Dragged Across Concrete ★★★★

I’ve had this sitting in my queue for a while because I’m a fan of Mel Gibson, despite his well-publicized drunken fit 15 years ago or so. I had never heard of the movie, and new absolutely nothing about it going into it. It would be both lazy and naïve to say this film is slow. That’s not the right word, although someone who pays less attention may feel that way. I would use the word deliberate. Every beat has its place, and every scene has a purpose. While my wife asked me, “what did you just make me watch?”, the honest answer is that I’m not totally sure… but that isn’t a bad thing. Like Bill Murray in Broken Flowers, or the novel Tom Sawyer, this film is more of a snapshot of a person’s (or multiple people’s) life. There’s no lesson. There are no monologues. There isn’t a tidy bow on it. It’s dark and gritty and gratuitous and unnecessary. But that’s what makes it good. An unexpected gem for sure. This isn’t a mass market film — it isn’t paced for the ADD-addled mind. You can’t get the gist by flipping through your phone as you watch it. It has a subtle intensity to it which draws your attention, but you have to be willing to give it in order to get something from it. Well-done.