In March 1928, Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) was called into work unexpectedly and was forced to leave behind her 9-year-old son, Walter, promising to make it up to him tomorrow. She leaves, telling him that a neighbour will come round to check on the house shortly.
Upon her return she is shocked to find him gone and reports the matter to the police. A few months later a boy resembling Walter is returned to her but she refuses to believe it is Walter despite the police willingness to proclaim the case closed. Christine's constant protestations led to her being committed to a psychiatric ward for examination until, 5 days later, the truth was revealed by local minister Rev. Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich) and Christine was freed.
Meanwhile, an investigation into a series of gruesome murders on children is under way and the LAPD spot another chance to cover up the story claiming that Walter was there. Despite the attempted cover-ups, the chief of police stands trial.
Angelina Jolie deserves her plaudits as the lead that made the story come to life once more. The anguish of Christine is conveyed both expertly and subtly by Jolie's voice and movements. She is well backed up by both Malkovich and Colm Feore as the chief of police.
Clint Eastwood, directing, shows that he is more than just a one trick pony with his previous Westerns and uses some of his knowledge of the wild west by creating a set that is utterly convincing for the era - from the actor's clothing to the grand steam train.
All-in-all a fantastic film of pure emotion.