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Rated R · 110 min. · 2010

Director Michael Winterbottom does his damnedest to faithfully adapt author Jim Thompson’s bitterly misanthropic noir novel about a psychotic sheriff’s deputy (Casey Affleck) cracking up in a Texas oil town. And yet there’s something missing. What’s not missing is a full helping of Thompson’s brutal violence, directed at the deputy’s girlfriend (Kate Hudson, treading water), a blackmailing prostitute (miscast Jessica Alba), a crooked real estate developer (Ned Beatty), an unlucky drifter (Brent Briscoe), and seemingly anyone else who crosses paths with Deputy Lou Ford. Winterbottom tries to deflect the savagery with period Fifties country and rockabilly tunes, but the strange taste lingers. Other directors (Frears, Tavernier, et al.) translated Thompson’s nightmare milieu to the screen in a manner that neither bruised the audience’s feelings overly nor skimped on the author’s essential mood of doom. Winterbottom concentrates on surfaces, and the surface is too rough for its own good. Also with Elias Koteas, Tom Bower, and Bill Pullman. Screenplay adaptation by John Curran and Winterbottom (109 min.).

See our full review: Time Killers

Time Killers

The Killer Inside Me doesn't pull its punches. But Cyrus and Air Doll do. »

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Writer: John Curran and Jim Thompson
Cast: Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Simon Baker, Casey Affleck, Elias Koteas, Bill Pullman, Ned Beatty, Liam Aiken and Tom Bower

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