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Based on 17 critic reviews provided by
Without "The Wire" and its like as a point of comparison, Texas Killing Fields might seem the natural heir to a gritty '70s cop drama. But with great contemporary TV around, it seems strangely incomplete.
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.
Village Voice
The plot is a chaos of underdeveloped relationships and frayed loose ends, but every so often, Mann does something so right that it makes this seem less a matter of narrative disorganization than a commentary on the anarchy intrinsic to any investigation.
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.
Slant Magazine
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.
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.
Ms. Mann (Michael's daughter) does stage a bracing car chase, and Mr. Morgan makes an impression despite a story that's sometimes hard to follow.
Script by former DEA officer Don Ferrarone isn't that bad in itself, but matters aren't helped by the mumbled performances and poor sound, which make it hard to hear what anyone's saying, while sloppy editing wreaks havoc on the story.
As good as Worthington, Chastain, Moretz and Morgan can be as they try to untangle the morass and the menace - and get caught up in it - they just can't quite pull it off. The real killer, sadly, is the script.
Rote, dull and point-blank obvious.

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