Directed by Robert Duvall
Texas Ranger Samantha Payne reopens a 15-year-old missing person case, and uncovers evidence that suggests that the boy was likely murdered on a ranch belonging to wealthy family man, Scott Briggs. When Scott’s estranged son unexpectedly returns home during the investigation, Samantha becomes even more convinced that the Briggs family was involved, and will stop at nothing to discover the truth about the boy’s death - even putting her own life in jeopardy.
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★★★½ review by Timothy Evans on Letterboxd
Maybe the most overlooked and underrated movie of 2015.
A Western-police procedural, in the low key mould of John Sayles' LONE STAR, that's written and directed by star Robert Duvall with the control, class and dignified restraint that comes from being one of the oldest hands in the business.
Duvall plays Scott Briggs, a monster of a patriarch but doesn't play the character as an outline, or sketch him with his worst traits of homophobia, chavanism or bullying big-man-around-town. For all the awful things that come out of his mouth, Duvall privileges Briggs with almost instant moments of reflection and the quiet self-recognition of someone too old, stuck in their ways and caught in their own lies to modify their behaviour. We see a grandfather, so demonstrative in his love for his grandchildren that it's clear he's trying to make up for where he went wrong with his sons; someone so pained by silent regrets that he cuts a solitary figure, even when surrounded by family.
It's a heartbreaking performance that builds upon Duvall's reputation as a screen icon and in his old age, this ought to be seen by more people for the simple reason that he can't have many more this good left in him.
Franco does the best - most likeable - work I've ever seen from him and we can add this to the steadily growing list of films (AUGUST, RESURRECTING THE CHAMP, I COME WITH THE RAIN) that prove Josh Hartnett can really act, which nobody saw. Best of all is Duvall's (40-years-younger!) wife Luciana Pedraza as the steadfast Texas Ranger hellbent on cracking open a longstanding town scandal and all the corruption that stems from it. Absorbing all the threats that come her way with always-professional tact and seemingly, unfazed bravery, Pedraza's reaction shots are consistently marvellous.
★★★½ review by Alfred Maynard on Letterboxd
Very slow, but a fine story. Surprised that it was written and directed/produced by Robert Duval.
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