The biggest danger with a story like Gosnell (rated PG-13 for realistic language and violent images) is sensationalizing the more gruesome elements, accurate as they may be. Letting the story unfold naturally as a police and courtroom procedural, actor/director Nick Searcy (best known for TV series Justified) wisely errs on the side of understatement. He trusts the facts to speak loudly enough to the audience without his needing to hammer home a message.
And the facts are these—the law regarding late-term abortion is so morally muddled, Woody and assistant district attorney Lexi McGuire (Sarah Jane Morris) face a monumental task trying to prove that Gosnell’s pitiless slaughter of countless babies as well as one mother qualifies as serial killing rather than simply some form of gross medical malpractice. Just deciding to take the case to trial forces Lexi, a pro-choice mother of five, to confront the deeper implications of what she says she believes.