Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: R for language, violence and mature themes
Run Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes
A tragic accident sets gears in motion in this tightly-crafted thriller that speaks to the notion of second chances.
Playing fast and loose with Daddy’s car lands teenage hockey star Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in a world of hurt; mentally and emotionally impaired by a severe head injury.
later Chris exists on a steady diet of meds and does time at a
meeting with ex-schoolmate Gary Spargo (Matthew Goode) drastically alters the
landscape. Chris and Gary make friendly and start hanging with
meeting wasn’t a stroke of fate after all. Once immersed in
Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Scott Frank (“Out of Sight”, “Get Shorty”) comprehends more than putting ideas on paper. His touch behind the camera (in an inspiring debut) is equally deft; allowing his actors to work their magic while he offers up a haunting neo-noir backdrop that simmers with angst. Both tone and pacing are silky smooth, compensating for some sporadic dramatic convention.
Jeff Daniels keeps the cred intact with a smart turn as Chris’ blind roomie cum helpmate Lewis – wise to the ways of the world and Gary Spargo’s particular brand of snaky lowlife. Fisher is a bright spot as the aptly named Luvlee but Levitt effortlessly steals the show; blessed with the It factor in spades.
Well worth a lookout.