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It definitely looks like these sort of Southern thrillers are on a revival. There are getting more and more popular again and besides receive lots of critical praise, no matter how small and low-key some of the productions are.

This is also a movie that sort of slipped through the nets and I'm sure there are lots of people out there who have never even heard of it, despite of its impressive cast-list involved.

That can most likely mean one thing; the movie just isn't a very good one. And this is half true for this movie as well. Almost literally, since the first half of the movie is pretty good for what it is but the movie sort of falls apart in its second half.

I liked how the movie at first was being like a legal thriller, involving the story of a murderer who might had been wrongfully convicted. the movie however slowly but steadily starts to feature an increasing amount of other story distractions in it as well. This causes the movie to loose its focus at parts and sometimes you just really don't know what the movie its main story is supposed to be. At first it appears to be a Matthew McConaughey movie but it soon starts to become apparent it's more about Zac Efron's character, while the movie gets narrated by the Macy Gray character, which seems like an odd choice, since her character wasn't even involved with half of the stuff that happened in this movie. It should tell you something about how mixed and messy the movie gets at times.

It's perhaps also a movie that tries a bit too hard. It tries to shock with a whole bunch of sexual and racial stuff but the simple truth is that this movie so easily could had done without any of those moments. It wouldn't had changed anything for either the movie its overall story or atmosphere really. The 'shockvalue' doesn't really add anything and it's needlessly distracting from its main story.

I was actually surprised to later find out that the movie got directed by Lee Daniels. surely much better was to be expected from a director of his caliber. Especially in that regard this movie is a bit of a disappointment. With just a few minor adjustments and changes this even could had been an Oscar worthy type of movie, with also Oscar worthy performances in it.

There is really little wrong with the movie its acting. Some people are still in denial about it but Zac Efron is simply a really talented young actor, that surely is here to stay. Also especially great was Nicole Kidman, who also still looks as young as ever. It's probably also her most sexual role till date. The role even earned her a Golden Globe nomination but if only the movie would had been a better one, she would had been noticed more and received way more praise and awards for it as well.

It's still watchable enough all but this movie had far more potential in it really!

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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