A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.
When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.
Matt Scudder is a former cop now a private eye. He is asked by a drug dealer to find the men who kidnapped his wife. It seems like they killed her even after he paid them. Scudder refuses. But the man later goes to see him and tells him how his wife was killed. Scudder takes the job. He does some research and thinks the men he is looking for have done this more than once. And that everyone they grabbed is connected to a drug dealer. He was about to give up when they grab another girl and Scudder tries make sure she's returned alive. Written by
The novel it is based on is #10 in the series of Matt Scudder novels by Lawrence Block. As of 2013 there are 17 novels by this author about the character, the latest published in 2011. See more »
During the fight in the basement, the table starts to break before they fully hit it, making it obvious that the table wasn't "real", also Scudder picks up the table leg and it is obviously cut straight across rather then jagged like a break would be. See more »
That accomplished Irish actor, Liam Neeson, sidestepped a distinguished Broadway stage career (Anna Christie, The Judas Kiss, The Crucible) for the allure of the big screen. After successful roles in diverse films like Nell, Rob Roy, Michael Collins, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Kinsey, and his peak performance in Schindler's List, he found his niche as an action hero, a sort of everyday common man facing one crisis after the next, just bordering on, but not quite, the superhero. Most moviegoers seem to enjoy this screen persona and his recent acting choices in these conventional thrillers. A Walk Among the Tombstones is another one of these exercises in the action genre with mostly entertaining results.
￼Neeson plays Matt Scudder, a disgraced ex-cop and now P.I. who is hired by a drug dealer (Dan Stevens, taking a giant leap from his Matthew Crawley character from Downton Abbey) to find his wife's killer and exact revenge. Along the way, our solemn hero runs into many unsavory characters, violent encounters, and gruesome murders. His investigation also lead him to a runaway sidekick named T.J. (Brian "Astro" Bradley) who idolizes the detective genre and talks of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe. As moviegoers, we are suppose to connect that association with our modern crusader, but there's really no parallel in comparison. Their relationship seems forced and lacks credibility. Their sparing is only there as a plot device to move the action along.
￼A Walk Among the Tombstones holds one's interest, especially in its first hour, as Scudder tries to unravel the killings and the motives for the crimes, but midway, the guilty parties are revealed and the gripping mystery never picks up the pace from there. Instead, the film becomes just another predictable and somewhat dull crime thriller with murder and mayhem overtaking the plot. There are moments of real suspense due to the solid direction by Scott Frank, but his screenplay has some leaps of logic throughout the film. Also, unexplained events during the climactic showdown never quite fall into place. One expects some twists or sudden revelation, but it's all routine procedure and not completely satisfying.
Neeson is effective and bring much authority to his role. Adam David Thompson and especially David Harbour are eerily believable as menacing and crazed villains. Ólafur Darri Ólafsson and Eric Nelsen offer strong support in smaller roles.
A Walk Among the Tombstones is a grim tale of murder and violence that rambles to its ultimate conclusion when it should strive for more. GRADE: B-
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