Dragged Across Concrete ★★★½

Although I would say this is the least of S. Craig Zahler's movies so far, it's certainly an interesting one (though not interesting enough to warrant it's ungodly runtime). Here, Zahler essentially took an noir-ish crime thriller but removed all frivolities and stylization; seeing what that type of story would look like in very stark realism. It seems like static camerawork is something of a trademark of his, and while it works very well in more tense scenes of violence (since Zahler never seems to favor any character too much and they could get the axe pretty abruptly) I think this style makes dialogue scenes stretch out a little too long with no visuals to back them up.

The bank scene definitely changed around the tone of the movie, even though you knew what would happen Zahler's flat shots and lack of emotion help build tension really well by not giving away any outwards clues to events. This is also when the story proper starts, so there's more narrative push after that point. I do think Zahler could have edited down the opening act a little to ease the ridiculous length, but it's not too heinous.Also, even though this isn't quite as gorily visceral as his other movies what makes this one interesting is the way Zahler writes and shoots everything so matter-of-factly, almost seeming to try to drain the emotional subtext from any scene. Especially in the post-climax scenes, events are carried out in the most businesslike manner that retains that tension since characters aren't visibly swayed by emotion.

I feel like I should also address breifly people's issues with this movie's "politics", a factor that I think has been blown out of proportion compared to what's actually in the movie. Sure, some political points are shoved in a little ham-fistedly near the opening but once the core plot of the story starts all of that pretty much drains away. Anyone calling this movie "alt-right" is being patently ridiculous, and even from a gore-shock value I think this pales in comparison to his other movies. Overall, this is nothing more than a decently made if a little bloated gritty heist movie. If you're a Zahler fan or like grimy, pessimistic crime dramas you'll be into this, but I think otherwise the length and drawn out nature will turn a lot of other people away.