First and foremost one can't watch this film without first engaging in an inevitable comparison to HBO's "The Wire". Benjamin Busch culled many of that series actors at the season's end to take part in his directional debut. Being a huge fan of that show it can prove to be an initial distraction but the styles are much different and the actors are allowed to stretch into different characters. If you expect "The Wire- The Lost Episode" than you will be disappointed. You shouldn't be.
Opening with a brilliant performance by the vastly underused Domenick Lombardozzi the film slowly builds into a taut, thinking-man's thriller. There's many twists and turns and it requires constant attention. In many ways it reminding me of a more cerebral version of the Mark Wahlberg film "Shooter". Throw into the mix several fantastic performances by the cast, including a standout turn by Clarke Peters, and you're in for a solid hour's entertainment.
Busch's direction recalls the 70's paranoid thrillers and the work of such directors as Alan J. Pakula, John Frankenheimer, and Arthur Penn. I hope to see him directing more as his debut shows a lot of potential for a good run of films. And if he gave himself a role that wouldn't hurt either, particularly after his memorable role as Colicchio in The Wire. Find this film at your local festival. You won't be disappointed.
P.S. IMDb doesn't count 10 star ratings are "real" so I gave this an 8 to make it believable. But it should be a 10!
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