Faults ★★★

Faults is a neat little acting showcase for Leland Orser, who is one of those character actors who you've seen play a bit-part businessman or cop at least twenty times, and who seems unlikely to ever have a shot at headlining a movie. I only really knew Orser from The Guest, in which I thought his performance was pitch-perfectly offbeat, and he's just as good, if not better, in Faults, as an expert in cults and mind control at dead ends in both his life and career. Desperate for quick cash, he accepts a job kidnapping and deprogramming a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) on behalf of her worried parents (Beth Grant and Chris Ellis). While the screenplay by director Riley Stearns doesn't necessarily do all the work required to get coherently from Point A to Point C, he excels as a director, creating memorable early moments as Orser obstinately hits rock bottom and developing solid tension and chemistry between the able members of his small cast. Winstead must be the most reliably compelling actress working today who is yet to become a major prestige movie star. Hopefully the only reason why she isn't considered a peer of Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams and Brie Larson is through her own preference of small independent movies; she's just as good as any of them. Orser proves himself capable of carrying a film with a distinctive and engaging take on disheveled vulnerability, and maybe on the strength of Faults he'll get another chance. Also with Lance Reddick and Jon Gries.