Star Trek Into Darkness
As I Lay Dying
Greg Dean Schmitz
A strong cast makes up for thinnish characterisation, and it's so like Fargo it might as well be called "Fargone".
With a focus on messy family relationships, this thriller's deranged comical touches almost make up for its contrived plot and annoyingly thin characters.
| Original Score: 3/5
Too many coincidences spoil the plot, but this is a down'n'dirty, black'n'bloody little thriller. If nothing else, you'll truly feel the chill.
Director Ruzowitzky lets his cast make the most of the wildly swerving tone.
Engaging thriller, enlivened by some snowy location work and strong performances from a superb cast, though the script struggles to find the right tone.
For all that Dean's exploration of dysfunctional families punches squarely on the nose, Ruzowitzky bobs and weaves around the cliches in ways that lift Deadfall above many of its genre contemporaries.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
What the screenplay lacks, director Ruzowitzky paints in, with bold, elemental strokes on the dirty-snow canvas.
Perhaps the best thing about "Deadfall" is the lifelike messiness of its ending. A couple of the characters have a lot of explaining to do, and this is one case where a sequel might be in order.
| Original Score: 3/4
Deadfall is fast and fatalistic ...
A rare modern genre piece that doesn't shy away from being impossibly bleak and downbeat.
A genre characterized by often grisly violence, high style and a distinctly nihilistic outlook.
[An] atmospheric, suspenseful, snowbound crime thriller with a creepy, sexy undertow ...
"Deadfall" brings to mind those dark, old-fashioned entertainments in rotation on Turner Classic Movies that suck you in with their genre machinery, sullen beauties and despair.
Deadfall is soaked in creepy, larded with violence and filled with people in pain. Cue the dread.
'Deadfall' deftly transforms the climactic moments ... therapeutic for some, devastating for others. It's a beautiful thing.
An intriguing cat-and-mouse caper featuring both bullets and brains. The question is how long can they keep up the 'good perp, bad perp' charade before their luck finally runs out?
The camera work is as beautiful as it is terrifying, with Quebec standing in for northern Michigan in the dead of winter. And the performances are resourceful, superbly etched and expertly nuanced.
It circles its way from a conventional thriller to a dodgy love story, and leaves in its path a few dead bodies and a few living crippled psyches... .
| Original Score: B-
The film's plot is not all that complex. What makes it work are the interesting characters and the way they play off each other, creating complex emotional patterns.
| Original Score: B
Your standard issue cold-weather crime thriller, "Deadfall" comes complete with gratuitous sex, a hot-pursuit chase sequence involving snowmobiles, and a merciless bad guy you can't help but root for.