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Now Playing

A Walk Among The Tombstones

Playing at:   Camera 12 Downtown - Buy Tickets

Director: Scott Frank (The Lockout)

Cast: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Maurice Compte, Mark Consuelos, Annika Peterson and David Harbour

Synopsis: When Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop now working as an unlicensed private investigator, reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, he learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime . . . nor will it be the last. Blurring the lines between right and wrong, Scudder races to track the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again. "A taut, intense, not-to-be-missed thriller."--Tri-City Herald

Running Time: 114 Minutes
(plus 8-10 minutes of trailers)

Official Web Site:

MPAA Rating: R


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A taut, intense thriller

By Gary Wolcott

A Walk Among the Tombstones is Scott Frank's second effort as a director. Frank -- who is best known as a screenwriter with credits like Get Shorty, Out of Sight, The Minority Report, Marley and Me and The Lookout -- should direct more.

This one is based on Lawrence Block's novel. Frank casts Liam Neeson as a retired cop and recovering alcoholic Matt Scudder. He isn't a detective but does investigative favors for people for cash. Scudder is solicited by a drug dealer whose wife has been murdered. That leads him to two twisted psychopaths who pretend to be DEA agents, grab the wives, girlfriends or children of dealers, and brutally murder them after getting copious amounts of money.

Frank's casting is as good as his movie. Neeson -- who pretty much does what he's done in the awful Taken movies -- benefits from Frank's exceptional script. He's terrific, as are the well-underplayed villains played by David Harbour and Adam David Thompson.

Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens and a new star, Astro, plays the homeless T.J. who helps Scudder solve the mystery.

Nothing in movies beats a taut thriller. A Walk Among the Tombstones has Silence of the Lambs intensity and a mystery that Frank unfolds much like a book with slow, deliberate patience. Every scene drips with tension. As Neeson's Scudder walks the city, you know bad things await in every building and on every corner.

Don't miss A Walk Among the Tombstones. It is nail-chewing and theater-seat-arm-rest-gripping fun from start to finish.

Copyright 2014 Tri-City Herald

Sad cop vs. really bad guys

By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic

Liam Neeson doesn't do the impossible in A Walk Among the Tombstones. No fending off hordes of Albanian sex-traffickers, no rooftop chases around Istanbul, no life-saving heroics 40,000 feet in the air. In fact, in this moodily suspenseful, seriously grisly adaptation of the Lawrence Block mystery, Neeson's Matthew Scudder - an ex-cop private eye with an AA medallion commemorating eight years of sobriety - can barely keep up with the bad guys.

And they are truly bad: a creepy duo who have kidnapped a drug-dealer's wife, extorted $400,000 ransom, then killed the beautiful missus anyway, leaving her body parts in the trunk of an abandoned car.

It's not the sort of job that Scudder - unlicensed as a P.I., still brandishing his NYPD badge when he needs to impress - usually takes. But rightly troubled spouse Kenny Kristo (played with unrecognizable icy cool by Dan Stevens, a.k.a. that sappy blueblood Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey) makes a compelling case, and Scudder accepts the assignment. First things first: off to look up newspaper stories about abducted women on the library's microfiche. (OK, it's set in 1999, with lots of worry about a Y2K crash. But still, kind of quaint.)

A Walk Among the Tombstones was scripted and directed by Scott Frank, who crafted one of the best of all Elmore Leonard adaptations (Out of Sight, for Steven Soderbergh) and whose directing debut, 2007's The Lookout, was a satisfyingly noir-ish heist caper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Here, he gets Neeson to do a convincing New York accent, and to walk around with a hangdog look and hulking gait. The actor's Scudder spends a lot of time nursing mugs of coffee in diner booths, and nursing old wounds from his boozing and shooting-at-gang-bangers days. But he's a good cop, and knows how to follow leads, dig for clues, and extract information from folks who maybe don't want to share.

It doesn't take long for Scudder to realize that the abduction and deadly degradation of Mrs. Kristo was not a one-off deal. These guys (Sebastian Roché, Adam David Thompson) are serial predators. And before Scudder (with some help from Brian "Astro" Bradley, as a homeless teen) can catch up with the jumpsuited perps in their windowless van, other women have been grabbed off the street, taken to a grim basement, abused, and killed.

A Walk Among the Tombstones isn't jolly stuff. It has the steady pace of a police procedural, with a flawed but noble hero and the colorful lowlifes that populate any hard-boiled mystery scribe's world. Its window into the lives of the sick and sociopathic is creepy and explicit, but not terribly probing. Psychological motivations are unimportant.

The motives of Neeson's Matthew Scudder, on the other hand, are very much a concern. We want to see him gain some kind of victory, even if tainted with blood and regret.

copyright 2014 Philadelphia Enquirer


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