Reviewed by: Brett Willis
Starring: Alessandro Nivola, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Rocky Carroll, Michael G. Hagerty, Terrence Howard, Jamie Marsh | Director: Mike Barker | Producers: Alan Greenspan, Betsy Beers, Chris Moore, Sean Bailey, Nancy Paloian-Breznikar, Mike Newell | Released By: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
This “film noir” offering is built on a series of “nothing is as it seems” plot twists. At first it appears to be a straight-up drama, but far from it.
In the opening, Nick (Alessandro Nivola), is contacted by his desperate friend Bryce (Josh Brolin) who has a serious problem with a girl (Reese Witherspoon). And that’s about all I can say without giving anything away. The acting is very good and the twists are entertaining, but there’s nothing to warrant a second viewing.
Content Warnings: Profanity is extreme. There’s some on-screen violence. There’s one brief simulated sex scene with no clearly visible nudity, and an implied sex scene which is shown only as a man holding down a woman’s wrist. All of the main characters have serious moral flaws and several of them are willing to break rules in order to solve their problems, so the film might be considered a study on relativism.
Some of the content—such as a drug dealer from the ’hood justifying his activity by quoting at length from Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”—seems far-fetched. Such apparently out-of-place material may (or may not) be a “clue” to the viewer.
Recommended only for mature viewers who enjoy this genre.