Saturday, May 13, 2017

[Review] Small Crimes

Netflix Original films can be hit or miss. This year the streaming platform has released some great ones like Burning Sands and I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore, and some dismal ones like The Discovery and whatever Adam Sandler has been up. Small Crimes falls somewhere in between.

Nikolaj "The Kingslayer" Coster-Waldau plays Joe, a disgraced ex-cop who gets released from prison, striving for a second chance and an opportunity see his daughters again. But trouble follows him just as much as he follows trouble, and he digs himself deeper and deeper into a hole of corruption.

While its title is vague and indistinct, the film's dialogue and visual cues come across as a bit too on-the-nose for their own good--like the way the script rattles off clunky exposition of past events, or the scene where Joe grips an AA sobriety coin while he tosses back a couple shots at the bar. Still, it's an okay little crime drama and a mildly serviceable story of a botched attempt at redemption. It contains some surprisingly pulpy violence, messy dilemmas, and memorable performances from secondary characters--most notably from Macon Blair (Blue Ruin, Green Room, & director of the aforementioned I Don't Feel At Home...), who also serves as a co-writer here.

Nikolaj is competent enough in this shaggy role if you can forgive his Danish accent that often sneaks through. But compared to how great he is as Jaime Lannister in "Game of Thrones", he sometimes can seem sort of stilted and uncomfortable in other things, and this film is no exception. And if the filmmakers were trying to make his character sympathetic, well, it doesn't work. A lot of Joe's problems are of his own doing, and he pretty much effs over everyone he comes in contact with. But maybe that's the point. Some people are just too far gone, and redemption isn't even an option.

( 6.5/10 )

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1 comment:

  1. I must disagree, I thought it was solid in most respects, surprisingly good, though dark, indeed.