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This was a movie I was really looking forward to. It had a great sounding premise, with an equally great cast involved. Now I can't say that the movie is a terrible one but it still remains a bit of a disappointment though, I'm sad to say.

The movie has the right style but not the right type of story to go along with it. The story, in my opinion, was a bit of a weak and underdeveloped one. Besides, the annoying thing about the story is that the movie loves to throw in a whole bunch of sequences and characters, that in the long run don't add enough to the movie its story. The movie is filled with needless distractions and overlong sequences, that should have been left on the cutting room floor.

I know this movie was trying to be a slower and subtly told type of movie but the movie never got interesting or tense enough for it to ever fully successfully work out as one. It again is due to it that the story remains a too underdeveloped one. It doesn't ever allow any good tension or mystery to build up, while this all is something this movie truly could have benefited from. The movie as it is is very bleak and serious and while there of course is absolutely nothing wrong with such an approach, it's something that only works out effectively once the movie itself has a strong story and confident enough director at the helm.

Don't get me wrong, it's a greatly directed movie but however not always a very well told one. It shows that David M. Rosenthal has plenty of potential and class as a director in him but he still has a long way to go and a lot of things to learn, when it comes down to telling a story and getting you involved with all of the events and characters of the movie.

I still say that it's a very well directed movie because of the way how the movie looks and feels. It has a great and very consistent atmosphere. Even though I had plenty of problems with the storytelling, I still see the movie its directing as one of the high points of this movie, as weird as that may sound.

Another high point of the movie are of course its actors. It's always great to see Sam Rockwell totally become a new character and he probably is one of the most versatile actors, working today! The supporting casts consists out of actors such as William H. Macy, Ted Levine, Jason Isaacs, Jeffrey Wright and Melissa Leo. Great to see them all in this but at the same time, some of them feel absolutely wasted in this! All of the supporting roles are quite limited and as mentioned earlier, not all of the characters are that well developed. So basically all that's left are some fine performances by some fine actors, playing some not so very interesting characters.

Not to sound too negative about this movie, for I definitely liked it more than I didn't but it, in just about every way, felt like this movie had far more potential in it. Everything that was good about this movie could have great, with just a few very minor adjustments.

It seriously is a perfectly good movie to watch, as long as your not expecting a tense or thrilling masterpiece, or a "Fargo" or "A Simple Plan" type of movie, even though the concept of this movie may make it sound that way.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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