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Threads of the past weave through this interesting film about small
town folks and their loyalties to each other when it comes to
intervention from the outside - even to the defense of homicide. Josh
Sternfeld wrote and directed this little thriller with a small cast of
young actors who may just be more noticed after this dramatic effort.
Two boys - Eddie Arlinger (Kellan Lutz) and Shane Loakin (Jonathan Tucker) - drifters who go on the road to rob houses and sell their goods to pawn shops through their relationship with a bar girl (Grace Gummer, another of Meryl Streep's daughters) - accidentally kill a little boy during a robbery in Hilliard. The boy happens to be the son of a Meskada County Commissioner ( Laura Benati). Young small town detective Noah Cordin (Nick Stahl) and his new partner Leslie Spencer (Rachel Nichols) are brought in to solve the crime despite the fact that the town sheriff (Michael Sirow) and cohort (Michael Cerveris) think they can handle the matter themselves: much of the clash is bringing in an outside detective who grew up in a poor small town not far from Hilliard, viewed as interference. The local Bar owner Billy (James McCaffrey) and Shane's brother-in-law Dennis (Norman Reedus) fight to protect Eddie and Shane, but events occur that reveal the true identity of the killer after a showdown between the out of town detective and the townsfolk that come to grips with a situation no one wants to explore.
While the story leaves some gaping holes unresolved, the script does manage to capture the small town loyalties that often avoid reality. Adding the aspect of how the national economy is affecting the livelihood of small town residents heightens the tension. The young cast is very fine, especially the key performance by Jonathan Tucker. Heartthrob Kellan Lutz and Grace Gummer provide the sensual interest and Nick Stahl continues to impress as an actor on the ascent. Newcomer Michael Sirow is an actor to watch as is Grace Gummer. In all this is an entertaining film that has the courage to not 'make nice' the unsettling problems of backwoods small town ethics.
Quite frankly, I did not expect much of this film, particularly after I
saw a score of 5.0 on IMDb.
Throughout the film you keep asking yourself "where is this going to" and each time, as the film goes on, you get more of a surprise and the tension increases a notch.
Throughout the film I kept thinking "Winter's Bone". This film reminds me a lot of "Winter's Bone", and they were both made in 2010, but at the same time this film is quite different, but still about small town and small community secrets all the same.
The acting is top class, and the direction flawless. No film stars on show but they're not needed - this is top class entertainment from little known actors (not for long) and it is top direction too.
Watch it - you won't regret it.
Meskada CATCH IT (B-) Meskada is a complex story of young boy's murder during a burglary in a peaceful town Hilliard. The town' police investigator thinks that men coming out for work from nearby town Casewell may be involved in the burglary and accidental death of a child. His investigation about the murder leaves him trapped between people of two towns. On one side it shows the story of the police investigator and on the other side it shows the story of two young men involved in the burglary. Meskada managed to bag impressive ensemble considering the indie criteria. As the story is complex, the movie did stumbles at the end. Instead of giving a proper ending it leaves an innocent man taking all the blame. The situation was irrational and very harsh considering the scenario. I won't spoil the ending here but the movie is defiantly worth giving time. Jonathan Tucker, Kellan Lutz, Rachel Nichols, Nick Stahl, Grace Gummer and Norman Reedus did a nice job and given the material provided came on screen very natural.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie is starting exciting at the beginning .. but the end is non
non woven .. Instead of searching for a valuable work ,the staff choose
the easy matter Bad end, make the viewer feel as if he has been duped
Film parts are not good connected .. You feel when you watch the movie as if some parts are missed or that the filmmaker had forgot something It is clear that the cost of the movie was simple and this led to this mantle workmanship Star of the film is the good actor Nick Stahl , but he was not enough alone to make you satisfied .. The movie was below my expectation level.. The rhythm was slow ..
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Good movie, great cast! Easy to watch, very enjoyable. If you are a fan of any of the cast members in this movie then it is a definite must see. Also, this is one of Grace Gummer's, Meryl Streep's daughter, first movies and I am sure we will be seeing many more films from her in years to come. Add in Norman Reedus "Boondock Saints", Rachel Nichols "G.I. Joe" "Criminal Minds", Kellan Lutz "Twilight", Nick Stahl "Terminator 3", and James McCaffrey "Rescue Me" and you have a movie that you will want in your collection for a long time! The movie is set in a small town in the United States and focuses on the struggles and separations of class. When a young boy is found murdered an investigation ensues and things between the townspeople become heated. I think there were some great performances by the actors/ actresses in this movie. The film has some great talent that has been around for awhile and some newer stars that will be around for a long time. Written and directed by Josh Sternfeld "Winter Solstice".
Don't let my title stop you from watching this movie. It's actually a
rather gripping and sad story of a murder and the detectives plight in
trying to investigate the case.
My problem with the movie is that it gets a bit thin in spots and you might lose interest in just where the story is going. Some of the dialog seems forced as do some of the action scenes.
The strongest part is the town hall meeting with the heated debate and opinions that stir the plot of this story.
Unfortunately the story ends with loose ends and I when it was over my first thought was .. "thats it?".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Didn't expect much as I caught Meskada while channel surfing on a rainy Saturday, but it hooked me from the start and I was enormously entertained for 2 hours. Very good hard-boiled detective story. Not a mystery or a whodunit as the story presents both sides simultaneously - the detectives and the criminals. I love stories where the bad guys are three-dimensional and fully developed characters and that was the best part of this film. The ending may be dissatisfying to some, but I loved it. Things are left a little messy, just like real life. Added bonus - the music is great. The subplot of the victim's mother being an influential town council member was brilliant. Perfectly plausible.
Meskada, or Quiet Kill as it was renamed for distribution (a rose by any other name) is a slow burning, blistering small town murder thriller that ratchets up the tension and sneaks up on you as the calamitous events unfolding reach a fever pitch of sickening human mistakes, inevitable depravity and broken, dead end people doing their best with the intellects they've been given, and the not always great life choices they make with them. Nick Stahl nicely underplays the lead investigator of a home invasion that left a little boy murdered, which takes him a few towns over to the other side of the state, namely Meskada County. Jonathan Tucker and Kellan Lutz play the burglars, torn between fear and guilt. Tucker, fantastic as always, relishes in his backwoods deadbeat role, equal parts dumbbell sleaze and ferocious caged animal kamikaze terror. Lutz, who really can't act his way out of his own nut sack, wisely keeps his head down and doesn't shake up the otherwise talented roster too badly. Rachel Nichols plays Stahl's partner with the right gusto. James Mccaffrey, known for voicing Max Payne, is awesome as a bar owner and outspoken town representative whose righteous anger clashes with Stahl's dogged need to uncover the truth at whatever large scale collateral damage. The best performance of the film comes from a brooding, volatile Norman Reedus, playing a jaded, bitter man who is just looking for an event to use as an outlet for a self inflicted downward spiral of depression and anger. Reedus is a ridiculously talented guy and he really gets the chance to shine here, using his narrow eyed, scruffy emotional edge to great advantage. The town is also going through an economic crisis that is only exacerbated by this murder investigation, creating all the more tension for the film to work with. It's sad that nobody checks out these fantastic indie gems that slip under the radar, and this one is especially worth checking out. It's a fiery yet restrained small town murder yarn that plays almost like a Russian tragedy, where even though you know from the gate that it isn't going anywhere nice, it's going to be beautiful to experience. Downbeat films may not make us feel good, but they often change us or let us see a different side of human nature that is very beneficial. This one is a perfect example of that. Dark, dreary and stressful, but with vital signs still kicking at an essential, unavoidable set of flaws in humans that needs to be explored.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I found the story compelling and the cast's performance even more so. The grieving mother's displays of emotion feel far more realistic than most I have seen. I loved the setting, beautiful and dirty at the same time; just how a couple of small towns ought to look. I could almost smell the morning dew by the end of the movie or maybe that was the morning dew outside, seeing as it's 3am while I am writing this review. I thought that the director's choice of background music and accompaniments were splendid. Every stroke of the violin, every pluck of the bass, and every sound incorporated into the suspenseful moments of the story were excellently chosen. The entire movie long I was struggling not to yell at the screen, "He did it!", or "If only...". The scared and narcissistic bad guys (respectively) also played their roles well. I never hated either of them until the end. The only thing I didn't like about this film was the ending. I won't give it away, because there is no fixing it without re-shooting the ending of the movie, and I hate it when people post spoilers.
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.
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