The plot and politics are a bit ? (the climactic jail confrontation could’ve been unpacked more) but everything else is !–the tunes (Nirvana and also the emotive, ever-present score), the turns, and especially the unique tone, with its sly layer of superhero cheese underneath the super-serious noir (see the heavy exposition between Batman and Gordon) and moody character study (see the bookending voiceovers). Great ending (see the rethinking of “I’m vengeance” and then the silent ride together).
A uniquely unsettling character study, leaning hard into its leads’ imperfections, inscrutability, and feelings of fear, pain, regret, and parental ennui in past-present parallel examinations of motherhood, helped by terrific performances, good editing, an enigmatic soundtrack, and in-their-face cinematography. Could have benefited from a tighter focus (Lyle and the Greek gang felt a bit unnecessary to the thrust of the film) and a less easy and orange-y final scene. Cool titles after though.
For the most part, it’s an understated and masterfully crafted thriller; with gorgeous nature shots and slick guitar-led score in tow, the pre-event procedural plays out each scene to slow-burn perfection, with the uneasy aftermath adding further sweaty tension. It’s the character writing that has a few missteps; namely, the film showing’s awkward attempt at explaining their motivations when the plan was already in place, and more significantly, the extreme climax of Josh’s arc in the third act.
A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother’s funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade. (IMDb)
Should’ve ended with that great climactic exchange at the quarry (“Good luck exploring the infinite abyss” “You too”) or at least before that saccharine final scene at the airport, because everything previous is nearly perfect in its achingly poignant and tastefully quirky young adult character study that nails its depiction of depression, awkward homecoming, and early romance through thoughtful dialogue, strong performances, calm cinematography, and a fittingly melancholy soundtrack.
The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. (IMDb)
Depp puts in a good turn as the menacing lead (the “I thought it was a family secret” moment is excellent), but while Bulger’s biography is well-paced and structured, there’s nothing unique or spectacular to separate it from other similar gangster movies; it covers all the bases but never soars high or digs deep. Instead, it’s Edgerton’s slimy FBI agent that steals the show, particularly in the final act as he starts to flounder in his falsities. A better “cop” flick than a “robber” one.