Meskada (2010)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  3 December 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 904 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 25 critic

Passions run high when hope for a economically strapped town seems blocked by the investigation of a murdered kid, son of a county commissioner.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Spencer
Eddie Arlinger
Shane Loakin
Billy Burns
Allison Connor
Terrence Lindy
Daniel Hartfield
Lyla Burrows
Emily Cordin
Carl Everson
Zack Cordin


Small-town detective Noah Cordin is called to solve a juvenile homicide that occurred during a home burglary in his affluent town of Hilliard. The dead boy's mother, Allison Connor, is a member of the Meskada County Board of Commissioners, and a powerful woman in Hilliard. The entire township of Caswell rallies together in solidarity - not to support her and Detective Cordin's efforts to find the killers (who appear to have come from Caswell) but to keep the way clear for a new business with 500 jobs coming to town. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some crimes find their criminals


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

3 December 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A County Crime  »

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Did You Know?


Meskada County is supposedly a fictitious county in a Midwestern U.S. state (probably bordering Ohio), yet an apology letter addressed to the fictitious city of Hilliard incorrectly cites a Canadian province abbreviation (MB for Manitoba) with the fictitious U.S. postal code 21243. Even if the movie were theoretically set in Manitoba, the postal code format is wrong for a Canadian province--U.S. ZIP codes are generally 5 digits (like the 21243 example), whereas Canadian postal codes are 6 alphanumeric characters (example: one of Winnipeg, MB's postal codes is R2C 1G6). See more »


Eddie Arlinger: They're just bothering us white trash, hoping for a fucking miracle.
See more »


References The Simpsons (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

Nick Stahl runs into rural small town opposition as he investigates a felony-murder
17 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a fine, well-written and well-done neo-noir story, much underrated by IMDb (at 5.2). Nick Stahl, whom I've just seen in "Bully", does another effective and understated performance as a small town policeman. The setting is somewhere in Appalachia. This is a rural neo-noir, sort of in the setting of "Winter's Bone", but this one focuses more on the small town dynamics and behavior of the people in it, as opposed to rural isolation. This shows a dark side to the people as well as their good and struggling side. This is not at all a romanticized Hollywood version.

The story opens with a burglary committed by two young men in an isolated house in Hilliard, where Stahl is the town cop. He's assisted in his investigation by a county cop, Rachel Nichols. Stahl is a family man. His relationship with Rachel is strictly professional. The trail leads to Stahl's home town of Caswell, but he hasn't been there in a while. The burglary turned into a robbery and then an accidental felony/murder when a young boy unexpectedly came up from the basement. His mom was away. A certain amount of police procedure is followed in order to find a trail back to Caswell and that comprises the first part of the film, shown in an understated effective way. But the tension builds throughout that portion.

The story shifts back and forth between the Stahl/Nichols team and the Caswell people, including the two thieves who have their differences but have known each other a long time. The characters and their conflicts follow naturally as Stahl appears in Caswell and begins interrogating workers from Caswell who have been doing odd jobs in the Hilliard area. We learn more about the conditions and needs of the thieves, and why they wanted the money. Matters almost appear to be at a dead end until some of the loot appears at a pawn shop.

Meanwhile the homicide angle gets enmeshed with two other dynamics. One is that the mother of the victim is putting pressure on Stahl and the other source of pressure is that the town's people are trying to land a company to take over an unused factory, and this will provide 400 jobs. The homicide is making the town look bad. Some of those close to the killer suspect who has done this, although they really do not know, and this gives rise to conflicts both with the suspected thieves and with Stahl.

How people behave under these pressures and conflicts is the heart of the story, and they do not behave like pure saints or pure sinners, but as flawed individuals with divided loyalties, subject to emotion, jumping to conclusions, and not quite knowing what to do in difficult circumstances.

Stahl in the end has to accept the limits of what he can accomplish in the face of the events that transpire beyond his control and, in the case of the mother of the victim, he even has to make a compromise with his integrity. These failures of the protagonist, despite his best efforts, are what also help elevate the story. They too make it a solid neo-noir, without any of the clichés or other themes that can be found in many other neo-noirs.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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