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Laramie Movie Scope: Deadfall

Intense crime drama

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 26, 2012 -- This crime drama is reminiscent of “A Perfect World” and other films in which an enigmatic stranger who seems nice enough at first turns out to be a stone cold killer on the run.

The film's plot is not all that complex. What makes it work are the interesting characters and the way they play off each other, creating complex emotional patterns. Three families are involved in the story, Addison (played by Eric Bana of “Star Trek”) and Liza (Olivia Wilde of “Tron: Legacy”) are a brother and sister bank robbery team on the run. Addison has just killed a cop in cold blood. Jay (Charlie Hunnam of “Sons of Anarchy”) who is also on the run from the police, is headed to meet his estranged father, Chet (Kris Kristofferson of “Dolphin Tale”), and his mother, June (Sissy Spacek of “The Help”) at their remote farm near the Canadian border. The third family is represented by the local sheriff, Becker (Treat Williams of “127 Hours”), whose daughter Hanna (Kate Mara of “127 Hours”) works for him. Becker is overprotective of his daughter and she wants his approval. Hanna is thinking about leaving town to work for the FBI.

All three of these families meet and interact in violent ways. Jay picks up Liza in a snowstorm on a remote road. Jay and Liza end up at Jay's parent's farm, along with Addison. Becker and Hanna are on Addison's trail (several men are killed by Addison along the way) and follow him to the farm. Along the way to their final rendezvous, Addison has a deadly encounter with an abusive man at a remote cabin and Jay and Liza have an intense sexual encounter while waiting for the roads to open after a bad snow storm.

The relationship between Jay and Liza is complicated by the complex relationship between Liza and her brother, Addison. This relationship dates back to Liza's childhood, when she suffered from abuse by her father. It is unclear to Jay how Liza feels about him. When it comes down to a choice between Jay and her brother, Addison, which one will she choose? There are old wounds to heal between Jay and his father. Becker blames his daughter for the death of the deputies killed by Addison, even though the deputies made their own reckless decisions that put them in danger unnecessarily.

I've made this sound a little bit too much like a psychological drama. It is also a gritty tale of survival. There is some action in this film, too. There is an interesting snowmobile chase. It was filmed in Canada. A top notch cast makes this a strong film. Eric Bana's performance is outstanding in this film. This could be his best work ever. The rest of the cast is very good also. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)