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(Review originally written at 4 May 2008)

What a shame that this movie turned out to be nowhere as good as it potentially could had been.

Problem is that the movie has a completely dull script. The movie leaves you constantly waiting for things to finally kick off but the movie its mystery is too simple and uninteresting and you can see the 'big twist' coming from miles away already. The movie its storytelling is also just too slow and done in a totally uninteresting way. It makes some of the characters and dialog come across as totally redundant.

The movie is made in an old fashioned noir type of style and way of storytelling and character handling. Yet however somehow this style never really pushes through and it's like the studio bosses said; No, let's keep this movie more mainstream. Director Robert Benton obviously understands the genre but it's like he for some reason is holding back or got hold back.

It still has the usual noir elements such as a grumpy main character with his flaws, a femme fatale and characters that are not how they seem they are. It also features a grim voice over at times from the main character but yet the movie does not really breath a typical film-noir kind of atmosphere. It's still a modern made and looking movie.

The movie is basically a waste of a fine cast. I mean when you have a movie with Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, Reese Witherspoon, Stockard Channing, James Garner, Giancarlo Esposito, Liev Schreiber, John Spencer and M. Emmet Walsh, you could and should expect some more quality and fireworks. It however are still these very same actors that make this movie a worthwhile experience. It's especially refreshing for a change to have an old man as the movie's main lead. Paul Newman already was well in his 70's while playing this role. Yeah, the movie is well cast but yet some characters just don't work out due to the poor script and way of storytelling.

Watchable enough to see it once but no, not really a recommendable movie.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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