Frank Bartlett has been tortured, embarrassed, and humiliated by his brother Bruce -- usually on film -- his entire life. Now that Bruce is finally off drugs and has turned his life around, things should be different. They are not.
A decent but troubled young man is sent to a psychiatric institution for the criminally insane and soon finds himself in a fight for his life battling ghosts inside his head and very real enemies all around him.
After a heist of a casino, the criminal Addison is on the run to Canada with his accomplice Theo and his sister Liza. Out of the blue, Theo hits a deer and loses control of the car that leaves the road and overturns. Theo dies and Addison kills a patrolman that comes to help them. Then he splits the money with Liza and tells her to get a ride to the border while he will cross the woods. Addison leaves a trail of blood in his runaway. Meanwhile, the former boxer Jay, who was arrested for losing a fight, is released from prison on probation and calls his mother June Mills that lives in an isolated house with his estranged father Chet Mills that was the former Sheriff. June invites her son for the Thanksgiving dinner, but he goes first to the gym to collect money that his couch owes him. They quarrel and Jay hits him and believes that has killed him. He flees and while driving on the road, he sees Liza and gives a ride to her. Soon they fall in love with each other. Meanwhile Sheriff ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Olivia Wilde's first day of shooting was actually the scenes where her character almost freezes to death and she was only in a miniskirt during filming in Canada. See more »
While the movie is supposedly set in Michigan around Detroit, an early scene show's a Dunn's Delicatessen and the Dominion Square Tavern, both recognizable landmarks on Metcalfe Street in Downtown Montreal. See more »
What would home look like? I don't know. A farmhouse in the valley, I guess, like the one we grew up in, Liza and I. I remember hiding in the Orchard at night, looking down at the lighted windows, and waiting for our daddy to fall asleep just so we could go back inside. Do you remember that, Liza? Hmm, do you remember that?
See more »
'It's alright, little sis - It's a good sign when you feel a little bad.'
Perhaps the reason this film is not meeting with a better reception has to do with our current situation of senseless killings that are happening throughout the nation. Had t been placed in the theaters at a different time it might have been better appreciated. The script by Zach Dean is tight and multifaceted in meanings, the direction by Stefan Ruzowitzky keeps us in suspense until the final frame, and the cast of actors is unusually fine. It is a fine little film and deserves more attention.
The title DEADFALL is translated by the dictionary as 'A trap for large animals in which a heavy weight is arranged to fall on and kill or disable the prey.' How that title applies to his story is one of the subtle strong points in this dissection of three dysfunctional families. Siblings Addison (Eric Bana) and Liza (Olivia Wilde) are on the run from a casino heist gone wrong. When a car accident leaves their wheel man and a state trooper dead, they split up and make a run for the Canadian border in the worst of circumstances - a near whiteout blizzard. While Addison heads cross-country, killing everyone who crosses his path or who could provide transportation possibilities, Liza is picked up by ex-boxer Jay (Charlie Hunnam) who has just been released from prison for fixing a boxing match and is en-route for a Thanksgiving homecoming with his parents, June (Sissy Spacek) and retired sheriff Chet (Kris Kristofferson). Following Addison's wake of killings the sheriff (Treat Williams) loses many of his men and ridicules his new deputy daughter (Kate Mara). The story all come together at the Thanksgiving dinner at June and Chet's place - where the three families' ties are strained to the breaking point. It's there the siblings are reunited in a terse and thrilling showdown that pushes the bonds of family to the limit.
The freezing cold of the blizzard backdrop is juts right for the tension that pervades this story. The original musical score by Marco Beltrami underlines all the facets of this tale. While every one in the cast is excellent, it is Eric Bana that pulls of a very well written role in a manner that despite his actions he never loses our empathy.
22 of 34 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?