With an interesting premise and a serviceable cast, Deadfall offered a lot of potential to be a poor man's Cohen brothers sort of crime noir piece. Instead, it ventures too much on the "straight to dvd" category that it ultimately falls flat.
The cast is a mix of 'known' actors, Eric Bana, Sissy Spacek, to character actors, Kris Kristofferson, to those more new on the scene and known for their television work, such as Charlie Hunnam. All are okay, with the exception of Kate Mara who is a very inconsistent actress, that with better material they could have clicked. Unfortunately, they were faced with a weak script and apparently weak direction, with no one talented enough to carry the film.
The script has an interesting, if not somewhat familiar story, but doesn't nothing new with it. It's riddled with clichés (the daughter who can never live up to her father's expectations, the son who made a mistake that will forever haunt him, the protective brother with a dark past), and refuses to do anything beyond the surface level. The dialogue is especially weak, sounding stilted and bare-bones, there is no richness or subtext to be found, just dull set up for the next dull, clichéd ridden scene.
The film does look good, and the director succeeds in giving it an atmospheric feel. This makes the films' otherwise lackluster execution all the more disappointing, with a stronger cast and a better script, it could have been an enjoyable, perhaps memorable, little noir piece. Overall, however, it fails to do enough right to make it recommended.