Small Crimes ★★½

Much like pretty much everyone else, I have largely enjoyed this high-quality run of small town crime dramas that we have been treated to in the last 5 or 6 years.

But Small Crimes feels like a film scraping by on the reputation of many which have gone before it, especially those Macon Blair affiliated films, rather than being its own film. It just about gets by thanks to a fine cast and excellent dialogue, but does its own promising plot a disservice by refusing to ever develop it properly and succumbing to what it thinks are audience expectations of this sort of thing.

The shootout near the end is a case in point. By having Blair just appear out of nowhere, it feels like nothing more than a way of making him seem like an important part of a film where he had previously only appeared in two brief scenes. It also embarks on a killing spree that throws characters under a bus for no other reason than it feels like it should, before almost rescuing itself with a powerful and correct final scene.

Pat Healy is especially hard done by, a splendidly threatening and vicious villain who is given absolutely no time to make the impact he could have had. Fortunately, Gary Cole is given enough to do to be the best thing in this and produce probably his best performance in over 15 years and one of the very best of his career as a cocksure cop.

Nikolak-Coster Waldau shows more than enough to prove he can lead a film more substantial than this, but overall this was both a disappointment and unnecessarily insubstantial. Plus, when are films going to learn that you don't have to punctuate and capitalise on web searches, come on.

Steve liked this review