8.8/10
6,422
26 user 1 critic

Graves End (2005)

When society turns their back on reformed felons, the town of Graves End welcomes them but when the ex-cons disappear, FBI agent Paul Rickman comes looking for them and discovers more than he expected.

Director:

James Marlowe
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8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Roberts ... Tarkington Alexander Graves / Tag
Steven Williams ... Paul Rickman
Daniel Roebuck ... Sheriff Hooper
Valerie Mikita ... Krissi Graves
Fairly Tull ... Maudy
Edward Perotti ... Doc
Sky Soleil ... Billy
Nick Stellate ... Luke Devilyn
Anthony Santucci Anthony Santucci ... Tedesco
Joe Wyka Joe Wyka ... Mark
Adam Del Rio ... Brian
Geno Carvalho ... Terry
Durand Ford Durand Ford ... Telephone Repair Worker
Shawny Hoops ... Amanda
Dave Heintzelman Dave Heintzelman ... FBI Agent
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Storyline

In Graves End, the four year-old son of the wealthy financier Tag Graves is kidnapped and the criminals demand a ransom of six million dollars. FBI agent Paul Rickman is assigned to the case that ends with the cruel death of the child and the disappearance of the requested amount. The kidnapper Luke Devilyn is arrested but is released after his trial due to fails in the evidences. He returns to Graves End, a place where the 666 dwellers welcome ex-cons rejected by other towns. When Luke Devilyn is found dead in the woods nearby the town, agent Rickman notes that the criminals that move to Graves End simply vanish, and he returns to the town for further investigation. He meets Sheriff Hooper and recognizes him from a case of bad temper and attitude with great repercussion in the past. Meanwhile, the psychopath Billy also comes to the town leaving a trail of blood behind. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some dark secrets won't stay buried forever

Genres:

Thriller | Mystery

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secretos enterrados See more »

Filming Locations:

Ben Lomond, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,930,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Mesmerizingly atmospheric and compelling thriller
23 December 2006 | by berlinmovieboySee all my reviews

"Graves End" is one of those movies that takes you by surprise with its clever storyline, intriguing plot devices, excellent acting from the lead stars and strong direction. Director James Marlowe opens up "Graves End" with a creepy virtuoso of newspaper clippings and archaic images that is reminiscent of Kenneth Branagh's "Dead Again" and Guillermo Del Toro's "Mimic." Marlowe's opening credits pulls you into the history of the Graves family and what made them what they are. Clearly Marlowe has done his homework about what makes a thriller work and how to compact plot devices into a limited time frame.

The strength of film is drawn from the three leads: Eric Roberts as Tag, Steven Williams as Rickman and Daniel Roebuck as Sheriff Hooper. The chemistry between them is dynamic and propels the film forward. Sky Soleil is outstanding as a brutal psychopath and he reminds one of Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" with his child-like glee upon slaughtering his victims.

The story revolves around a group of missing felons who have been pushed from city-to-city and town-to-town. However, only the little village of Graves End embraces them. These felons happily seek sanctuary in a small town that appears to accept them and all their flaws into their community. All is well until the felons disappear and that prompts FBI agent Paul Rickman to investigate their vanishings and discover what happened to them.

I've been a fan of Eric Roberts but in "Graves End" Mr. Roberts redeems himself for years of prostituting himself out to some very bad films. I would say this is one of Eric Roberts's best performances as he portrays Tag as smarmy and arrogant while still being vulnerable and conflicted. Daniel Roebuck shines as a clumsy backwater Sheriff in over his head but Roebuck plays his character with so much dignity and resolve that you feel for his plight. However, the man who stole the entire film was Steven Williams. Mr. Williams has always brought a level of authority to every role he's played from Captain Adam Fuller in "21 Jump Street" to the mysterious Mr. X in "The X-Files". In "Graves End", Mr. Williams does not disappoint and continues with a commanding performance along the lines of Morgan Freeman in "Seven" and Denzel Washington in "Man on Fire."

Director Marlowe weaves the film together with a fine tapestry of suspense, humor, drama and action. He seems to utilize gore with a wink toward Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive" and Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" trilogy. It seems as though Marlowe believes the gore and blood is an extension of humor that offsets a scene that is previously gruesome and disturbing. However, where Marlowe really makes his mark as a director and an auteur is how he unfolds events, the characters development, the tempo and atmosphere of the film creates a hypnotic effect that draws you into the film deeper and deeper.

Though the film has many pluses one of the glaring minuses is the supporting cast. Though Edward Perotti is fine as Doc the film is hamstrung by the weak and unconvincing performance of Anthony Santucci as Tedesco. Santucci is listed as one of the four writers and must have written himself into the movie as his acting is amateurish and stiff. Thankfully Mr. Santucci's role is small and he doesn't get in the way of spoiling the film.

These thrillers are often conceived in such a way with clues that deceive. Consequently, with this in mind I carefully explore the motives of each character. I regret to say that I was tricked into coming to a wrong conclusion about the perpetrator of the crimes.

I rented "Graves End" at my local video store in Berlin. The cover art to the DVD is rubbish but I rented the movie on the basis it won so many awards. After seeing the film I can see why because it's so damn good. I would rate this film a 9 out of 10 for its combination of humor, drama, suspense and action that is crafted into a first rate psychological thriller.


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