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Rated R · 90 minutes · 2012

Craig Zobel, maker of the incisive music-biz satire Great World of Sound, was evidently just warming up. This near-docudrama based on the real-life “McDonald’s strip search scam” succeeds on every level – as a nail-biting psychological drama; as an actors’ showcase for Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, and the rest of the cast; and as a thumbnail meditation on gullibility, responsibility, and what might be called the dialectic of power. At a Midwestern fast-food restaurant, a sexual predator impersonating a police officer phones in a “robbery investigation” and essentially bends (almost) everyone in the shop toward his criminal will, over the phone, with no questions asked. How did it happen? Writer-director Zobel wisely offers no ready-made explanation. He just forces us to watch what happens, as it reportedly did in more than seventy cases in thirty states. Not for everyone, but those who stick with it will probably have their assumptions challenged and their attitudes overhauled. Highly recommended. (90 min.)

See our full review: The Ten Best Movies of 2012

The Ten Best Movies of 2012

This year, it was all about genre. »



Listen and obey. »

Director: Craig Zobel
Cast: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger, James McCaffrey and Ashlie Atkinson



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