Texas Killing Fields - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Texas Killing Fields Reviews

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½ February 5, 2014
"Once in...There's no way out."

Texas Killing Fields had the potential to be one of those rare and memorable suspense thrillers that actually work; it had a strong cast, the cinematography was beautifully executed by Stuart Dryburgh creating a depressing atmosphere fitting the tone of the story, and an interesting premise. But somewhere along the way the execution didn't work and the film failed to live up to its potential. I can't say if it was the script or the editing, but the story felt incomplete and incoherent at times. Ami Canaan Mann, Michael Mann's daughter, failed to dig deeper into the storyline and the result was a sort of disjointed film. I still enjoyed the film for the atmosphere and suspense it was creating, but the two different story lines never seemed to be fully developed and I couldn't help but feel that something was left out in the editing floor. I kept on expecting more, but I was disappointed despite the solid performances. I'm a fan of gritty detective stories, and this film does succeed in being gritty and dark, but the detective elements of the story never added up. I'm currently watching the HBO series, True Detective, and that show absolutely gets everything that this movie didn't, right. Skip this film and watch True Detective instead.

Inspired by true events, Don Ferrarone wrote the screenplay about a series of murders taking place in the Texas Killing Fields. When the film opens we are introduced to Detectives Mike Sauder (Sam Worthington) and Brian Heigh (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who are investigating a murder that took place near a gas station. Brian receives a call from Detective Pam Stall (Jessica Chastain) about a missing woman who she believes might be yet another victim of a serial killer who leaves the bodies of young girls in the abandoned Texas Killing Fields. Pam is Mike's ex-wife and Mike insists that they can't help her because those cases are out of their jurisdiction and they have to solve this case they are in now. However they still try to help out while working on their case. Brian is a loving father who takes an interest in a young girl named Ann (Chloe Grace Moretz) who comes from an abusive dysfunctional family, while Mike is more of a loner. Mike's clues lead him to investigate two local criminals (one of them played by Jason Clarke), while Brian is more focused on finding the serial killer in the dangerous Killing Fields.

Both investigations really caught my attention, but unfortunately one of them was kind of left out and forgotten at the end leaving me feeling a bit disappointed. The two main actors give solid performances, but their characters share the typical cliches found in other buddy cop films. Chastain is a seriously talented actress, but unfortunately her character didn't have much to work with. She has little screen time and is underused. I'm a huge fan of Chloe Grace Moretz and I have seen most of her films, but her character doesn't do much in this story either. None of the characters were developed too well and the film basically focused on the police procedural that began promising but got off track really quick by presenting two disjointed story lines. I can see how this film might work for some people because it has a talented cast, but I just felt it was a bit disjointed and incomplete. I'm still glad they made a film about this side of America that is usually not presented in Hollywood.
January 17, 2014
great cast, boring and predictable movie
April 21, 2012
If i read the comments from other viewers , i have to say ...some are right , so i give half a star less .
On my dvd the second watch is the same
½ October 31, 2013
A moody environment for an hard-bitten detective investigation, but this is done with little pace to it, much to the film's detriment.
October 20, 2013
This boring bayou film directed by Michael Mann's daughter this has some of the heavyweight police procedural of her father's oeuvre but none of the action or storytelling as cops Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen's The Comedian) play antagonistic partners investigating murders of young women in and around the Houston area sometime crossing lines, boundaries, relationships and jurisdictions to get their job done. The 1 1/2 hour runtime seems much longer given the slow pace which is a shame as there are some great performances (especially from Kick Ass' ChloŽ Moretz and Snatch's Stephen Graham) but the whole doesn't hang together too well and some faster editing would have done the movie a world of good. 6/10 Midlands Movies Mike
October 20, 2013
Uneven, unpleasant and unimpressive, despite a fine cast. The plot is mush.
October 10, 2013
cops seemed not to follow regulations sometimes hard to follow but decent film
September 22, 2013
Great killer, great story, and followed up, not really fond of how they finish the movie, but its based on true events. For someone who knows about this killings, creepy as hell.
October 29, 2011
it was good kept me interested for awhile
September 19, 2013
Texas Killing Fields is very straightforward and runs along quite pleasantly. I think it's a pretty good watch if you're interested in small town serial murder cop thrillers. I particularly liked Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Chloe Grace Moretz here, though not too fussed with Sam Worthington and had to use subtitles to understand what he was saying at times. What's with him and his dreadful accents? I think the ending poses more questions than it answers for me and the whole closing felt quite rushed with little depth, i was shocked at how simple solving the case was. Overall this is quite good if you catch it on TV or pick it up at Blockbuster on a dark lonely rainy day but the plot lets it down.
August 18, 2013
Very poor, elongated episode of CSI, but not as well written, directed or produced. Very mediocre plot, with no explanation what was going on or why, and with extraneous baddies of whom we have no idea how they fit in to the story. The sound quality made understanding the actors difficult, especially the inexplicably popular Sam Worthington who mumbles his way through the movie. He really is a Woodentop!
August 2, 2013
An incoherent mess.....
½ July 30, 2013
It couldn't hold my interest due to not having an engaging plot or characters.
July 28, 2013
Texas Killing Fields is a suitably grim and atmospheric movie that boasts fine performances and solid direction, but is let down by an uninspiring screenplay filled with one dimentional characters
Super Reviewer
August 18, 2011
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.
½ June 17, 2013
While it is suspenseful enough and definitely captures the eeriness of the Fields, there is far too much important information missing and far too much useless dreck included. The performances are excellent, but the script itself clearly needed a few more rewrites. With some tightening, focus and a clear vision, this film could have been groundbreaking rather than just dumped and left for dead.
June 17, 2013
the performances are not believable.
May 27, 2013
One of the best movies I've seen in my entire life. And looks like it's misunderstood and hugely underestimated. Man's daughter is true genius and I believe that despite ignorant reviews by children minded reviewers won't discourage her. this is a true jewel
½ May 20, 2013
It's structured poorly, it flows weird, and some of the plot points are difficult to follow, but it's all forgivable for me because the acting and the cinematography are both so great. As soon as I saw Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the box I was psyched, but when I saw Sam Worthington my heart sank. I was convinced he would be what that sends this film screeching off the road, but he really was very good. Jessica Chastain was of course fantastic as well, and so was Stephen Graham, but someone I was really disappointed in was Jason Clarke. That guy is a genius, and he really let me down with this one. Overall it was forgettable, but it was a fantastic debut for Ami Canaan Mann.
½ May 10, 2013
This bleak procedural is in many ways is the opposite of the film Se7en. A big city cop goes to the sticks to find redemption. If Se7en is a narrative from the perspective of the young, optimistic atheist trying to make future and understand a perversely moralistic killer then this is a film from the perspective of a struggling yet pious man trying to reconcile the past and understand an irrational and amoral killer. And while this film is obtuse at times it is a promising work of a director with much potential. Great central performances.
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