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Reviews & Ratings for
Restitution More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I thought this was a bad Canadian comedy

Author: kakamuna333 from DELRAY Beach, Florida
11 April 2013

Seriously, Tom Arnold was the whole movie...the star was a boring out of shape very average looking guy..that looks like he works at Sprint or Verizon....seriously my first thought was, " oh, great another Canadian B movie...something to fall asleep to " The music awful, acting was crap, choppy filming... I agree with the first 3 reviews Tom Arnold cracked me up The leads sneakers were so wrong for what he was wearing and he moved like an out of shape 35 year old first day at the gym Personally, I watch more movies than the average person and I know a great film when I see one... This is the type of movie I will watch at 3am when I can't sleep or when I can't watch my favorite movie, "Tower Heist" for the 7th time ....but after seeing this, I don't mind watching Tower Heist one more time

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Are you kidding me?

Author: ritera1 from United States
2 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


This is my fault. I can't stop a movie after a few minutes. So most of this very bad feeling is 'cause of me.

And this startling clunker. I've seen bad movies. Movies that make you angry. And this rates up there with them.

But you don't do this bad unless you are doing it on purpose for some really strange reason. Mental illness?

All that money down the drain. I know actors have to eat like everyone else. But you didn't have to do this.

How 'bout a revenge movie where you talk your nemesis into financing your really bad movie and it's this one?

I'm forgiving enough to actually admit that Tom Arnold has done some decent acting in the past. But he was bad and probably the best thing in this at the same time.

The two bright spots were some decent cinematography and a good final fight scene. That's where I awarded the 2 points.

But the pain, oh the pain!

An amazingly stupid story where this guy is framed for several murders to cover-up the dealings of the bad guys. He's then tossed in the river alive. (Just shoot him? Oh no!) Then his friend arrives a year later to investigate the situation. Bad scene, bad scene, bad scene. The friend's body was previously discovered. Bad scene, bad scene. Good fight scene.

THEN the friend and the framed friend turn out to be the same guy!

He apparently survived being dumped in the river and then spent the next year preparing himself to come back and avenge...solve....I don't know. But he left Mena Suvari floatin' the wind for a year?

And I have a few more questions.

If the "hero's" body was found, who's body was it? Why did he dig up his own grave if he knew it was empty?

What exactly were the bad guys doing? Drugs? Did they bother to try and explain? 'cause I'm not going' back in there to find out.

Why were all the bad guys doing their bad guy activities in broad daylight with plenty of witnesses around? Was workin' nights overtime?

In what reality was it a good idea to let the "hero/lead" actor anywhere near the set (he's also the writer and in another movie he wrote)? Oh dear Matilda he is bad! Being a bad writer wasn't enough. Absolutely he had pictures of the director with a goat to get that part. In a bad movie with bad acting he outstripped all of the other cast. I'm not a good lookin' man but could easily sell the part better than he did. He looked like a bad, over-the-hill comic.

There are a lot of things in life that I don't understand. George W was elected twice? Obama and Romney (at this moment) are runnin' neck and neck? And someone read this script and said "okay, let's do it" and wrote a check, too?

Now I have to get an industrial strength shredder that will tear through a DVD. (I'm not going to be the one responsible for anybody else ripping 101 minutes out of their life.)

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17 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Mmmm. It was OK, in fact, I was surprised. It was better than OK

Author: Gladys_Pym from United Kingdom
13 November 2011

I was - whatever - absorbed?

PI unearths plot, and pays the price. OK. It wasn't too noir, wasn't over-hip. Mena Suvari (bra on sex scene contract not withstanding) was real, and genuine, and it could almost have been a romcom. (I don't think I've ever had a sex scene with bras on, personally).

And then, it just suddenly revives. A new character, a new phase, act 2.

And then, suddenly, Act 3. People stop being who they were, and use guns. Who knew? Even, when it all calms down, another twist, and we have act 3.1.

My son-in-law is the acid test. If there are plot holes, he disses the film, and I wish I hadn't suggested it.

This got a 'pass' on his radar, (though he agreed with the 'stupid no tits rule'.

Worth a look. I was surprised, a few times. And that no longer happens often.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Nerdy investigator accomplishes some serious revenge

Author: msroz from United States
19 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mark Bierlein wrote, produced, starred and directed "Restitution". For that he deserves a lot of credit. He and the story managed to attract a decent cast topped by the very attractive Mena Suvari as the love interest and the boisterous and outrageous Tom Arnold who handles the comic and sidekick chores. Bierlein plays an investigator role. I guessed the twist angle immediately, right up to the use of a Chopin tune.

The movie is below par because of numerous plot holes. The story is almost a parody of similar such stories. Although it seems on the surface to be meant seriously, apart from the character that Arnold plays, it goes down easier if we assume that Bierlein intentionally was poking very laid back fun at the investigator genre. Bierlein is actually effective by keeping his persona nerdy, unathletic, soft-spoken, direct in his questions, and persistent in his pursuit.

There is an undercurrent of putting everyone on throughout this movie. These make the movie watchable despite the illogic of what we are seeing. For unknown reasons, Suvari is attracted to Bierlein. Arnold is a guy who singles out Bierlein to be his friend, having lost his wife of 30 years. He just happens to be an ex-marine with this huge rifle with a scope. Bierlein's outfit at the film's opening looks like a takeoff on something Tomas Milian has done in some Italian poliziotteschi movies, somewhat toned down. Bierlein's transformation into a guy who kicks ass and dispatches armed guys twice his size and who recovers from severe beatings and shoulder gun wounds in a flash are all so far beyond belief as not to be taken seriously.

Bierlein knows that we want to see the good guy whip a slew of bad guys. It is a comic staple of most comedy movies (as in many Jerry Lewis movies) that the bumbler not only outwits the criminals but gets the girl (like Stella Stevens). Is Bierlein's staging any more silly than all those action thrillers in which the hero dodges uncountable bullets? I think not.

Did Bierlein intend to mimic a comedy-style plot? I do not know, but if we take the movie in that vein, it's easier to take.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

For me, this was an interesting enough crime drama

Author: jimrin from United States
5 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I tried to see why some people had a lower opinion of the movie than me, some of the reviews complained that the plot made no sense, but I saw fewer plot holes in this movie than I did with Hard Candy, another movie I just saw recently.

I'll get into my review first and then cover some comments about other reviewers' complaints.

From a story point of view, I thought it was an interesting enough twist. Acting was OK. OK, I'll have to agree with one of the reviewers that perhaps Tom Arnold did shine the best with his typical Tom Arnold type of character (annoying but somehow likable). To me, I would say the biggest complaint I had about the movie is that it had a Made for TV feel to it. Part of it was the script where it was a partial comedy with Tom's character, but a type of crime thriller, too. However, what gave it most the Made for TV feel was the directing/camera handling. I also just saw the movie Colombiana recently, and it's day and night difference between the two movies how to give a movie the "big screen" feel. With this type of directing, it's not surprising that the actors were able to do more than just a passable job.


To comment on some of the reviews which said that the movie did not make sense, one reviewer complained about the doctor being brutalized in broad daylight. If the viewer had been paying attention, the two thugs were simply "escorting" the doctor, most likely to a boat where they can dump him in the middle of the river. They didn't start roughing him up until they got toward the end of the pier where there was no one else around. Perhaps to give the story line the benefit of the doubt, this is when they needed to "convince" the doctor to get into the boat. However, since Alex came along, they decided to just shoot the doctor right there. Actually, this makes sense since if their objective is to kill the doctor, it would be a lot dumber to not finish the job just because someone caught on to what you were doing.

Now, the scene itself was a bit odd because Alex was shooting and it wasn't clear if he was just shooting, not really aiming at them, because he didn't know what else to do... Or in case he was aiming at them, then he didn't seem to care whether he accidentally hit the doctor or not.

So this scene could have been better planned, and there were others as well, but to me, it didn't detract from the enjoyment of the movie since I already was in the opinion that this had a Made for TV feel to it.

Another reviewer complained that when Alex appeared, people started dying...? I am assuming this is what he meant and not when Brian first appeared. If he meant Brian, then that is one of the reasons they pinpointed the murders on Brian. But if the viewer meant Alex, technically speaking, Alex did not start killing people until the end. It was Tom's character who killed the first guys after Alex's arrival.

For the reviewer who complained about the role of an insurance fraud investigator... All we know is that Brian was hired to videotape these people. Perhaps in a real fraud investigation, there are different people who have different roles, one of which is the person who does the videotaping. But anyway, as we find out anyway, he was not hired to do real insurance fraud investigation. This was a down-on-his-luck kind of guy who was taking any job he could get... so he was told to videotape under the pretense of fraud insurance. Since we find out it was not fraud insurance, then there doesn't need to be any connection to reality to what a real fraud investigator does... How is Brian supposed to know?

Anyway, so I enjoyed the twist in the movie, and while definitely not one of the better movies out there, I thought it was worthwhile watching on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

In a world, where any idiot can make movies, one man dares to go further...

Author: dusksky from Canada
13 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, I saw this movie... And... It exists....

This movie is completely un-note worthy except for how inexplicably bad the script is. The production value is fine. This isn't Birdemic. And the general effects, although sometimes over the top, aren't bad. But in story and character, this movie is clearly lacking.

For example, the "twist" at the end is completely unexpected only because it is impossible. Flat out impossible. It could NOT have conceivably happened.

Also, it manages to be very dull. Fast paced is not a phrase that is brought to mind as we are introduced to our characters through a very long, dragging "romantic" act. Holy crap. It just goes on and on, with nothing happening. The romance in this movie is... cold. There's no sense of passion or love or... anything, really. You can practically SEE the script being typed out. Clichéd and overly long, I suspected trouble by the end of the first ten minutes.

Bryan Spikes is a "insurance fraud investigator." A job I was clearly misinformed about. I believed that this would involve... Oh, I don't know... Talking to the people who had filed the insurance claim, doing some background checks. This movie set me straight. An insurance fraud investigator wanders around the home of the person who filed the insurance claim with a video camera and lies to them about having a tire blown. The female lead is a hot bar-tender with a broken family. That's really all to her. And then, for whatever reason, the guy who hired Spikes throws him off a bridge and he drowns.


Some guy named Alex claiming to be a writer comes looking for evidence about the death of Bryan who we now learn has been used as a scape-goat for several murders. It is then that I realized that Tom Arnold's character, also named Tom, was going to be a regular occurrence. This brought joy to my life. Truly. Alex investigate by digging up graves and getting very angry at people. He corners Dr. Pinklady, who supposedly did the autopsy and demands names. The doctor is attacked... IN BROAD DAY LIGHT! On a crowded dock, with people all around who, apparently, don't notice an old guy being beat up. Honestly, they don't even act freaked out or like they're scared. No one calls the police. Alex tries to save him, but ends up being saved himself by Tom.

Also, somewhere in there there's a scene where Alex's car blows up. It's the best part of the movie, in terms of stupid.

And then violence is released upon the men who killed Bryan, unrealistic violence, in which the sound effects for the impacts are slightly out of sync with the picture.

I won't ruin the wonderful surprise at the end, but allow me to summarize the whole movie.

It makes no sense. Nothing in it makes any sense.

Who financed this? Who put money into this? We live in a time where anybody can make a movie, which could be great, allowing the underdog artists to step up. But it also allows sad attempts at thrillers like this to make it to the public.

It's unpredictable, but only in the worst sense of the word.

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10 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

By far the worst movie I've ever sat through!

Author: movie-rater1234 from United States
30 December 2011

This movie was a total waste of my time. I don't even know where to start in describing how horrible it was. The "twist" in the end is surprising because the movie made no sense! This fool can just decide to come back and start killing people and the cops never ask him a single question? Not believable at all. The action didn't start until like an hour into the movie, and when it did, it was people killing in broad daylight and then no questions asked later. Kind of a clue not to watch the movie since the writer, producer, and star actor are the same person, but we gave it shot since Mena Suvari was in it. Should have known when On Demand did't give us a preview either. Overall, I am annoyed that I wasted 2 hours, or however long it stole from my life, watching this terrible movie.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I was hooked from the get go!

Author: michaelasiclari from United States
7 April 2013

I just finished watching " Restitution " and was blown away by the twist ending. Maybe my brain was on standby because of it being a Sunday afternoon and all, but I did not see it coming. I was also shocked to see how many rated this film so poorly. Sure Bierlein is no Pacino, but to write, produce and star in this film is quite impressive, considering how intriguing it was. I was pulled into the plot line immediately and never looked back. Mena Suvari and Tom Arnold were exceptional and it was nice to see C. Thomas Howell again. I won't spoil the plot for anyone who might want to check this movie out, but I will say this movie is not what it appears to be just like some of its main characters. A captivating murder mystery with enough action and plot twists to keep you enthralled for 100 plus minutes!!!!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Solid 8

Author: Jeffrey Lee from United States
19 January 2013

Greatfully NO CG. Realistic. Unpredictable. Likable Characters. It was more surreal that real, but what do you expect--it was Detroit. It was not overly verbose. I don't expect it to get an Academy mention. Well written, acted, and filmed. Original and entertaining. Direction and cutting were crisp - did not leave any gaps The pace was perfect. The ending was perfect. Camera work was not distracting - no typical chase scene. Had a lot of context. Lots of wide shots - little character lock- in which gave it sense of reality. Not a lot of foul language. Loose ends were knit together at the end. Not a lot of blood. Nobody could have been offended watching the movie. Fun to cheer the white hats and boo the black hats.

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9 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Loved this movie

Author: eglantz-320-855686
17 March 2012

I watch a lot of movies and commonly go against the reviewer grain. This movie had me hooked from the beginning to the end. Great quality production at only $2.5 million? Unbelievable. Stellar cast as well (Tom Arnold is great; C. Thomas Howell shares top billing but is seen less frequently; Mena Suvari from American Beauty and American Pie is stellar providing continuity throughout the movie). I will watch this movie again. Writer/director Lance K. R. Kawas and writer/star Mark Bierlein--you have the "gift"! Some criticism for style twists were not a problem for me. In fact I became more hooked as the circumstances escalated. My favorite story is when ordinary people are called to respond to circumstances they did not create. This movie did not disappoint.

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