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Don McKay (2010)



Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 25
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 15

Thomas Haden Church and Elisabeth Shue do their best with what they're given, but Don McKay is too confused and far-fetched to be taken seriously as a noir, and too inconsistent to work as a black comedy.


Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 6

Thomas Haden Church and Elisabeth Shue do their best with what they're given, but Don McKay is too confused and far-fetched to be taken seriously as a noir, and too inconsistent to work as a black comedy.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.5/5
User Ratings: 586


My Rating

Movie Info

First time writer/director Jake Goldberger takes the helm for this thriller about a man who returns to his hometown after receiving a letter from his high school sweetheart, who claims to be dying. It's been 25 years since Don McKay (Thomas Haden Church) turned his back on his hometown, and he never imagined he would ever return. But when a letter from his former girlfriend Sonny (Elisabeth Shue) appears in Don's mailbox, he can't resist visiting his old flame one more time, before her light


Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

Jake Goldberger

Jun 29, 2010

Image Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (15) | DVD (4)

Goldberger gets a few good tonal feints in, especially when he consults the Coen recipe book for the disorienting effect of blood (and bloody violence) on American simple folk.

April 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When you pack your movie with performers like Mr. Church, Ms. Leo, Mr. Rebhorn and Keith David (as Donâ(TM)s old friend), all with faces and deliveries that can slide easily between comedy and menace, youâ(TM)re holding a full house.

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Don McKay certainly has its moments, but it never manages to maintain the consistent tone so crucial if a black comedy is going to actually be funny.

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a movie that, if you can make it to the last 30 minutes, starts to make some sense. It seems the plot twist is the only good idea in the script.

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An admirable attempt even if the film only works spottily.

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A strange, largely inert indie thriller.

March 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic almost aggressively pointless piece of work that simply isn't able to justify its very existence.

July 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Labored and distractingly uneven, Don McKay comes across as a lackadaisical film school writing assignment that somehow lucked into a feature film deal.

July 24, 2010 Full Review Source:

Goldberger makes the most of his eclectic, multi-Oscar-nominated cast to make up for the lack of scope and visual panache, not to mention the sometimes strained machinations of his plot

June 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

The tone and the pacing always seem a little off and as a result, we become all too aware of mechanics of the screenplay grinding along towards a finale that is simply too complicated and unbelievable for its own good.

April 8, 2010 Full Review Source:

Clearly Goldberger thinks he can juggle this delicate noirish soufflé but it all comes crashing down around him because the true nature of his characters' actions just don't make a whole lot of sense.

April 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

[Director] Greenberg's tyro script is both dark comedy and slick whodunit and all the players do it justice. He handles his material and fine cast with a deft hand that belies his freshman status.

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Church's performance could be stuffed and mounted with no loss of liveliness.

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: MTV

First-time writer-director Jake Goldberger may have a great film in him. But "Don McKay" isn't it.

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

Savvy viewers aren't likely to get too invested in these characters and their dilemmas, if only because the style of this parody of wish fulfillment will tip most of them off about the plot's misrepresentations in advance

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source:

...doesn't have the most tightly written script, but off kilter performances, particularly a hilariously determined Elisabeth Shue as the femme fatale Sonny...keep things bubbling along as the plot rolls to a boil over.

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Thomas Haden Church wears a puzzled scowl throughout this bizarre film noir, and so will viewers as they struggle to figure out just what Jake Goldberger is going for.

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Moving Pictures Magazine
Moving Pictures Magazine

The plot unfolds like a numbed-down neo-noir, and the actors treat it as such, using overwrought dramatic turns as a springboard for delightfully hammy performances.

March 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Audience Reviews for Don McKay

Cast: Thomas Haden Church, Rachel Harker, Stephen Benson, M. Emmet Walsh, Melissa Leo, Elisabeth Shue, Amanda Donaghey, James Rebhorn, Keith David, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Lonnie Farmer

Director: Jake Goldberger

Summary: At the urging of his ex-girlfriend, Sonny (Elisabeth Shue), who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, high school janitor Don McKay (Thomas Haden Church) returns to his hometown for the first time in 25 years and finds himself ensnared in a web of conspiracy, deception and murder.

My Thoughts: "I really don't know how I feel about this film. It's not your typical thriller. It's pretty average to say the lease. The character's are odd and sometimes unbelievable in their parts. The acting was semi good. Elisabeth Shue's acting was between good and bad. I'm not sure if that was how her character was to be played, or if it was indeed her acting. Thomas Haden Church played an quiet, sad, but kinda interesting character. He just seemed very lonely, but by the ending of the film you understand why. The last 30-40 minutes of the film, in my opinion, is the only part worth watching. That's when you get interested in where it's going. Unfortunately you have to sit through the rest of it to understand the ending. But the ending and the twist is disappointing as well. Even unrealistic. There was some dry humor, but not much. The script left something to be desired. Not sure if many will like this film."
December 21, 2010

Super Reviewer

Its a thriller,comedy and indie role in to one.Thomas Haden Church is great as the main title role.Elisabeth Shue as never been better.The movie is a mix bag and was not sure what i was watching but was drawn into it with ease.Its was never boring and with the added little twist at the end which i never saw coming it is a great watch and worth checking out.
June 26, 2010

Super Reviewer

Thomas Hayden Church (as Don McKay) has been around for a loooong time, as an actor...I saw this and wasn't disappointed at all!!! What a twisting, dark and delirious movie of a man that kept a secret for years and saved it to the very end.See this...his secret will stun and move you.
April 22, 2011

Super Reviewer

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