The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ant-Man and the Wasp
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All Critics (9)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (3)
| Rotten (6)
Michael Cudlitz's first leading role is the sole selling point of this repellent character study.
Griffith's vulnerable performance is a standout. But the film's final third seems needlessly graphic.
"Dark Tourist" takes an effectively unpleasant trip down the lost highway of a morbid mind before its bad choices start catching up with it.
Griffith can break your heart as a good woman staggering under the weight of life, especially after her character places her last bit of faith in a dangerously damaged man.
"Dark Tourist" gets bogged down in insufferably slow-moving scenes - interestingly, when Jim is interacting with others, despite consummate performances from Cudlitz and Griffith.
There's a decent movie somewhere in the Dark Tourist, but unfortunately it never really comes to the surface and you're left with a film that is just disappointing.
Disappointingly resorts to a reductive dissection of its protagonist in the third reel, but The Grief Tourist benefits from Michael Cudlitz's suitably creepy performance, and is an atmospheric, suspenseful ride.
a deadly serious psychodrama with the emphasis on (finely acted) character, where even the odd transgressive twist serves and illuminates the story's integrity rather than just adding another cheap thrill.
Degenerate, depraved psycho-sexual drama revolving around a pathetic thrill-seeker who travels with intent to visit places of tragedy or disaster.
Pretty much a pale imitation of Taxi Driver. I think there's a decent idea here, at the very least, that sees a psychologically unstable man traveling to places where murderous rampages occurred. While he's there he sees visions of the murderers, constructs of his own mind, as they explain why they did what they did and why Jim should do the same to those whom he felt wronged him as a child. Or at least the same kind of people. Of course it all goes back to some trauma Jim suffered as a child and how that has psychologically tortured him for most of his adult life. I think that's certainly a good enough idea, and there's elements of a really smart character study here, but it just doesn't really work because of its pacing and structure. The film certainly benefits from a solid central performance from Michael Cudlitz, who does pull the role well. He is someone who's fighting the urge to lash out at the world, at least until the ending where you see just how depraved this man really is, and seeing that struggle within him is pretty interesting because of Cudlitz's performance. He tries to connect to someone in the real world, in the form of Betsy, played by Griffith. It goes about as unsuccessful as you would imagine for someone who can't get sexually aroused by women and, in some way, actively hates them. He pushes her away and treats her like crap. It's kinda sad how Betsy, and Griffith does a good job at making her empathetic, puts her last ounce of faith in such a dangerous and violent man. The last act of the film is fairly violent and graphic, perhaps needlessly so, but I think it illustrates just how depraved Jim's mind truly was. The twist of the film comes in the fact that what you see in the movie isn't the first time this has happened. Jim has gone around the country, visiting places where tragedies happen, and gone on to murder a transvestite prostitute in each state. This was his way of being remembered and obsessed over, the same way he obsessed every murderer and the crimes they committed. He feels that this is his own way of making a mark in this world. I realize it all sounds good when going over it, but the movie never really clicked as a character study for me. I don't really know what it is to be honest. It's certainly not the violence, as The Raid 2 was more violent than this and it's my favorite movie of the year, along with the Lego Movie, it's just that the examination of this character just feels a little bit forced. I don't blame Michael Cudlitz for this as, I believe, he had no involvement in the writing of the film. He's just acting out what was given to him. And he does a good enough job, I just think the film was needlessly ugly at times. Almost like it was going for shock value instead character development. The film is certainly slow moving as well and this film is only 80 minutes long, less if you count the credits. So I think a combination of that and the script being concerned more with shock value than actual character development leaves this film almost in a state of limbo. It's not good, but it's not horrifically terrible in the least. I'd say this film, while I didn't think it was great, is worth at least a watch so people can come up with their own conclusions and opinions about the film. It's not something I would strongly recommend, but I think it at least offers something interesting to watch, even if it's not a good movie.
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