In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_alice_through_the_looking_glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass

There is no magic, no wonder, just junk rehashed from a movie that was itself a rehash of Lewis Carroll, tricked out with physically unpersuasive…

Thumb_large_dyxig7wzovccwribwdhhcebdqxj

Holy Hell

The story of a cult as told by a filmmaker assigned to glorify it; intriguing but superficial.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

Texas Killing Fields

Texas Killing Fields Movie Review
  |  

Mike Souder (Sam Worthington) and Brian Heigh (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) are on the case. Souder's former wife, Pam (Jessica Chastain), a detective in a nearby jurisdiction, is investigating the murder of another young woman, and of course suspects it will be found not far from a killing field. Brian agrees with Pam that there seems to be some pattern in the two almost simultaneous murders, but Mike doesn't want to get involved in a case with his ex. Bad memories.



"Texas Killing Fields" begins along the lines of a police procedural and might have been perfectly absorbing if it had played by the rules: strict logic, attention to detail, reference to technical police work. Unfortunately, the movie often seems to stray from such discipline. Scenes do not always necessarily follow one another. I was sometimes unclear who some of the characters were. Developments were explored that seemed of great importance to the detectives, and then the film would seem to lose track of them.

The locations and cinematography distract from these problems because they have great intrinsic interest. If nothing riveting is happening, it seems to be taking place in a locale where it could happen; the fields and the worn little towns around them seem pregnant with possibilities.

One line of investigation involves a young local girl, Little Ann Sliger (Chloe Grace Moretz). She is being raised by a slatternly mother (Sheryl Lee), who works a step down from prostitution because she is a service provider who essentially wants not money but company. Little Ann is, for me, the most interesting character in the movie, and somehow if the story could have been rotated to focus on her, the other elements might have been lined up better.

Cop movies seem to require chase scenes and shootouts. This movie has both, and the chase is well-done. But there seems no urgent reason to have made this movie; no character stands out, the plot seems absentminded, and what we're left with are the killing fields, which supply a great title but not much of a resolution. The movie was produced by Michael Mann ("Collateral," "Heat"), father of its director, Ami Canaan Mann, but "Texas Killing Fields" doesn't reflect his usual tight grip on structure.



Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Memoirs of a Geisha, Part II: How Are Geisha or Nerd Stereotypes Harmful?

Part two of Jana Monji's essay about the portrayal of Asian characters in cinema.

I believe Dylan Farrow

Separating the artist from the art isn't as easy as it sounds.

Back to "Roots" with a Multi-Channel Remake of the Television Classic

A review of the History Channel remake of the landmark mini-series, "Roots."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus