Though Hallmark Movies & Mysteries doesn’t have seasonal themed line-ups like Hallmark Channel does, they have not wasted any time in starting their mystery movie series for 2019. After two wonderful months of Christmas movies, the mystery movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries are such a welcoming sight to see. For the first movie of this new year, Hallmark’s second network decided to premiere the start of, potentially, a brand-new series: Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness. Last November, in a Word on the Street post, I speculated that Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness could be a first movie in a new mystery series. As the “Miracles of Christmas” line-up started to wind down, this speculation became a reality as Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness was, indeed, a Hallmark movie. Because this film’s synopsis shared several similarities with other series from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, I kept low expectations for this movie. However, since this network has, for the most part, had a good track record when it comes to their movies, I chose to watch this film with an open mind. As this is the first review of 2019 for a Hallmark mystery film, let the Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness review begin!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: For the most part, I thought the acting in Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness was good. During her time in the Hallmark community, Taylor Cole has primarily appeared in movies on the Hallmark Channel. This is the first time she has appeared in a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film. To me, Taylor was one of the strongest actors in this cast! She embodied the character of Ruby Herring with versatility and a well-rounded performance, bringing a sense of believability to her role. Stephen Huszar is no stranger to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, with Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness being his fourth film from the network and his second Hallmark mystery movie. Just like Taylor, Stephen embodied this character in a way that appeared very natural and believable! His performance in this film was very enjoyable to watch.
The on-screen chemistry: While Taylor and Stephen gave a good acting performance individually, they also gave a good acting performance as a pair. Through-out Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness, Taylor and Stephen effectively portrayed two people who have feelings of dislike/like between each other. Their banter was not only well-written, but also well-delivered. Taylor and Stephen’s performances complimented one another, which I thought was good to see in this film. I hope they can appear in more Hallmark movies together!
The mystery: I thought this mystery story within Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness was well-written! There were enough clues and suspects to keep the story satisfying. I also liked how the story was written in such a way that it leaves the audience guessing until the end. This makes the story intriguing and engaging. Having a consumer investigative reporter solving murder mysteries is an interesting idea for a mystery series, as it provides a unique perspective to a commonly used type of mystery on the network. It shows that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is putting in a conscious effort to give their series its own identity.
What I didn’t like about the film:
The time stamps: In order to break up certain scenes, the creative team behind this film decided to put time stamps throughout the movie. For example, in-between the first and second scene of Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness, the words “Day Two – Tuesday” appeared against a black background on-screen. At first, I thought this was an interesting concept. But, as the movie went on, it didn’t seem to add anything to the story. Overall, these time stamps felt random within the context of the movie.
A drawn-out story: While watching Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness, I felt that this story was a little too drawn-out. Even though the pace of this film was on the slower side, the story itself seemed like it went on longer than it might have been intended.
Lack of subplots: As I’ve already mentioned, I really liked this film’s mystery story. It also served as the film’s main plot. But this plot was the only one within the entire movie. Personally, I couldn’t find any substantial subplots while watching the film. Yes, there was a wedding and a baking convention that was brought up within the film’s narrative. However, it felt like these events only served the main plot and didn’t have their own stories to tell.
My overall impression:
Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness was a decent film. However, it was a good start to this particular series. Ruby Herring Mysteries has the potential to be a strong mystery series, like Garage Sale Mystery and the Aurora Teagarden series. Who knows? Maybe there could be a Ruby Herring month! While Hallmark hasn’t made any official announcements yet about any more movies within this series, there are more mystery movies that are on their way on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries! As of January 2019, there are six new mystery movies that have been officially confirmed for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries premieres. While most of these movies are brand new series on the network, only one of these movies is a continuation of an already established series, which is Emma Fielding Mysteries: More Bitter Than Death. As I fan of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, I am grateful that this network continues to try their best at not only making good mystery movies, but also quality mystery series that are worth celebrating.
Overall score: 7.1-7.2 out of 10
Have you seen Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness? Which mystery movie are looking forward to seeing? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!