Having read the book first, I was a bit disappointed in the film. However, I gave it a 3 because I thought the photography and story were well done.
This is a TRUE story of man who dreamed of being a police officer, which the film did not touch on. When he failed the police exams, he became a firefighter, but his super-ego was such that he was never satisfied "only" fighting a fire. When a job came available for an arson investigator, he applied, and thus began his career of starting sensational fires up and down the coast of California, resulting in the death of at least 7 people.
The film shows various fires attribututed to John Orr, his interactions in the fire department, and the task team that was formed to catch him. It was scary to see how those who viewed this Man as a friend and asset had a difficult time believing he was guilty of these horrendous crimes.
There were only minor scenes of the two court cases, with the verdits shown on TV shows. The amount of fires linked to him, and the extent of property damage, etc was never mentioned.
Although interestering enough, the book was so rich, and the film lacked the basic problem - that John could not deal with being rejected from the police force, then created an environment where he would be seen as the "hero." I really didn't get the feel of "being there" that I would have liked to have in this kind of film. Not a total disappointment, but not recommended if you've read the book.