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The Falls (2003)

R  |   |  Thriller, Drama  |  29 October 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 103 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

In a smoke-filled dive in Buffalo, NY, David Marx tells us his tale of obsession, betrayal, and murder - leading him to an uncertain fate "underneath Niagara Falls." David tells us how his ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
David Marx
Jennifer Barnes
Robin Stevens
Ken Dapper ...
Detective Allen Crane
Steve Briscoe ...
Detective Kevin O'Keefe
Scott Pierson
David Kampman ...
Ethan Barnes
Daniel Munro
Evelyn Gilvray
Nelson Starr ...
Marcia Wade ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eric Crossan ...
Barnes' Bodyguard "Nick"
Paul DeNigris ...
Barnes Mansion forensics officer


In a smoke-filled dive in Buffalo, NY, David Marx tells us his tale of obsession, betrayal, and murder - leading him to an uncertain fate "underneath Niagara Falls." David tells us how his beautiful redheaded ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Barnes, has disappeared and how he ended up the guardian of the 2.5 million dollars that "was supposed to have bought Jen's safety." Three nights ago, David finds police detectives Crane and O'Keefe trashing his apartment. Taking him to Police Headquarters, they interrogate David about Jennifer's disappearance, and Crane - in the name of Jen's father, the rich and powerful Ethan Barnes - brutalizes poor David in hopes of getting a confession out of him. When falsely accused, what's a film noir hero to do but search for the truth himself? Written by Paul DeNigris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Obsession kills.


Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality


Official Sites:



Release Date:

29 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Falls  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$75,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Every single shot was post-processed in Adobe After Effects for intense color manipulation, visual effects, and compositing. See more »


Detective Allen Crane: This ain't America, you little shit. This is Buffalo. I'm the big dog around here, and I CAN piss all over your rights. I can put you in the ground if I want to.
See more »


Referenced in Everything Works Out: The Making of 'The Falls' (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Other than name actors, what more could you want?
28 November 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Considering the state of the independent film industry these days - where you need "name" actors just to get noticed, let alone to get into the likes of Sundance - it is indeed a major accomplishment that writer-producer-director (and more) Paul DeNigris made his little $75k movie with no stars and not only got it into 5 film festivals but also got it distributed. The film's acceptance into the IFP Market - the event that launched Edward Burns, Kevin Smith, and Quentin Tarantino to name a few - speaks volumes as to the quality of the project in every regard. Having seen it myself at one of the festivals (Garden State), I can say that what I enjoyed most was the way the film honors its film noir roots in terms of plot, style, and iconography while at the same time making the genre feel fresh.

The way color is used in particular seems like a natural progression from noir's expressionistic use of light and shadow in its black and white cinematography - light and color work thematically to help tell the story and aren't just "eye candy." Neither are the visual effects, which the director loves to point out but frankly, I didn't notice them. Whatever effects work was done must serve the story so seamlessly that I just didn't give them a second thought. All in all, the way the images were handled really transcends the film's digital origins. For a first-time director, DeNigris coaxed strong performances from his actors, most notably leads Tully and Kilgore as well as supporting player Briscoe. The music - both the score by composer Starr and the standalone songs by indie rock acts - served the material well.

This is a good, twisty mystery, well-told within the confines of its budget and technology. Other than name actors, what more could you want? I personally, can't wait to see what this filmmaker does next.

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