Small Town Crime
Mike Kendall, a disgraced ex-cop, is fighting a losing battle with the bottle. When he finds a woman left for dead at the side of a road, Kendall turns private eye to track down her killers, taking one last shot at redemption.
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★★★★ review by WraithApe on Letterboxd
A crime thriller from filmmaker brothers Eshom and Ian Nelms, centred around an alcoholic ex-cop (played to perfection by John Hawkes), who stumbles across a new trail and can't give up the scent, becoming embroiled in a seedy affair that shouldn't concern him.
It doesn't really break any new ground - there's shades of the Coens and early Tarantino in there - but also never puts a foot wrong: tightly scripted and well acted throughout, with a great eye for detail and enough of its own identity to stand out from the crowd. It's by turns funny and dark, but the shifts of tone are all expertly judged and as with watching a Coens film, you always feel you're in safe hands.
★★★★½ review by Mumbles on Letterboxd
A great companion piece to John Hawkes other neo-noir film Too Late. I am a sucker for this kind of film and of The Hawkes himself. Will be great to see a third film manifest itself to round proceedings off.
★★★★ review by collin on Letterboxd
From the writer/director duo of two films I've never heard of, (Waffle Street and Lost on Purpose) Eshom and Ian Nelms have crafted a solid gritty and worthy addition to the noir private detective genre. John Hawkes absolutely crushes it here as Mike Kendall, an ex-cop and an alcoholic who stumbles upon the body of a young woman on the side of the road. Propelling him on a journey to bring the law into his own hands and find the killer to deliver justice himself.
When we first meet Mike he is at rock bottom. Through the course of the film his path of redemption becomes more apparent and with every new clue his need for alcohol becomes more and more non-existent. Anthony Andersom and Octavia Spencer give great performances as well. Robert Forster is excellent as always. The cinematography is fantastic and the action is surprisingly intense and realistic. It's balanced with some genuinely comedic moments as well so the tone never becomes bleak or depressing even if the subject matter is.
This film is really going over people's radar. It's already on Blu-ray and VOD. Worth a watch.
★★★½ review by Metin Seven on Letterboxd
Small Town Crime is an entertaining noir crime flick, larded with black humor in the tradition of the Coen brothers and Tarantino, but with its own character.
John Hawkes gives a solid performance as the alcoholic ex-cop who sets out to solve a crime he accidentally discovered. The bad guys are slightly caricatural, but that fits in a film that doesn't take itself too seriously.
★★★★ review by FredM on Letterboxd
"When I think about the good times that I wasted, having good times". The theme song, never heard it, but instantly fell in love.
It even lifts the level of this noir redemption crime drama, in which Hawkes (does he ever not nail a performance?) plays a alcoholic ex-cop, but is willing to make some wrong stuff from past days right when he finds a dying girl at the side of the road, and goes out to look for the ruthless people who did that.
An interesting yet familiar story, top notch acting, some great looking cinematography, eccentric bad guys, this movie has it all, and apart from the overall predictability of the proceedings there's nothing really wrong with this, so give it a go, and have a good time not being wasted.
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