You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Murder in Mexico: The Bruce Beresford-Redman Story’

Colin Egglesfield, Leonor Varela, Brianne Davis, Samantha Sloyan, James Black, Hemky Madera, Mo Gallini, Iris Almario

The case of the “Survivor” producer extradited to and imprisoned in Mexico for the killing of his wife practically screams “Lifetime movie.” Yet this acquisition, “Murder in Mexico: The Bruce Beresford-Redman Story,” chronicles what happened with admirable restraint, presenting the circumstances in a manner that leaves room for alternate theories of what transpired. Tellingly, the tale has already been presented elsewhere – including on CBS’ “48 Hours” – but this straightforward account manages to dramatize these events without unfairly putting its thumb on the scales of justice.

Cutting back and forth in time, the movie introduces Beresford-Redman (Colin Egglesfield) and his wife Monica (Leonor Varela) on vacation in Cancun with their two kids. Yet what appears to be an ideal couple – she a restaurateur, he a producer on Mark Burnett series like “Survivor” and “The Contender” – is actually in the midst of turmoil. His affair with a co-worker has endangered their marriage, with Monica discovering the betrayal and telling him, “I will take the house and the kids and every g—damn cent you make!”

The vacation is ostensibly an opportunity to help repair the relationship, but then Monica goes missing. And noticing the scratches on Bruce’s arm and hearing the story of their marital discord from Monica’s sister (Iris Almario), the authorities soon turn their attention to him after her body turns up stuffed into a pipe on the resort grounds.

Directed by Mark Gantt from a script by Ron McGee, the movie shrewdly depicts what might have happened twice, during Bruce’s account of how he got those wounds and, later, when the prosecution presents its theory of the crime. In the process, the filmmakers manage to conjure suspicions both about the quality of the evidence and Beresford-Redman’s guilt, given the holes in his version of events.

In that regard, credit Egglesfield (“Rizzoli & Isles”) with giving away little about his character’s internal state – a man who appears to be frantic but might very well be giving a performance worthy of more than just reality television. Varela is also quite good, and sticks around longer than one might have expected thanks to the flashbacks.

Beresford-Redman remains in a Mexican prison, and continues to profess his innocence. Unlike some Lifetime movies – especially those that include adultery and a dead spouse – “Murder in Mexico” doesn’t send its audience to bed with absolute clarity. That’s because this version of reality is content leaving some doubt about who might have outwitted whom, in a movie with a Hollywood connection, but not a Hollywood ending.

TV Review: 'Murder in Mexico: The Bruce Beresford-Redman Story'

(Movie; Lifetime, Sat. Sept. 26, 8 p.m.)

Production: Produced by Stanton William Kamens Prods. in association with Reel World Management and Indy Entertainment.

Crew: Executive producers, Stanton William Kamens, Roma Roth; producers, Nancy Leopardi, Ross Kohn; director, Mark Gantt; writer, Ron McGee; camera, Andrew Russo; production designer, Marissa Leguizamon; editor, Rowan Glenn; music, Christian Davis; casting, Donald Paul Pemrick, Dean E. Fronk. 120 MIN.

Cast: Colin Egglesfield, Leonor Varela, Brianne Davis, Samantha Sloyan, James Black, Hemky Madera, Mo Gallini, Iris Almario

More TV

  • Series Mania Unveils 2019 Festival, with

    Series Mania Unveils 2019 Festival Lineup

    PARIS — Graced by Uma Thurman, “The Good Doctor” star Freddie Highmore and “Black Mirror” creators-showrunners Charlie Brooker and Anabel Jones, the 10th Series Mania – and second in Lille, north-east France – will kick off March 22 with Netflix prominent, a broader   geographical reach and a strong presence of women writers and directors. [...]

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

  • Syfy Cancels 'Nightflyers' After One Season

    Syfy Cancels 'Nightflyers' After One Season

    The George R.R. Martin drama “Nightflyers” has been canceled by Syfy after only one season. Based on the novella from the mastermind behind “Game of Thrones,” the show was seen as a big gamble for the NBCUniversal-owned cable network, as it represented the most expensive series it had ever developed. The network attempted to spark [...]

  • Batwoman Arrow

    The CW's 'Batwoman' Pilot Switches Directors, Adds Dougray Scott

    The CW has added veteran Scottish actor Dougray Scott to its “Batwoman” pilot as well as swapped in Marcos Siega for previous director David Nutter, Variety has learned. The pilot, which stars Ruby Rose as the eponymous caped heroine, is being helmed by DC TV head Greg Berlanti, and was penned by “Vampire Diaries” alum [...]

  • OG Review

    Review: 'O.G.' on HBO

    Jeffrey Wright, the most compelling reason to watch HBO’s new film “O.G.,” is among television’s best actors at switching between codes or manners of being. On “Westworld,” his timeline-toggling android swaps personae so delicately that his performance gains in resonance when recalled in retrospect. (Perhaps that’s why Wright has been so oddly underrated through the [...]

  • Nahnatchka Khan Writers Room

    Nahnatchka Khan Exits 20th Century Fox TV for Overall Deal at Universal

    Nahnatchka Khan has signed a four-year overall deal at Universal Television. The deal brings an end to the decade-plus Khan and her Fierce Baby Productions banner spent at 20th Century Fox Television. The move will see Khan exit from her role as showrunner on ABC comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” which she also created. The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content