Ken Tucker
May 31, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Heaven's Prisoners

Current Status
In Season
Alec Baldwin, Kelly Lynch, Mary Stuart Masterson, Teri Hatcher, Eric Roberts
Phil Joanou
Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B

Alec Baldwin does a fabulous job of sweating through all his shirts in the steamy Heaven’s Prisoners. Playing Dave Robicheaux, the New Orleans-based, recovering alcoholic ex-cop from James Lee Burke’s fine detective novel series, Baldwin renders the AA-abiding Dave’s booze temptations with subtlety. And he makes a sharp guide through the kudzu-thick plot: Dave and his wife (Kelly Lynch) suspect skulduggery behind a plane crash near their home; a thug, played by that nice young man Eric Roberts (his hair in cornrows, his lines delivered in a menacing gurgle), may or may not be trying to kill the couple. Add the Mob and Mary Stuart Masterson, as a broken-fingered stripper, and it’s a story that director Phil Joanou has difficulty keeping in motion. Lois and Clark‘s Teri Hatcher, as Roberts’ wife, makes an au naturel entrance guaranteed to give her Internet-downloading fans a collective heart attack. Prisoners has mildewed on the shelf since December 1994; it’s slow, but not unsatisfying. B

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