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In the Electric Mist Reviews

Page 1 of 69
Mark W

Super Reviewer

January 30, 2011
Author James Lee Burke has been dishing out justice in numerous crime novels over the years but justice has never been done in a decent film adaptation of his work, and with this latest offering from director Bertrand Tavernier it looks like we'll have to wait a while longer.
Recovering-alcoholic Louisana detective Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) is trying to solve a series of murders when the corpse of a black man killed forty years ago surfaces in a nearby marsh. Robicheaux remembers the man's apparent disappearance but endevours to find out what really happened, implacating the local law enforcement and corrupt businessman 'Baby Feet' Balboni (John Goodman), while having visions of dead confederate soldiers, giving him advice.
A fine cast, a fine director and based on the novel of a fine crime writer still wasn't enough to prevent this murder mystery from being flat and uneventful. Those unfamiliar with James Lee Burke's character of Dave Robicheaux (Alec Baldwin last played him in "Heaven's Prisoners") may be a little puzzled as to his behaviour throughout. I wasn't looking for Tavernier to labour the point but a little more of a back story on Robicheaux would have been beneficial, regardless of Jones putting in a typically good performance with what he had to work with. Goodman also does his best with the under-developed villian of the show and fine supporting actors are wasted in small and thankless roles. The major problem though, is the pace. It's just too slow. I can cope fine with slow-burning murder mysteries. In fact I prefer them, but they have to have interesting characters and decent plot developments to keep it going. This has neither. It doesn't even make good use of it's excellent deep south setting or elaborate on it's mystical undertones. The images of dead Confederates, who appear to Robicheaux, could have been omitted completely. Although, I imagine in the book they play a far bigger part. This film had so much potential but nothing seemed to gel or flow. The pace was all wrong; the majority of actors had nothing to do; there were several gaping plot holes and unexplained events, and the ending was rushed with a very lazy epilogue tacked on. Apparently the film went through some post production issues and went straight to DVD on it release. Now, I can see why.
Slow and disappointing, considering the talent involved.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

January 18, 2011
A small town detective hunts a serial murderer while contending not only with his own alcoholism but that of a visiting movie star. I can't say I'd ever heard of this film but decided to give it a go based on the presence of Jones and Goodman and I must say that they didn't disappoint. Tommy Lee proves he can still play the tough guy at his ripe old age and all of the scenes when he's being grampa bad ass are easily the best. It's one of those crime thrillers that tries a little too hard to show the "local colour" and some of the peripheral characters and sub-plots are not entirely convincing but the central concept of swamp-noir really worked for me. The minor affectation of his conversations with a dead confederate general are something you'll either accept or not but as a whole I enjoyed it. It's a shame that the ending was a little bit of an anti-climax as the showdown was rather short lived but thanks to a strong central performance its well worth a look.
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

November 15, 2010
an incredibly interesting film with an exceptional cast about an eccentric police officer and a bizarre set of criminals. the unfolding of events late in the film loses coherence which holds the film back but the intrigue until the final sequences still makes the film more than worth viewing.
Dean !

Super Reviewer

April 17, 2010
A little strange this one, not a bad film but something doesn't quite fit? Good actors but it doesn't seem to follow the more interesting story line in the film. Starts quite slow, then it seems to finish in a bit of a hurry. Could've been a lot better.
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2010
Good performances by a quality cast can't surmount a script that often has too many loose ends.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

July 26, 2009
Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard, Mary Steenburgen,

A detective in the deep South is led into a series of surreal encounters with a troop of Confederate soldiers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Good movie. Tommy Lee Jones once again gives an amazing performance. Good suspense/thriller. Loved the Southern Louisiana bayou atmosphere. The music and all of it. John Goodman was good. Like him playing the bad guy. I also enjoyed them playing off of each other. This movie is based on the book The Electric Mist With Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke. Definitely wanna read it now after seeing the movie. Great watch.
puffchunk
puffchunk

Super Reviewer

July 1, 2009
Meh. Basically just a bunch of great but washed up actors trying to make a movie fit for tv.
middleeasternfilms
middleeasternfilms

Super Reviewer

April 17, 2009
Very surreal story about a detective investigating the truth about two different murders 40 years apart. The film itself is interesting and keeps riding along at a pretty good pace. Better than In The Valley..., that's for sure.
thefog1331
thefog1331

Super Reviewer

March 22, 2009
Underdeveloped but an entertaining thriller nonetheless with a typically good performance from Jones.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

November 12, 2009
In "In the Electric Mist," Dave Robicheaux(Tommy Lee Jones) is a recovering alcoholic and police detective living in rural Iberia Parish, exiled from his native New Orleans, with his wife(Mary Steenburgen) and daughter(Alana Locke). With one dead body to investigate, he stops movie star Elrod Sykes(Peter Sarsgaard) for speeding and drunk driving.(What is it with Peter Sarsgaard and red sports cars lately? Or am I just having one of those weeks?) To lessen the DUI charge, he tells Dave about a second body, one that has been dead for at least decades, and recently uncovered by Hurricane Katrina. With no further information to go on, Dave interrogates Julius 'No relation to Steve' Balboni(John Goodman), a local crime boss, just because he is so scummy.

Directed by Bertrand Tavernier, "In the Electric Mist" is something of a disappointment, considering the talent involved(also including Kelly Macdonald, Ned Beatty & Pruitt Taylor Vince), reducing what could have been a rich and complex story to the level of a routine detective story through a pedestrian handling of the material. Even with this cast, John Sayles steals a couple of scenes as an egotistical director but this does not mean he should give up his day job. What the film is concerned with is the New South and how its past continues to haunt the present(sometimes literally) and cannot hope to escape it. And the Civil War movie is not helping matters. What's most striking is this is the most racist invective I have heard in a movie in a long time, not a good sign towards the future, as is the character of Dave Robicheaux, a rogue detective. Sorry but I guess I am just a stickler for due process.

Note: Ned Beatty and John Goodman were also involved in a fictional murder investigation in Louisiana in "The Big Easy."
stevetheman1236
stevetheman1236

Super Reviewer

November 12, 2011
In the Electric Mist isn't exactly spectacular, but it has a certain quality to it that you won't find in most movies. It's interesting in its own way; weird and very unlike other police-related thrillers.

It relies heavily on Tommy Lee Jones, who has a strong, central performance here that makes the film all the more watchable. He plays the typical Tommy Lee Jones character; smooth-talking, always right, and ready to kick some ass whenever a good ass-kicking is in demand. He plays a detective with a long and hard past that includes witnessing the murder of a negro some while ago. Also, his character is an alcoholic. I never quite understood the alcoholic angle. It never really came up in the story at all, yet the beginning of the film seems to almost stress the fact that he is one. The supporting performances are also pretty delightful, especially from John Goodman. He's not around a whole lot, but when he is, it's typical John Goodman as well. He's such a skilled actor.

The cinematography was a fine aspect of In the Electric Mist. The picture was wonderfully crisp and there was a fine coloration to it all. The rural parts of New Orleans have always fascinated me, especially Lake Charles. Actually, it was the location of the story that attracted me to this film. The idea of a murder in the bayou just sounds so entertaining.

I didn't quite care for the ending. It was such a sad way to end things. Really, the whole film is unorthodox about the way that it carries on, and then, with about twenty minutes left, it turns into your everyday thriller. That just disappointed me.
SC007
SC007

Super Reviewer

April 30, 2011
The film was so so. I liked Heaven's Prisoners better than this film. I like Alec Baldwin's take on the Dave Robicheaux character better than Tommy Lee Jones's take on the character in this film. Tommy Lee comes off like he usually does just like in Fugitive and Men in Black. The film does have a good ensemble cast. I say pass on this film and watch Heaven's Prisoners instead.
Fascade F

Super Reviewer

January 4, 2010
This movie was sloow moving but intoxicating in the way it hold onto your interest as Tommy Lee Jones solves a homicide that happened YEARS ago. There are alot of suspects but only one guilty person...and when that person strikes close to home, Tommy Lee Jones has got to find the culprit.
Very good drama...worth seeing.
Todd S

Super Reviewer

December 29, 2008
It was entertaining and had a great cast, but it seemed rushed and the outcome was very predictable.
Naughtia
Naughtia

Super Reviewer

May 15, 2010
I didn't think this movie was especially good I thought it was a bit boring at times. But what really lifted this movie up was the performance of Tommy Lee Jones. This story is about a detective who's trying to solve a crime and unexplainable supernatural things happen. Great thriller for Tommy Lee Jones fans.
Stephen E

Super Reviewer

November 29, 2011
In the Electric Mist isn't exactly spectacular, but it has a certain quality to it that you won't find in most movies. It's interesting in its own way; weird and very unlike other police-related thrillers.

It relies heavily on Tommy Lee Jones, who has a strong, central performance here that makes the film all the more watchable. He plays the typical Tommy Lee Jones character; smooth-talking, always right, and ready to kick some ass whenever a good ass-kicking is in demand. He plays a detective with a long and hard past that includes witnessing the murder of a negro some while ago. Also, his character is an alcoholic. I never quite understood the alcoholic angle. It never really came up in the story at all, yet the beginning of the film seems to almost stress the fact that he is one. The supporting performances are also pretty delightful, especially from John Goodman. He's not around a whole lot, but when he is, it's typical John Goodman as well. He's such a skilled actor.

The cinematography was a fine aspect of In the Electric Mist. The picture was wonderfully crisp and there was a fine coloration to it all. The rural parts of New Orleans have always fascinated me, especially Lake Charles. Actually, it was the location of the story that attracted me to this film. The idea of a murder in the bayou just sounds so entertaining.

I didn't quite care for the ending. It was such a sad way to end things. Really, the whole film is unorthodox about the way that it carries on, and then, with about twenty minutes left, it turns into your everyday thriller. That just disappointed me.
DrLappos
DrLappos

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2009
Good solid performance from Jones and Goodman in this deep south boiling pot of racial tension and small town hatred. It had a lot going for it and I really thought the plot ran well along with the suspense. Ned Beattys character was a little weak but dont let that put you off.
ken j

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2009
Tommy Lee Jones stars as a detective in the deep south who comes across two murders one in present day and another that took place 40 years ago now he finds himself trying to put the pieces together to solve both crimes. John Goodman co stars as a local pimp that might have a connection to the present day murder. A really well done crime drama that should have been released to theaters but some how found itself getting dumped on to dvd worth watching highly recommended
May 13, 2012
Very surreal story about a detective investigating the truth about two different murders 40 years apart. The film itself is interesting and keeps riding along at a pretty good pace.
April 8, 2012
It was weird seeing John Goodman as a pimp. Tommy Lee played a convincing Louisiana detective. This was a good old fashion detective movie.
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