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

RogerEbert.com

Thumb large ouygaatyh4jzithj6fi3uyf31ri

Wonder

You’ll shed a tear or two—especially if you’re a parent—and they’ll be totally earned.

Thumb mv5bztg3yteznjytzty2ns00yjnmltlhnjutzti2m2e5ndi4m2njxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymzi3mdezmzm . v1 sy1000 cr0 0 675 1000 al

Mudbound

The film invites us to observe its characters, to hear their inner voices, to see what they see and to challenge our own preconceived notions…

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…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Journal Archives
Other Articles
Channel 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.

Advertisement

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

Why I Stopped Watching Woody Allen Movies

Stop watching movies made by assholes. It'll be OK.

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

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

Tears of a Machine: The Humanity of Luv in "Blade Runner 2049"

No character in “Blade Runner 2049” is more relatably human than Luv.

“Call of Duty” and “Wolfenstein” Redefine the Modern WWII Game

A review of two of the biggest games of 2017, a pair that use World War II in very different ways.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus