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Wes Bentley rarely takes on leading roles, probably partially because his youthful, nondescript features lead audiences to identify with him most as a background player. Things People Do, a quiet drama directed by The Thin Red Line editor Saar Klein, finds Bentley taking on the main role of insurance adjuster Bill Scanlon, who turns to a life of crime when always playing the nice guy leaves him jobless and heavily in debt. Unfortunately, the film’s plodding, ham-fisted narrative allows neither Bentley nor Things People Do as a whole any opportunity to leave even the slightest impression.

Klein and co-writer Joe Conway clearly wanted their film to be received as a morality play, with seemingly every line of dialogue holding deeper meaning. In moderation, symbolic dialogue can be one of a screenwriter’s most potent weapons, but here it’s more exhausting than enlightening. One of the reasons Things People Do »

- Isaac Feldberg

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