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The Imposter: movie review

'Imposter' has a few too many reenactments but is an unsettling mystery.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / August 3, 2012

'The Imposter' is the story of a young man who successfully convinced a Texas family he was their missing son.

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Bart Layton’s documentary “The Imposter” is about a mind-boggling, true-life scam involving Nicholas Barclay, a missing 13-year-old boy from rural San Antonio, and 23-year-old Frederic Bourdin, who, years after the disappearance, managed to convince the boy’s parents and the authorities that he was Nicholas despite his French accent and physical dissimilarities. Was Nicholas’s family so joyous at their “son’s” return that they willed themselves into belief?

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Or was something more nefarious – murder maybe? – the explanation? “The Imposter” has too many reenactments for my taste, and Bourdin is glorified by Layton more often than he is condemned. Still, this is one creepy mystery. Grade: B (Rated R for language.)

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