A taut, well-executed if somewhat predictable riff on the murderous caper-that-goes-wrong theme that has anchored sexy, blood-stained crime pictures from The Postman Always Rings Twice to Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.
It's as if filmmaking brothers Joel and Nash Edgerton (Joel cowrote, produced and costars, Nash directed) sat down and said, "Let's watch these suckers wreck their lives, and the lives of everyone around them."
The movie's protagonists (and all of its supporting characters) are reprehensible people, and Roberts' performance is fascinatingly uncharismatic, extinguishing any possibility of sympathy for his character even when the film gradually reveals his town to
The Square recalls one of cinema's all-time classic lines, that moment in 1981's Body Heat when Kathleen Turner's femme fatale Matty Walker studies William Hurt's gullible Ned Racine and declares, "You're not too smart, are you? I like that in a man."
What's to be admired is how fearlessly Edgerton embraces the dirt and grime oozing out of "The Square," manufacturing the guilt that's produced when information is withheld, when lies are tossed around, and when the best laid plans go awry.