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Close but no cigar! That's how I could best describe this movie. It's obviously made with all of the right intentions and also talent involved but it lacks a certain something that helps to make this a truly special and memorable movie as well.

This is a movie that in the hands of a Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese or Guy Ritchie could had potentially been absolutely brilliant. Each of their directing styles would had been perfectly suitable for the movie its story and it most definitely would had spiced things up- and made things a bit more interesting and involving to follow.

And there is another good reason why I mention these 3 directors, since it definitely are the 3 that seemingly inspired the director Andrew Dominik while working in this movie. You really could see this movie as a combination of a Tarantino, Scorsese and Ritchie movie. It has the dialog of a Tarantino gangster movie, the rawness and grittiness of a Scorsese crime flick and the humor and entertainment of a Ritchie movie. Sounds like heaven but it doesn't always quite blends in well enough with each other. You also have the bear in mind that it's not a movie done by either Tarantino, Scorsese or Ritchie. So it rather comes across as a light version of what a Tarantino, Scorsese and Ritchie would had been capable of, if they indeed worked on this movie.

Not that the movie ever feels like a wannabe or ripoff really. It truly honestly still also has a style of its own and I even would go as far as calling this movie quite unique within its sort. I actually do applaud this movie for not ever glorifying anything and let things come across as bleak and cold as possible. The downside of this though is that the movie never becomes a truly involving movie to watch, in which you also start to care about any of its characters.

And this is really not any of the actor's fault, since the movie has some great ones in it, who all did a fine job! Yes, Pitt may have earned himself another Oscar nomination again with his role in this movie and James Gandolfini also did a great job, playing a different kind of gangster this time. I also really enjoyed seeing Ray Liotta in this, though his role is definitely far too small.

But that brings me to another problem I had with this movie; it was way too short. I just can't see any reason for this movie to be as short as it was. The story so easily could had gone on longer and it perhaps would had made this movie a bit more of a focused one as well. It now instead tries to do an awful lot in a shortest amount of time possible, which is probably also a reason why the movie is bit hard too follow at times.

You honestly can't miss a minute of this movie, if you want to understand what is going on with its story. It's more of a thinking man's movie than anything else, so be aware if this, in case you are expecting a more typical or entertaining gangster/crime movie.

It's definitely still a great movie but it's missing something to make this a truly brilliant or memorable movie as well.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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