A detective in post-Katrina New Orleans has a series of surreal encounters with a troop of friendly Confederate soldiers while investigating serial killings of local prostitutes, a 1965 lynching, and corrupt local businessmen.
Lt. Dave Robicheaux, a detective in New Iberia, Louisiana, is trying to link the murder of a local hooker to New Orleans mobster Julie (Baby Feet) Balboni, who is co-producer of a Civil War film. At the same time, after Elrod Sykes, the star of the film, reports finding another corpse in the Atchafalaya Swamp near the movie set, Robicheaux starts another investigation, believing the corpse to be the remains of a black man who he saw being murdered 35 years before. Written by
I can count on my fingers with half my hand cut away the number of times I've ever been disappointed by Tommy Lee Jones's performance in a film. This film here is no exception. John Goodman is another who always delivers a solid performance and they both give us a great show. The writing of the script is solid and the setting of the film is provoking. The entire film works well with support from veteran character actors like Ned Beatty, craggy faced James Gammon and ex-drummer Levon Helm, as well as younger performers like Mary Steenburgen, Justina Machado,Kelly Macdonald and the up and coming Peter Sargaard.
One might argue that this kind of a role is almost type casting for Tommy Lee Jones but I would argue otherwise. An actor works with what he has and TLJ has always been able to use his face to great advantage from a stone-cold glare to a sheepish grin. The story is told from his character's point of view, in this case, a person with an uncompromising sense of justice-- not a paragon of virtue, by any means, but one who refuses to sacrifice his principles of right and wrong, i.e., the hero with a decidedly human face. The tension does not let up as the hunt draws closer and closer to the conclusion. While I think the little coda at the end was unneeded, it still works to make a good story.
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