My problem with this film is the disjointed focus. It's a serial killer story, a courtroom procedural, a crime thriller. All at the same time, without really making any one a particular theme. The pieces are pretty ok as stand alone, but don't come together in the end.
This exceeded my expectations. The script is about as subtle as a bearded man in a negligee but yet again Friedkin manages to elevate what should be a run-of-the-mill genre piece into a provocative and dark work of moral ambiguity.