8/10 Two months ago I reviewed “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” from writer/director Macon Blair. I gave the film an 8/10 and have dug many of the films he has worked on through writing, producing or even acting in. He pops up in a small role here and due to him co-writing this film, it should be of no surprise that he has helped make another strong cinematic offering. Props must also be given to director/co-writer Evan Katz, as the film is truly his since he is the one who directed it but it has Blair’s fingerprints all over it and I’m happy about that. The film has a stellar cast and many character actors pop in and out for smaller, supporting roles. Gary Cole stood out to me as one of the best in the film with his limited screen time. It is ironic that the main star of the film is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from “Game of Thrones” since, like GoT, this film also has no qualms about killing characters off, something I admire in films and television since the vast majority of films and television like to play it safe and spoon feed us happily ever after endings. This film has bursts of violence that seem to blindside the audience out of nowhere and the last act in particular has some surprising twists and turns that I really enjoyed. Earlier this year I reviewed “Imperial Dreams” and recently “All Day and a Night”, both dealing with black men who serve hard time and have to adjust back to civilian life where it is too easy to get pulled back into a life of crime. Here, we get a white man struggling with the same problem, albeit in a completely different way. We get to see the struggle with his parents and people who still hate him for what he did in the past, despite him having served out his time. It is a very loose thread that connects all three films and although the other two deal with the racial aspect of things and “Small Crimes” doesn’t, I prefer this film the most of the three. The pacing is fantastic, characters get developed, the violence is well done and unexpected and I was surprised all the way up until the final scene. My complaints were all fairly mild and didn’t impede my enjoyment of the film but are still worth noting. The film’s score felt very out of place for the film’s content and mood so it served as more of a distraction than anything. A few characters are almost developed a little too quickly, with their changes coming on too fast and not more naturally in due time. A lot is able to happen without police or the proper authorities stepping in or taking much notice which felt a bit unrealistic but was forgivable. Finally, a scene early on has Blair’s character in a Marine uniform that not only lacks a rank, but is not authorized to be worn off base, which showed how inaccurate the film was when it came to its military subject matter, which always frustrates me, especially since I’m a Marine myself. All in all, the A1 cast, unexpected moments, disciplined direction and strong script make this another hidden Netflix gem that if you’re ok with violence, it would be a small crime for you to miss out on this film.
#ASecondChance2 / #GameOfDisowns / #PoliceGory / #JailBirdBox / #HouseOfGuards / #FIsForFelony