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Texas Killing Fields (2011)



Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 29

Texas Killing Fields is a competent boilerplate crime thriller, brewing up characters and plots used in better films.


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 10

Texas Killing Fields is a competent boilerplate crime thriller, brewing up characters and plots used in better films.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 4,780

My Rating

Movie Info

Inspired by the string of real-life unsolved murders in a small Texan town, this tense and haunting thriller follows a local homicide detective (Sam Worthington), and his partner, a transplanted cop from New York City (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) as they track a sadistic serial killer dumping his female victims' mutilated bodies in a nearby marsh dubbed The Killing Fields. The killer changes the game and begins hunting the detectives, teasing them with possible clues at the crime scenes while always


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Don Ferrarone

Jan 31, 2012


Anchor Bay Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (43) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (29) | DVD (2)

The characters will be familiar to fans of police procedural shows and TV movies.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story simply doesn't stand up, with its combination of well-worn plot elements and confusing red herrings -- or maybe they're just details that don't add up.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Comment (1)
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] southern-fried rehash of David Fincher's Seven.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scenes do not always necessarily follow one another. I was sometimes unclear who some of the characters were.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The only notable element of this police procedural is that director Ami Canaan Mann, daughter of filmmaker Michael Mann ("Heat," "Collateral"), who produced here, appreciates dad's esthetic but can't replicate it.

October 14, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Long on style and short on coherent storytelling...

October 14, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film doesn't really go anywhere or establish any narrative sense, which is problem, since it's ostensibly a police procedural.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

I know many people don't like Sam Worthington and I'm one of them. Worthington is trying to prove that he's not the one-dimensional actor that we all think he is.

April 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Eclipse Magazine
Eclipse Magazine

depressing characters slogging through a depressing story for a depressing movie

February 13, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

"Texas Killing Fields" is nothing more than an average crime thriller with some better-than-average suspense. Paul Chambers, CNN.

February 2, 2012 Full Review Source: CNNRadio

Don Ferrarone's script could have used one more revision for sequential flow, character depth and back-story clarity. But there's promise for Ms. Mann.

February 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

A pretty routine police procedural with...a little bit of regional flavor.

January 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Ebert Presents At The Movies

works sporadically, but never consistently, and ends up feeling much lighter and more forgettable than its "inspired by true events" tagline would seem to merit

November 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Mann Jr shows plenty of promise in a film that doesn't tarnish the family name. But hindered by niggling flaws, it hardly revolutionises an over-saturated genre.

October 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Despite the jumbled plot and structural problems, the shady characters and gritty settings compensate.

October 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

A procedural without structure. It's a mood piece with no definable mood. It's a thriller without clear villains or even threats.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source:

Post-Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, there's no reason for the level of suspense to be commensurate with a first season episode of C.S.I. New York.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Houston Press
Houston Press

Nothing in this film sets your nerves a-tingling.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

Merely an elongated version of any current crime show on television

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

Reduces the police procedural to its bare essentials.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Just uses a spooky atmosphere and fractured style to disguise the fact that it's actually covering quite familiar territory.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

The police intelligence couldn't be more basic--oh, really, do you think those sleazy dudes changed the license plate on their car?

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: RedEye

Audience Reviews for Texas Killing Fields

Inspired by actual events, this is the directorial debut of Ami Canaan Mann- the progeny of the great Michael Mann.

This is a police procedural about two detectives trailing a killer known for kidnapping and mutilating women, then dumping their bodies in a marshy area of Texas dubbed "The Killing Fields". Their case takes a turn when the killer decides to set his sight upon them.

For the most part, this is pretty standard stuff. It's not groundbreaking, but certainly watchable. It looks great, and the cinematography is probably the best aspect. The cast are notable, but their performances are serviceable, but nothing more.

The film is suspenseful, but it could have used a lot more visceral moments and action. Also, the presentation is fractured in its chronology at times, which I found to be a bit unnecessary. As far as developments with plot and characters, you get just enough, but even then, a lot of it is just standard stuff we've seen before.

I give it credit though for at least keeping my attention, even if there's really not a whole lot that goes on. See it if you want, but it's fine if you don't.
July 25, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Once in... There's no way out.

Not so good.... I really wanted to like this movie. It has good actors, and the chance of a great storyline. Unfortunately, that did not help this movie in the least. When it comes to this kind of cop film, you need direction, some one that can tell the story at a good pace, connect all the dots, get you engrossed in the mood of the film, make you sit and wait for more clues and so on, but this film lacks all of that. At the end your lost in the story, characters are totally uninteresting and you know when you are done with the movie that you could have spend your time differently. Not recommended!

Souder, a homicide detective in a small Texan town, and his partner, transplanted New York City cop Detective Heigh, track a sadistic serial killer dumping his victims' mutilated bodies in a nearby marsh locals call 'The Killing Fields'. Though the swampland crime scenes are outside their jurisdiction, Detective Heigh is unable to turn his back on solving the gruesome murders. Despite his partner's warnings, he sets out to investigate the crimes. Before long, the killer changes the game and begins hunting the detectives, teasing them with possible clues at the crime scenes while always remaining one step ahead. When familiar local girl Anne goes missing, the detectives find themselves racing against time to catch the killer and save the young girl's life.
May 19, 2012
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Texas Killing Fields is a pretty good debut from Ami Canaan Mann, a director that should be judged on her own work rather than her fathers. If you're going down that road though you may want stop at Miami Vice. Anyway, this film achieves the suitably dark and eerie mood of the story well, I thought Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jessica Chastain were very good in their roles, as was Stephen Graham who I was surprised to see. Sam Worthington was good as the troubled and angry Cop but unfortunately his accent wasn't up to much and I couldn't understand much of what he said. I thought it was quite strong in general, very light on cliches and very intense in mood. Not bad looking either.
May 9, 2012

Super Reviewer

Cast: Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jessica Chastain, Chloe Moretz, Jason Clarke

Director:Ami Canaan Mann

Summary: While trying to crack a string of unsolved murders in small-town Texas, local homicide detective Souder and his former New York City cop partner Heigh find themselves involved in a cat-and-mouse game with the killer.

My Thoughts: "The movie is not scary, bloody, or any kind of horror. It is a good suspense film that has a good pace and interesting concept. The film being inspired by true events makes it more interesting. Sam Worthington plays bad cop and Jeffrey Dean plays good cop, and it works well. Sometimes Sam seems to be a bit over dramatic, but he still pulls in a strong performance. I really enjoyed the setting of the film. It was dark and sometimes creepy. The editing and the script could have been improved and I would have liked some more action. But in the end the performances from Sam, Jeffrey, and Chloe really make this film watchable. Not bad for this being Ami Mann's first film. Can't wait to see more."
March 13, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Detective Heigh: Which one of you found the hand?
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Mike Souder: If she is in the fields, she is as good as gone.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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