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The Death of Michael Smith (2006)

Three men, each named Michael Smith, are linked in various ways to a mysterious murder: the victim, the killer, and the homicide detective who's forced to try and sort it all out.

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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Moller ...
Michael Smith
...
Michael Smith
...
Michael Smith (as Mike Mili)
Matt Valade ...
(as Fox Valade)
Jennifer Lester
Oksana Mirzoyan ...
Miss Warren
Robert Emmett Young ...
Emmett Smith
George Pogacich ...
Gunman (as George Pogacich Jr.)
Dave Cunningham
Scott Wykoff
Jennifer Kitchen
...
Sammy Alazondo
Carol Bazan
Troy Gregory
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Storyline

Three men, each named Michael Smith, are linked in various ways to a mysterious murder: the victim, the killer, and the homicide detective who's forced to try and sort it all out.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Three lives. Bound by one fate.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

8 October 2006 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$541 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
Fantastic!
5 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I recently had the opportunity to see this movie in a screening at a local film festival, and I was simply blown away. I'm not much of a gritty crime drama person, and I went into a screening of this film expecting more of a "wrong man"-type story, but what I found instead was just as satisfying, if not surprising.

"Death" is about three men, each named Michael Smith, whose lives all become intertwined following a murder in wintery Detroit. One of the Smiths is the aging gunman sent to kill a drugrunner, one is a young man who's trying to build his street cred, and the third is the homicide detective who's trying to sort out the first's seedy doings.

The three Michaels are each flanked by interesting supporting characters, the most notable of which is the "kid" that Hit-man Michael is assisted by when he realizes that someone's out to kill him. The kid allows Michael to show a bit of his more-human side, a little humor here and there, adding depth and charm to a character who we're afraid of at first. Young Michael has a deadbeat for a father, a troubled mother, and a beauty pageant contestant girlfriend; the latter helps him seem deeper and more understandable as well. Detective Michael has a crumbling marriage, but not much else—he is, uncategorically, the least-developed of all the characters, but since he doesn't play a huge part in the story, it doesn't make much difference.

I have only two gripes with the production overall: while most of the cinematography is brilliant and striking, it seems as if the picture can be extremely hard to see at times—film lighting can be a harsh mistress, as amateurs like myself know very well. And at the end of the story, I'm left asking what seems to me to be a fairly important question, in the scope of the film: does Young Michael have any relation to Hit-man Michael that isn't immediately apparent? Listen to what Hit-man Michael says concerning his home life, and you may understand why I'm wondering.

The production on this film was exceptionally solid, the editing more than professional, and the music orchestration beautiful. Considering that the total budget for the film was less than $600, these facts are made even more astounding. Daniel Casey is poised to go a long way in the business, if only his work gets more time in the spotlight.


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