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When a couple is taken hostage in their home by an intruder, a simple home invasion robbery turns into something much more complicated. The wife may, or may not, know the intruder; and the intruder may, or may not, have previously crossed paths with the husband. Can a couple survive once they have been exposed to each other for who (and for what) they really are? Is the intruder actually there just to rob them? What are they each trying to hide from him and from each other? Written by
Brendan Sexton III invades the home of John Heard and Erin Cardillo
For Ryan Barton-Grimley, "The Truth" (2010) is his first written and directed movie. It's a very good or better neo-noir debut, not reflected in the current low IMDb rating of 4.8 which suggests a sub-par movie.
This picture is of the kind that has a narrow focus in story and location, like "Fourteen Hours" (1951) and "The Ledge" (2011). The picture is restricted largely to the interior of a single home inhabited by John Heard and his wife Erin Cardillo that is invaded by Brendan Sexton III. It is mainly in sepia-toned flashbacks showing Sexton as a young man with his mother (Erica Shaffer) and father (Daniel Baldwin) that we depart from this interior. Those who expect a big-budget, big movie kind of affair will be disappointed.
The question for this kind of movie is how well the story, acting and direction hold your attention and interest within a rather narrow frame as compared with the typical motion picture. "The Truth" succeeds handily in all three departments. The story succeeds as much as a mystery as it does a thriller. One can savor not only the story but three rich and shaded performances from its three main players, each of whom comvey hidden layers. Director Barton-Grimley is to be credited with the way in which this all comes together and smoothly engages us. This picture is an easy recommend.
Appearances deceive and only gradually are we forced into changing our assessments of the three main characters, sometimes more than once. Real psychological battles accompany the physical battles. The story's sardonic tone, its character revelations, and its situation reversals compose a more than satisfactory and satisfying neo-noir. In movies with a somewhat similar home invasion premise, the tables are quite often turned. No such simplicity is present in "The Truth" because the truth is far more multi-faceted and complex. It is only after multiple turnarounds, all of which fall into place logically, that we reach stasis and the curtain falling. Only then do we know the truth, and it is a dark uncompromising neo-noir truth, through and through.
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