Straight Time ★★★★

Amazing. I had never heard of this film or its director Ulu Grosbard before. Or Grosbard - so I thought, but as it turned out I have seen Falling in Love with De Niro and Streep without paying much attention to who directed it.

Anyway. This film was a great, positive surprise. Max (Hoffman) is a small-time thief who is released from prison after doing a six year accumulated sentence for several burglaries. He is released into the hands of a parole officer (Walsh), who turns out to be a real scumbag. However, Max manages to find both adequate housing, a job and even a girlfriend (Russell) in very short time, the latter being the one who finds him his job as she works at the unemployment agency.

For a short while, things are looking quite good for Max, but a visit from his friend Willy (Busey) again puts him into trouble after Willy leaves traces of illegal substances at his apartment. From there on its downhill for Max, who more or less gives up all hope of reestablishing himself into the society. If he ever believed in it in the first place. From this point on there's an increasing feeling that no good will come from this, and that it will affect all the characters.

I found this to be so great, especially since never having heard it mentioned in any context. Dustin Hoffman - hardly a shocking revelation - delivers a standout performance. M. Emmet Walsh is a true contender for the «M. Emmet Walsh sleazeball award», and there are strong supporting actors in the form of Harry Dean Stanton and Theresa Russell.

Under 100 people has checked this on letterboxd - help increase that number. For the greater good - but mostly for your own.

Jacob liked this review