Small Town Crime

An alcoholic ex-cop finds the body of a young woman and, through an act of self-redemption, becomes hell-bent on finding the killer but unwittingly puts his family in danger and gets caught up with several dark characters along the way.


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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.

  • ★★★★ review by Kaisersoze on Letterboxd

    Take character actor John Hawkes and put him in a lead role. Give him a redemptive arc, something for the audience to cling to. Populate his story with memorable, quirky characters who could have come out of the Cohen Brothers playbook. Throw in liberal dashes of violence, some pretty shots of small town Utah, and end things with a stand-up shootout between a bunch of said quirky characters. And what do you get?

    Straight to video-on-demand magic.

    Small Town Crime has its problems (among them a few under-written supporting roles and ultra-convenient dot-joining by our lead), but it is easily the most enjoyable film-experience I've had this year. Hawkes is awesome in the lead role as the alcoholic ex-cop with a self-destructive streak a mile wide, and the mystery he finds himself involved in becomes impressively dark and violent.

    The Nelms Brothers deserve much kudos for Small Town Crime, mixing in various neo-noir elements while still keeping things fresh and engaging. I was enthralled in watching Mike Kendall as he grew through this short film, and would gladly return to watch more of his adventures in future.

    4 Unlikely Allies for Small Town Crime.

  • ★★★½ review by Lucan Reynolds on Letterboxd

    65/100 - 3.3/5

    The brother directors: Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms did a fantastic job on this Coen Brothers-like movie. The direction was surprisingly solid and the writing from them was great too. The blend of comedy and drama was perfect and the characters were superbly written!

    The acting was very good. The underrated John Hawkes leads this movie extremely well with an awesome performance. Robert Forster is alright and Clifton Collins Jr. does a wonderful job in his role. Anthony Anderson was fine and Octavia Spencer gave a better performance than her Oscar Nominated performance in The Shape of Water.

    Also, Dale Dickey is only in one scene in this but she absolutely shines! Her performance in the scene was truly extraordinary and she needs to be in more movies!

    It's a solid film that, in my opinion, is worth a watch. It's actually my favourite film of 2018 so far, but then that's not exactly a huge achievement, considering it only had The Open House to beat.

    I also want to use this review to point out that I have slightly changed my rating system. The exact numbers are in my bio but, on here, I am just going to say that I have become slightly more strict when it comes to star ratings. A random example would be Lady Bird. It's actual rating out of 100 hasn't changed but, because of my new score boundaries, it is now a 4.5 star rating instead of a 5 star rating.

    Added to 2018 Movies Ranked List

  • ★★★★ review by Brendan Sheardy on Letterboxd

    I discovered this film on itunes, and I will say I'm impressed. John Hawkes puts on a great performance, and they set up a great lead character. This was a well directed film with great writing and intense action scenes.

  • ★★★½ review by murrkin on Letterboxd

    An average movie that was elevated by John Hawkes performance. Give it a punt if you are running out of films to watch.

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