1 user 6 critic

A Kind of Murder (2016)

In 1960s New York, Walter Stackhouse is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overambitious detective, while at the same time lusting after another woman.



(screenplay), (novel)
4,977 ( 785)

Coming Soon

In theaters December 16.

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Free Fire (2016)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival.

Director: Ben Wheatley
Stars: Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley
Jackie V (2016)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Following the assassination of her husband, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.

Director: Pablo Larraín
Stars: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hurt
Moonlight I (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Director: Barry Jenkins
Stars: Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.

Director: Tom Ford
Stars: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The rivalry between two brothers reaches a fever pitch during a charity swim competition.

Director: Sophie Goodhart
Stars: Adam Scott, Nick Kroll, Greg Violand
La La Land I (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Amiée Conn
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Teresa Palmer, Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn
Mr. Church (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

"Mr. Church" tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook - Henry Joseph Church. What begins as a six month arrangement instead spans into fifteen years and creates a family bond that lasts forever.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Britt Robertson, Natascha McElhone
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Kyle and Eva are American art school students in the midst of a tumultuous breakup. In an attempt to rebuild their relationship and recharge their artistic inspirations, they retreat to Tel... See full summary »

Directors: Tanner King Barklow, Gil Kofman
Stars: Haley Bennett, Thomas Dekker, Bob Morley
'71 (2014)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1971, a young and disorientated British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the deadly streets of Belfast.

Director: Yann Demange
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Sam Reid, Sean Harris
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A new sheriff of a small town along the U.S. & Mexico border investigates a drug cartel deal that went horribly wrong.

Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Stars: Ian McShane, Patrick Wilson, John Leguizamo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Henry is an introverted architect. After the death of his wife in a car accident, he sets out to help Millie, a homeless teen, to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic.

Director: Bill Purple
Stars: Jessica Biel, Maisie Williams, Jason Sudeikis


Credited cast:
Clara Stackhouse
Walter Stackhouse
Detective Lawrence Corby
Mrs. Philpott
Betty Ireton
Tony Ricco
Claudia (as Christine A. Dye)
Jon Caar
Bus / Bar Patron
Detective Jackson
Movie Patron
Ken Strunk ...
Mr. Philpott


A psychological noir thriller set in 1960's New York based on Patricia Highsmith's novel, 'The Blunderer'. Walter Stackhouse is rich, successful and unhappily married to the beautiful but damaged Clara. His desire to be free of her feeds his obsession with Kimmel, a man suspected of brutally murdering his own wife. But when Clara is found dead in suspicious circumstances, Walter's string of lies and his own guilty thoughts seem enough to condemn him. As his life becomes dangerously entwined with Kimmel's, a ruthless cop is increasingly convinced he has found a copycat killer in Walter and aims to nail both murderers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 December 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Blunderer  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A large majority of this movie was filmed in a small town on the Ohio river called New Richmond, Ohio See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Kind of Noir, But Not Quite
26 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Film noir. Pulp fiction. Low lights and dim shadows. Smoky bars that serve the finest rotgut and rooms that rent by the hour. The not so smart guys and dolls that occupy this underworld are people the good life never knew. Their existence is one of unabashed desperation, seeking a way out to a life they never had or could play a part. Always one big score, one stroke of luck, one horse or roll of the dice away from trading the bad side of town for deliverance to a wistful world that remains just outside their plaintive grasps. For these tortured souls, a return to the big house is a welcome respite, death a transition to the solace they could never find. Pitfalls arrive in the form of a rival's murder they did not commit, a robbery by an old pal while they were asleep, but somehow, being a "usual suspect," they dissemble while innocent when the inevitable knock on the door arrives, which eventually leads to their sometimes undeserved tragic end.

Enter "A Kind of Murder," a not so pulpy attempt at the classic genre. The lighting is foreboding, the shadows disguise, the mood is set, but then the movie starts and we get something else. It is as if the makers of this film tried to make "The Blue Dahlia" with the wrong characters. Clara Stackhouse, played by Jessica Biel ("Hitchcock," "The Illusionist") represents the stereotypical bored, hysterical, boozed and suicidal sixties housewife, dressed in suburban splendor in her taffeta hoop skirts, pearls and white gloves. At no point does she evoke the noir broad, the tough Barbara Stanwick-type chick who "don't take no guff off nobody." We're supposed to believe that she is the most successful real estate agent in her region, but the only indication we have that she has a career is a couple of lines from her boss. Her manic-depressive character would have been more believable if they had made her Madmen's iconic Betty Draper, pushing a vacuum while knocking back highballs.

Patrick Wilson ("Fargo," "The Watchmen") is wasted in this poor man's B- movie role as Walter Stackhouse, a pathological liar on a strange guilt trip because he imagined life without Clara. He's got everything, successful architectural practice, sprawling suburban home, cool car and beautiful wife reminiscent of Talking Head's "Once in a Lifetime," but he's trapped playing the role of the desperate two-time loser with nothing at stake. The power couple we are presented ("he builds 'em, she sells 'em") simply doesn't fit. Wilson is forced to channel his best Alan Ladd while making every inexplicable mistake a murder suspect can muster, digging his own grave with every word he utters. You want to shout "Stop talking!" at the screen. He should have taken his partner's advice and taken some time off. We'll have to wait for Wilson to land a leading role he can sink his teeth into.

The hard-boiled detective, played by Vincent Kartheiser (Peter Campbell- "Madmen") is straight out of a bad B-movie playbook. As pathetic as the perps he pursues, he concocts one crazy theory after another, committed to solving crimes with his gut rather than seek actual evidence. Stackhouse's mindboggling series of lies does nothing but encourage Kartheiser's unwavering, emotionally driven methods. Unfortunately, once the investigation picks up speed the story becomes frustratingly convoluted and remains so. His flights of fancy make it impossible to discern what he's trying to accomplish. Mark McPherson ("Laura"), a stellar noir detective, would have slapped him silly.

The movie ends on a fitful note. Kimmel (Eddie Marsan –"Ray Donovan," "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell"), a psychopath who actually did commit murder, panics after one of Kartheiser's nonsensical threats, later finding his solace via death by bullets in a dark basement. Just what one would expect if the movie was about him. The problem is Kimmel's story is unrelated to Stackhouse's problems outside of convenient logistics, and provides no resolution to the principal story. We leave not knowing whether Kartheiser continued investigating Stackhouse or simply gave up. One could conjure the image of a conversation between him and his police chief a la "Burn After Reading," where they decide Stackhouse is simply too stupid to have murdered his wife. The line, "If we convicted husbands for wishing their wives dead, there would not be enough prisons to hold them" comes to mind. In the end, "A Kind of Murder" is kind of noir, but misses the mark.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss A Kind of Murder (2016) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: