Critic Reviews



Based on 17 critic reviews provided by
It's an intriguingly murky B-movie that should satisfy genre buffs.
When it comes to scenes in which characters are asked to say more than two words, however, the filmmaker's a decided amateur; Moretz, in particular, seems hopelessly stranded as the attitudinal wild child.
Moretz brings some natural gravity to a role that hasn't been adequately fleshed out.
A just-OK second feature from Ami Canaan Mann - daughter of Michael Mann, one of two credited producers here - and the latest outing for "Avatar" and "Clash of the Titans'" Sam Worthington.
Texas Killing Fields's mood is one of drowning in quicksand, though said atmosphere is the byproduct of both Ami Canaan Mann's often dreamy direction and an editorial structure that intermittently devolves into elliptical incongruity.
Basically "csi: East Texas,'' the debut feature of Ami Canaan Mann is long on style and short on coherent storytelling, not unlike numerous efforts by her director dad, Michael, who serves as a producer here.
Texas Killing Fields begins along the lines of a police procedural and might have been perfectly absorbing if it had played by the rules: strict logic, attention to detail, reference to technical police work. Unfortunately, the movie often seems to stray from such discipline.
The story simply doesn't stand up, with its combination of well-worn plot elements and confusing red herrings -- or maybe they're just details that don't add up.
The younger Mann goes through the motions of a gritty murder mystery with plenty of technical proficiency but only a modicum of soul. The Mann touch is not only in the DNA of the director but in her movie, which inadvertently makes the case that atmosphere is more hereditary than innovation.
Rote, dull and point-blank obvious.

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