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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It must have been a good deal of money to get these actors in this
film. Not just because they are all famous and for the most part
talented people, but because this script must have been as bad as the
film. Al Pacino, Tatum, Liotta, Katie Holmes, and even Tracy Morgan
(Who I felt did a good job in this small role, maybe establishing
himself as a bit actor for serious films) all these people couldn't
make this movie good. It was bad, just plain bad.
The plot was boring and really badly put together. The twists were just dull and unfounded. The "mystery voice" was pathetic, it was so obvious who was calling, I can't believe they tried to make it some mystery as to who it was. The end, was so disappointingly lame. There was little to no real action in it. Yeah there were a couple people killed but it wasn't any real action. No suspense was built throughout the film even at the points were a person was shot.
I cannot stress enough how bad this storyline was written. There was nothing good about it. The main character was supposed to care about these killings he committed when he was a child, but in reality he had nothing to worry about there was no evidence pointing to him having any part of it 15+ years later. If the story was brought out he could just deny his involvement and would be fine. That is a small example of how poorly written this was. A good cop thriller needs plausibility, that should go without saying.
I would not recommend this. I am strongly recommending against it actually. I am very disappointed. I seldom give anything less than five stars for any film that has some watchability, but with these actors, nothing of such bad quality should involve them. They definitely don't have to worry about making the rent so why would they sign on to such crap? Who knows. Anyway, all these other reviews, the ones that say this is anywhere near good stuff, don't know good movies. No one with sense could sit through this film and afterward say to oneself "I'm glad I watched that.". There is no payoff to watching this, unless you want to be angered and write a bad review about a movie. If that is the case this is your film!
I was reading some reviews on this movie and pretty much ignored them
because of all the star power. In the end the critics were right about
this movie. Every actor in this movie looked out of place and not
interested in the part they were playing.
Let's start with the younger kids in the flash backs. Overall, the acting was very poor from the younger generation in this film, Channing Tatum younger barely spoke and when he did it didn't seem real. Maybe, I was thrown off here because Tracy Morgan and Channings younger didn't even come close to resembling the adults.
I don't think anyone read the script before accepting the gig. Throwing a lot of great actors together for a crime thriller sometimes doesn't work and this is one case where it failed. Poor story, poor direction, and just downright bad acting by a lot of the big names in this film starting with Channing Tatum. If someone could turn back the clock this movie would of never made it past the green light.
All I can say is, what a waste of good talent. The pacing is brutally
The actors are good, but the script is... uh lackluster, to be charitable. Juliette Binoche is horribly miscast, however, and the lighting make her and Katie Holmes look ghoulish.
Ray Liotta looks swollen, pockmarked and perpetually astonished.
The best acting is delivered by two eleven year olds, which doesn't say much for the rest of the cast. More entertaining than watching paint dry, albeit marginally.
You want a great cop action thriller?
Try Training Day.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The actors is what drew me to watch this piece of crap.
A runaway kid who murdered two people in the projects gets away with it because he's the son of a homicide detective whose partner is the one investigating the case. The kid grows up to be a cop himself, except now one of the two other kids that knew about the murders is sending tips to the local newspaper about the unsolved murders from 15 yrs ago.
He confessed to his wife and she doesn't seem to care!! His Captain at the station, for some untold reason is trying to cover up the murders and intimidate the newspaper reporter to not print the tips!! His partner at the station knows about the murders(!!??) and wants to help in the cover-up. His dad's old partner(the detective who covered up the murders originally) is still around and wants to help him to keep his secrets, going as far as killing the reporter and the suspected retard, whom they think is calling the newspaper!! What the hell?? and what's with post 9/11 and juliani, etc?? and what's this has to do with anything. They could have said the global warming issue has affected the way characters think in this stupid story, and it wouldn't change a thing in the movie.
My advice, DO NOT watch it. You'll regret it, and you'll some of the respect you have of those great actors.
"You can hate me all you want, but your a free man." When rookie officer Jonathan White (Tatum) is assigned to the precinct where he grew up letters start showing up that mention two unsolved murders. When the letters remind White of his past he is stuck between trying to uncover who is sending them and covering up his involvement. I am a huge Pacino fan and that is the reason I wanted to watch this. The trailer looked OK but anything with him I will watch. He was great in this. That about it. The movie was very slow and had a 5 minute idea that they kept repeating over and over until you either struggle through or end up finishing just to see the ending. I will admit that the last ten minutes makes it worth watching, but getting to that part is a real struggle. Any scene without Pacino or Liotta lacks emotion and you have a hard time caring for White at all. Tracy Morgan is actually not bad in a dramatic performance but overall this is one of the biggest disappointments of the year. I give it a C-.
Written and directed by Dito Montiel and based on a novel of the same
name, "The Son of No One" is a mystery thriller that should have never
been made into a movie.
Set in 2002, Queens, the son of a former NYPD detective, Jonathan White (Channing Tatum) is a hardworking rookie cop, providing for his wife and daughter, when new evidence on a 1986 double homicide grabs the attention of Captain Marion Mathers (Ray Liotta). Complications arise when Jonathan is confronted by his father's former partner, Detective Stanford (Al Pacino), where evidence from a mysterious source trails back to Jonathan as a troubled child. Even as he struggles to come to terms with his past, Jonathan learns that there are forces working at shutting this cold case once and for all.
Evidently, writer/director Montiel tries to fit a lot of fine print into the screenplay. The problem, as I see it, is that this becomes all too obvious very early in the movie; Owing to which, the so called 'twist ending' results in a very half-baked offering that totally ruins any saving grace from the likes of Pacino and Liotta. Demons in the closet, or ghosts of the past, or whatever you call it, form the very gist of the story, where Montiel tries to prove that sometimes it is best not to dig up the past. That being the case, Montiel then goes on to contradict himself by also throwing in themes of redemption and absolution. This clash in philosophy fractures the film's main plot beyond repair and by the time the twist is revealed, it is way too late to salvage anything. Making a police drama within the crime genre is always interesting when the plot is about dirty cops, police cover-ups, and as we have seen many times before, a cop on the edge. To an extent, Montiel gets it right by including all this into the plot, yet somehow, his main failure is in bridging all this together.
For this reviewer, a film's story forms the bulk of its appeal. It's like a deck of cards really; if the foundation is shaky, the entire structure crumbles under its own weight. This is exactly what happens here. Ironically, Montiel directs the very movie he has written, so no points for guessing who gets the credit for this colossal failure. Pacing is another weak component as the entire film is a slow-burner. I have to agree that some films need slow pacing to build strong characterization, but again, it backfires with a lot of flashbacks on Jonathan, with hardly enough focus on Stanford and Mathers, who just happens to be vital characters in the plot. By the end, Stanford and Mathers are absurd and vague in their cause to maintain the integrity of the policing profession.
I have always commended Liotta for his antagonistic roles, especially after his memorable psychotic cop in "Unlawful Entry". Recently, Pacino has also played deranged cops in "88 Minutes" and "Righteous Kill". Together, Pacino and Liotta are decent at best for argument sake, however, as veteran actors, their screen time and limp characterization do not justify their star power. Waste of talent, if you asked me. On the other hand, Tatum has a meatier role here compared to his more recent films and appears to have done a decent job in the lead, considering the lackluster story. Even so, the film is just too bland and pointless to consider any effort by Tatum, Pacino and Liotta or even supporting roles from Tracy Morgan and Katie Holmes.
Avoid it like a plague.
A young cop (Channing Tatum) is assigned to a precinct in the working
class neighborhood where he grew up, and an old secret threatens to
destroy his life and his family.
The basic story here is pretty good, and with Al Pacino and Ray Liotta on board, it should be hard to fail. But this film just comes up short. It has a few too many flashbacks, too many clichés about corrupt cops. And it makes a much bigger deal out of a situation than need be. It conflates the word "murder".
Maybe a fine-tuning of the script would have made this film a winner. And probably casting anyone else in the world besides Katie Holmes would have helped.
THE SON OF NO ONE implodes under its own weight. It is another
variation of the tired good cop/bad cop theme and the sins of childhood
theme. Despite the presence of a heady cast of high profile actors this
story just never takes off. Perhaps that is partially due to the fact
that the lead actor role is given to Channing Tatum who though he does
show some gradual improvement in learning his acting skills remains a
one dimensional character on the screen.
To keep it short, the plot can be condensed as follows: rookie cop Jonathan 'Milk' White (Channing Tatum) is assigned to the 118 Precinct in the same district where he grew up. The Precinct Captain (Ray Liotta) starts receiving anonymous letters about two unsolved murders that happened many years ago in the housing projects when Jonathan was just a kid. A reporter (Juliette Binouce) sees the letters as evidence for an inside cover-up of the two murders from Jonathan's childhood and a detective (Al Pacino) leads the 'investigation' with the corroborated intent of cover-up of police action. There are scenes of flashback to when the murders occurred and the perpetrator is indeed Jonathan as a kid (Jake Cherry) whose only friend is young Vinnie (Brian Gilbert) - the victims were abusive junkies but Jonathan has never been able to forget the gruesome facts. We jump back and forth in time: Jonathan is happily married to Kerry (Katie Holmes) and they have a loving daughter with petit mal seizure disorder. As the investigation proceeds Jonathan fears for his family's safety and for the safety of his old friend Vinnie (now Tracy Morgan). The ending is predictable and far too prolonged.
Despite the presence of Binoche, Pacino, Liotta and Holmes (and a group of very talented youngsters who play the leads as children) the story is just too drawn out and predictable and filled with violence to make it work. Dito Montiel wrote and directed.
The Son of No One attempts to be a slow burn, cop-on-the-edge crime
drama, with Al Pacino and Ray Liotta, who are both grizzled veterans of
these kinds of stories. Now that Pacino and Liotta are getting too old
to play the starring role, they're recast as supporting actors;
instead, Channing Tatum stars. I haven't seen him in anything else, but
I can't really say that he impressed me. However, I think his lack of
emotional affect could be interpreted as his character bottling up all
his emotions, which is admittedly a very charitable view. If this movie
had been made 20 years ago (or, hell, even ten years ago), Liotta would
have been awesome in this role.
If you're a Liotta or Pacino fan, you should probably be aware that their parts in this movie are comparatively small, though they are important characters and show up every so often. Neither is given a whole lot to work with, despite the importance of their roles, but they put in respectable performances. I think I'd like either of them in anything (I even sat through 88 Minutes, which is widely reviled by even the most ardent Pacino fans), but there isn't really a whole lot for them to do in this movie. Given that their roles had limited characterization and less screen time than their star power might lead you to believe, it's probably best to say that they did a good job with what they had to work with and leave it at that.
I'm a real sucker for cop dramas, crime dramas, and cop-on-the-edge thrillers, as any of my friends can tell you. I'll sit through even the most derivative, generic movie ever made, as long as there's a cop on the edge. In fact, it's probably because of people like me that these derivative movies keep being made. Sorry about that. In any event, the basic story is initially split between 1986 and the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack in NYC. I was initially confused by the constant back-and-forth between the two time periods, but, luckily, the story settles down into a more linear storyline. I'm all for non-linear stories, such as Pulp Fiction and Memento, but those movies had excellent scripts and directors. Like many movies that attempt to randomly insert flashbacks into the main narrative, I found these scenes to be jarring and not entirely necessary. As is also often the case, the flashbacks serve as a form of filler, padding out the run-time, as the main character remembers various events from his past. That's all very interesting, and I'm grateful for the characterization, but it's also somewhat annoying to have the main plot grind to a halt while someone's past is explored. I'm more concerned with who someone is, rather than who someone was.
Back in 1986, we eventually learn that the main character has a dark secret (oooh, mysterious) that's threatening to destroy not only his own life and career but also that of many other people. How the various characters respond to this situation drives the plot, ranging from moral outrage to fear, guilt, and violence. Each of the characters maintains a degree of sympathy, though your philosophical or political leanings may cause you to label some of them as unreasonable, naive, pathetic, hypocritical, and/or self-righteous. Some of them could even be interpreted as sociopaths, though, again, I think that depends on your POV. I liked this aspect of the story, and I found it intriguing enough to stick with movie, even though it's a bit slow paced. Unfortunately, the final reveal of the story (which had been hinted at rather strongly throughout, without being overt) was unsatisfying, in my opinion. In the end, it seemed like several of the characters had no motivation to take their actions, though I guess it could just be that I was starting to lose interest in the movie, by this point. I think the writer and/or director were aiming for a noir-ish feel, but what they actually ended up with was a somewhat derivative story populated by stereotypes (or archetypes, if you want to be kind). It eventually arrives at the only place where it can go, giving you the ending that you're expecting, while pretending that it's a twist ending. It's not particularly bad writing, but it's not something that I'd really commend, either. All the same, it's entertaining enough, for what it is. If you're in the mood for a slow paced, noir-ish cop-on-the-edge movie, this will probably satisfy you, though there isn't a whole lot that stands out.
'THE SON OF NO ONE': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
I was severely let down by 'THE SON OF NO ONE'! I'm a fan of the filmmaker Dito Montiel, who wrote and directed the film, and I like most of the cast. Montiel also helmed two other urban dramas 2006's 'A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS' (which was pretty good) and 2009's 'FIGHTING' (which I absolutely loved). Those films both starred Channing Tatum, like this one does, so Tatum appears to be Montiel's go to guy. 'SAINTS' also starred Shia LaBeouf and Robert Downey Jr. though (who made the movie) and 'FIGHTING' also starred Terrence Howard (who turned in my favorite performance of that year!). This one co-stars Al Pacino, Ray Liotta, Katie Holmes, Juliette Binoche and Tracy Morgan. With all that talent and what Montiel has already delivered us I expected a lot more from this film. Instead we get a routine cop movie with weak pacing and an unsatisfactory ending. The cast is still good but there was potential for so much more!
Tatum plays Jonathan White, a young police officer with a wife, Kerry (Holmes) and sick daughter, Charlie (Ursula Parker). Early on in the film he's assigned to a precinct in Queens where he grew up. He and his fellow officers also start receiving mysterious letters from an anonymous writer bringing up a cold case from 1986 which accuses a police officer of covering two murders up. Jonathan is troubled by these letters as they remind him of haunting memories from his past and may jeopardize his future. He tries to figure out who's sending the letters as we see the horrors he and another childhood friend experienced at the time through flashbacks.
The movie is nicely stylized and appears to be moving, suspenseful and mysterious but it never quite makes any sense. Like I said the acting is all decent, especially the young boy who plays Jonathan as a kid (Jake Cherry). I like Tatum, I don't think he's a great actor but he can be likable in the right role. Here he's decent, well cast and does the best he can but has nothing really to work with. Pacino and the others are all as good as they can possibly be as well. The blame lies solely with Montiel for the movie's failures, mainly just his weak script. A few more rewrites really could have worked wonders for this movie and next time these talented actors shouldn't sign on so quickly. Hopefully Montiel will learn from his mistakes and be back to what he does best with his next film.
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