do with good work in casting the kids, who occupy at least as much screen time as the ostensible stars. Mostly, it’s a savvy look at peer pressure and the desire to fit in that could as easily play as an after-school special or on MTV.
Despite closing with video of the real Katy, a disclaimer makes clear most of the characters were invented beyond the basic set-up. Yet even if “Bond” adheres glancingly to reality, the movie certainly sticks to the women-with-problems formula that has served Lifetime so consistently.