American Murderer

Catch me if you can!

Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: January 26, 2023 (URL is not
Available on: N/A
Content release date: 2022-10-22

The story of how small-time criminal Jason Derek Brown went from scamming his friends and family out of money, to occupying a spot on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for murder!

Meet Jason Derek Brown (Tom Pelphrey), the big kid in an adults body, charming and glib-tongued and maybe just a little dangerous, deliberately vague when it comes to his methods of making money, capable of sweeping the neighborly realtor Melanie (Idina Menzel) off her feet while also seducing her son with video games and secrets. Or is he?

As it actually turns out, Jason is worse than broke, owes fundage to quite a few unsavory characters, and the only real work he’s been doing is practicing his snake-like charisma for the next big scam. He fobs his brother David (Paul Schneider) off for their fathers inheritance, alternately begs and abuses his mother Jeanne (Jacki Weaver) for money, even tries to weasel the only one left in his family who wants to try and help him, his sister Jamie (Shantel VanSanten). The lies and deceits of his profligate lifestyle are rapidly catching up to Jason, who in his brilliance comes up with what he thinks is a big easy score – robbing the security guard of an armored truck company.

But the best laid plans of desperate men rarely have a tendency to work out, and after putting a couple of bullets into the poor security guard and hightailing it with a stupidly small take, Jason is awarded the dubious honor of being stuck in the FBI’s Most Wanted list, with a very determined Special Agent Lance Leising (Ryan Phillipe) hot on his trail!

The whole thing is a series of turning-ever-worse debacles. Because seriously, who thinks they can get away with shooting a security guard in front of a movie theater in broad daylight? Apparently the real-life Jason did, and does, for as we know the film is based on a real-life happening, and the real Jason Derek Brown has never been caught. Director Matthew Gentile found the story of how a small-time con-man made it to the FBI’s Most Wanted list fascinating and made the film as a way to tell the tale.