Pawn (2013) Poster

(I) (2013)

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Low Budget Thrills
filgray847 April 2013
Pawn is a low budget crime thriller set in a diner which is robbed. But the robbers have bitten off a little bit more than they can chew and events quickly spiral out of control as it turns out the diner they have robbed is owned by a mafia guy.

That's all I can tell you without spoiling the plot and that's the best way to go into this movie - knowing as little as possible.

The opening sequence sets the movie up nicely for what later unfolds to be a highly entertaining watch full of deception, conspiracy and twists aplenty. It's tense and keeps you hooked right through until the closing credits.

The best part of this film is the fact that just when you think you're getting to grips with what's happening, you're hit with another twist.

The cast is strong with quite a few recognizable faces putting in good performances to contribute to a solid and well constructed script. The majority of the movie takes place inside the diner but there is enough going on within those walls to mask this fact.

Overall, I enjoyed this film. I went in knowing very little and came out very impressed. I was entertained from start to finish which is all you can really ask for.

Pawn will not win any awards, but if a good entertaining thriller is your thing then you will not be disappointed 3.5/5
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IMDBer10057527 April 2013
I watched this movie on one of those "lazy" days (it was the last day of my week-long vacation). I was bored and didn't want to do anything so I popped in a movie.

I quite enjoyed the movie until the ending. I think the writers ran out of weed or something and just got bored writing. The movie tried to build up all these possibilities and then in the end, it just abandoned everything. I found that I just sat there asking, "what about the..."

The rest of the story was fine: acting was good, lighting / atmosphere was quite pro, make-up / wardrobe was excellent. I think Michael Chiklis is a fine actor and in this movie, he really got to show how bad-ass he can be as an antagonist. Also, Jessica Szohr is nice eye- candy. :)

If you're bored on a lazy day with nothing else to do but entertain the mind, or if you're out conquering Pandaria, pop in this movie for a go.
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Suspense at the start
kosmasp25 December 2013
But unfortunately as things unravel, the movie loses its touch. There are quite a few good actors in it (Chiklis, Reed to name a few) and they're trying their best. For a low budget movie this is fairly well shot too. Of course it's almost entirely one location (with a few exceptions) and you'll either like that or not.

For a low budget movie, it's always better to have a few, but interesting locations. So that's a positive side aspect, until you realize there could be more to it. The story, especially towards the end, loses its drive and motivation a bit and gets a little too tricky for its own good. Sometimes simpler is better, if well thought trough ...
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Pretty good
Wizard-810 May 2013
This movie is evidence that you don't need a large budget or a ton of action to keep an audience interested. I thought this movie was captivating from beginning to end. It isn't a perfect movie - there is a little bit too much coincidence in the story that prevents the audience from completely swallowing the story smoothly, and the end seems a little unfinished in some details. But other than that, the movie is very well done. It's a little strange to hear Michael Chiklis speak with a British accent, but he manages to sell his character. In fact, all the actors do a good job. While low budget, the movie looks slick and professional in every shot. The real star of the movie is the script, which has a lot of twists and turns, enough that I could not see where the movie was heading. If you like independent cinema, this is one example that is very pleasing to watch.
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"Who's Move Is It?"
dmurilloroman2 May 2013
Pawn, is a surprisingly grisly movie that deserves a top ranking with straight to video releases. The performances aren't as terrible as most of these types of films consist of and you really get invested into the characters. For such a film, it's screenplay isn't as full with stale or artificial lines and it actually embodies it's characters. On paper the plot seems extremely stale/generic but with it's execution of a fresh style and simplicity it ends up to transform. Whitaker and Liota's role are really minor roles but it's such a treat to see them in a film like this. The plot is a short term one but the film makes it work by analyzing every single detail, so I dare you to find a plot hole. With an over average script that contains a scene of really smart symbolism, the actors can not really mess it up. Action wise the film does not shy away, probably due to the fact of the directors background in being a cinematographer for the Saw films. For a crime/robbery flick it isn't as brainless as you could have been led to believe and it really captures the scene in a full scale. Overall, the film is an acceptable straight to video release that contains sudden twists, fresh plot, and great character development
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Who is or who isn't in on it?
LeonLouisRicci1 May 2013
This can be heavy going at times. The complexity of who is and who isn't in on the scheme becomes a bit laborious and detracts from the tension. Although it does matter to be intriguing enough to enjoy as things move along with an economy of events. There are enough twists and turns to keep one interested as to who is involved but it is really overwritten.

That is to say that a few of the Characters motives have little time in this short Movie to play out and completely compose the story. All of the Acting is acceptable and right up to the end it is a rather tense situation, as most hostage Movies strive. It is just a little too full of itself to be fulfilling.

It's a pretty good nail-biter, but overall fails to nail down a completely satisfying wrap up as things get wild and quite muddled. This kind of stuff works much better on the page than on the screen. There have been a lot of Detective Fiction from the likes of Raymond Chandler to prove this time and again. This just tries to be a little too clever for a little Movie.
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A Diner Gets Robbed, and a Number of Interesting Layers Unfold
doug_park200119 May 2013
Generally good acting brings an immediate realism to a low budget film that's otherwise unrealistic in certain ways. Despite a few draggy spots, PAWN is tense and engrossing, with some clever twists. It can be difficult to place who's what in a movie that's this short yet has this big a cast, but that's all part of the fun. If viewed carefully, PAWN will make pretty good sense in the end.

Particularly good performances by Sean Faris and the three (Michael Chiklis, Max Beesley, and Cameron Denny) who play the robbers.

Definitely worth seeing if you like crime,suspense,and that sort of thing.
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This freight train stops for no one...
Rabbit-Reviews25 April 2013
Pawn. Pawn is the reason why I watch too many boring or just plain bad movies (or start watching), because out of every 20 bad movies there is one, just one, as awesome as this one. It comes at you as a freight train, just wrecking everything in front of it and it keeps going 'till it hits the end. Nerve-wrecking and incredibly intense, the thing that blew me away was the script with its twists and turns. And these were clever and well thought out twists and turns, worthy of a much bigger budget. Although I wouldn't change a thing in Pawn, the cast was phenomenal, a compliment of experienced and rugged actors who know how to do what the directors asks and when to do it. Production values were also great, so you will have a feeling that you're watching some big block buster.

Nick is a car thief who just got out of prison, determined to change his life, for his and his families sake. His wife is pregnant, and this is the time to man up and take some responsibility. He goes to a local diner, not knowing what will happen in just a few minutes. A band of criminals led by the ruthless and charismatic Derrick, storm the diner while Nick was in the bathroom. Soon they round up all the guests, all but one who's hiding in the bathroom. At the same time Will, a policeman stops his car in front of the diner and lights up a smoke. Then all hell breaks loose...

Used to Michael Chiklis as Detective Vic Mackey, it was a bit strange to hear him talk with an English accent, but as the wise hooker once said it is cute. The rest of the characters were well developed and with excellent and believable motives for their actions. There was nothing that was sacrificed to drive the story forward, and this is a very rare thing, although the very end was just a tiny bit rushed or it seemed that way because of all the excitement that happened earlier. Just at the time when you think that you know what's going on, and who is who another twists punches you in the gut. This freight train stops for no one.

Movie recommendations - Only movies worth watching
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Tries your patience a little to start with, but quite well done in the end
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Officer Will (Forest Whitaker) wonders in to an all night diner, and soon becomes aware that all is not as it seems- that, in fact, a robbery being staged by Derrick (Michael Chiklis) and his cronies is in progress. In to the equation comes Nick Davenport (Sean Faris), a recently released con trying to go straight, who ends up being used as a go between/patsy for the criminals. But is everyone who they seem? Is everything as it seems?

With an all star cast of hardly A list, but still quality actors, Pawn has it's sights set higher than it's made for DVD limitations, aiming for a high concept approach to a traditional hold up drama. Pretty early in, it soon becomes clear it's going to be yet another of these 'reverse plotting' thrillers that was edgy and experimental when it first started but are getting a bit tiresome now, with each one trying to be cleverer than the last one, making you yearn for a good old, simple dramatic thriller like they made in the old days. As it gets going, you start to write it off as a boring latest addition to this fad, but thankfully if you stick with it the plot isn't as needlessly complicated as it could have been and manages to be intelligent without being over indulgent.

Pawn is the latest in what is quite a popular trend at the moment. It's a style that is becoming a bit weary and tiresome, and it hardly explores the concept in any really new or challenging way. But it does so in an efficient, competent and satisfying one, and is intelligently short so it doesn't stretch your patience any more than it does a little at the beginning. ***
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Two stars and a good cinema poster ...
moico755 May 2013
OK I admit it ! I was a victim of the good DVD cover ... ! But you see Forest Whitaker on top and Ray Liotta ... !!! So you expect something big and full of good acting and nice plot ... !!! In the movie you see them appear (or better disappear) like guest stars ! Your expectations go bye bye in a short time after you start watching it. All the other actors are almost fresh and they do a good job for a chop chop (you can "see"many other movies in this movie)! The scenario is low and predictable. Honest cop - corrupted cop and the typical victim who just got out of jail. It's 88 minutes ... "brake the glass" in case of no better choice.
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Very Poor
labshop16 May 2013
Because of Chicklis and Liotta, I knew what to expect, but even these one hit wonders cannot prepare you for just how awful this movie was. I'm having a hard time sitting through it, but if you make it, from what I understand, they send you a tee shirt. Some scenes almost make the mark, but then the poor performances have you thinking that this TV movie (including vulgarity) must have been perplexing for the bunch that were marketing it. In just the first 15 minutes into it, they must have realized it will never be Box Office material and then begin to worry if it would be attractive to the cable marketplace. Then after a half hour, your concern is if you can recoup your investment in rentals alone, or is it going to turn red altogether ....yeah it is that bad. It looks like it was written by two people, one had brains, the other didn't. The same worn out body language, over viewed plots and a cast not suitable for TV, has the finger that controls the stop button on your remote paying more attention then the rest of your body. Finally, one hour into it, you begin to think if the rumor about the tee shirt is worth it and will you make. The purpose of this review, as you now understand, is to warn the innocent.
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hitchcockthelegend7 August 2015
What started out as a planned easy robbery of a diner, proves to be far more complicated than the robbers ever imagined.

An impressive cast that features Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta and Michael Chiklis fail to liven up this dullard of a movie. A straight to DVD effort that fails to grasp the concept of getting tension from the one location scenario. If it's not the laughable British accents putting you off - or that Whitaker is actually only doing a cameo - it's that the twist and turns still go nowhere fast, serving only to make the hum-drum pacing even more irritable. Some nice photography is a bonus, and the action sequences, while not exciting, are competently staged. But all told it looks like the 15 day shoot that it was, a case of grabbing some name actors and hoping that they can make an intended tricksy screenplay work. It didn't. 4/10
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Solid Under the Radar Crime Thriller
Floated231 August 2015
Pawn showcases the talents of the cast in this ensemble crime hostage thriller. The plot is a short term one but the film makes it work by analyzing every single detail, so I dare you to find a plot hole. With an over average script that contains a scene of really smart symbolism, the actors can not really mess it up. Action wise the film does not shy away, probably due to the fact of the directors background in being a cinematographer for the Saw films. The film shows a flashback to the backstory of why he was doing. Then the movie shifts and becomes a personal vendetta for Sean Faris to recover his pregnant wife from the mysterious captor, Ray Liotta, and get the hell out of the diner without dying. Throughout the movie, we never even quite know who he is, and it seems a bit random. Although the film does because quite clear towards the end, as it is an entertaining watch.
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Don't Believe the Anti-Hype
featheredsun13 July 2013
I gave this an 8, just to bump it up a little - it's about a 7 honestly. That's still a good film folks - don't believe the score you see here on IMDb.

This movie is very well acted by pretty much everyone in it, with some notable performances from Ferris, Chiklis, and Liotta (who I haven't enjoyed much lately). The actions and reactions are believable and the drama is charged.

Most people seem to harp on the plot here - it's a complicated tale of a corrupt cop trying to arrange a heist against an underworld kingpin - a heist that goes wrong from the start. I can't go into too much detail without spoiling it, but the turns and surprises, though definitely unusual, are really not that hard to believe and - here's the important part - they make for a great watch.

Solid dialogue, fine direction, and solid gold acting make this an easy keeper for this movie viewer.
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Nothing Amazing,
leonblackwood16 June 2013
Review: The cast looked really impressive in this movie, but I thought that it was a bit strange that it went straight to DVD. After watching the film, I realised that most of the actors that were on the poster only get a couple of scenes, except for Michael Chiklis who had a awful cockney accent throughout the movie. Anyway, the film seemed a bit cheap and weak. There are many twists which keeps it interesting, but I still think that the director could have done a much better job. All of the actors put in good performances, but its the storyline that could have done with a lot more work. Disappointing!

Round-Up: Ray Liotta seems to be in a lot of straight to DVD movies of late, which is a shame because he can act. I have also seen Forest Whittaker in a lot of B movies, which is quite surprising for an actor in his calibre. As for Michael Chiklis, his career seemed so promising after the Shield, but we haven't seen him in anything amazing. As for this movie, it seems like the director was trying to launch Sean Faris's career into the big time, but failing like in many of his other movies.
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Somewhat puzzling reviews... I personally found this movie quite fun and entertaining. Blu-ray: Very Good A:8 V:9
lathe-of-heaven13 February 2014

All I can figure is that there MUST be some reason or agenda to take a perfectly good, well made, gripping, and most of all FUN Crime Thriller like this and then for some unknown cosmic reason, just P*$$ the hell all over it. And what really gets me about THESE particular reviews concerning this film is the unmitigated arrogance of the comments...

Anyway, that's not why you called... : )

Clearly, at least *I* thought it was a great and very entertaining film. I frigg'n LOVED the main bad guy (Chiklis - who also was one of the producers) He was VERY Guy Ritchie, which is ALWAYS fun! Seriously, right from the clever way the film opened and then the way the film makers kind of bent your mind around by sort of rewinding it and replaying it differently (I STILL honestly don't quite get the specific logic of why they did that) it honestly REALLY grabs you by the nuts and does NOT let you go until the end.

Now, *IF* this were indeed the cheeeeezy, poorly done, quickie Crime film that others here are bloody SAYING that it is, there is NO frigg'n way that it would have been this sharply put together. Everything truly was done very well. In a film like this, you would think that maybe the writing, dialog, and acting might suffer; that maybe the characters or what they say would not come across as believable. But actually, it was all quite well done. Even though ALL of the primary elements that make up this film were executed extremely well, I feel that the editing was particularly good. The one scene where Ray Liota is telling the story about the clock makers was an outstanding example of this.

Crap movies don't do that. Pure and simple...

Soooooo, I have NO bloody idea WHAT these knuckle-dragging Cretans are talking about with all these negative comments, but if you like Guy Ritchie's films (this one is not QUITE up there with his though) and you just enjoy REALLY fun Crime films with lots of twists and turns, then there is absolutely NO reason why you shouldn't completely enjoy this movie. It does PRECISELY what it sets out to do, and it does so splendidly. And that is a solid '8' in my book...
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Ended up being a good flick
taraholman-7071129 December 2020
It had a few unexpected twists. Def worth watching.
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Puzzle game
baunacholi-8615931 March 2020
An intelligent and very well made little movie who deserves more visibility and recognition in my POV. Pawn does a lot of things right! Red herrings allover the place to distract and confuse the audience, a convincing cast, a refreshing minimal setting, great cinematography, no special effects orgy...& a really wonderful script! Two thumbs up for a great puzzle.
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Pure Junk!
William_Henry_Pratt27 May 2013
It should be illegal for this "director' to ever get near a camera again.

Chock full of stars, this 'thing' never gets off the ground. The erratic, haphazard cutting of the narrative makes this a complete mess to watch. The values are all over the place. I figure they had a pretty flat movie when they finished cutting it and figured 'what the hell?' might as well chop it up using a lot of elliptical cuts. The problem is that there has to be a reason - not just for the hell of it. Seeing the same scenes over and over again is just boring.

It looked like it was shot on video. Really bad, horrible lighting; non existent production design; and no sound design. This needed a good music bed pretty badly! The performances were hampered by the lack of it. It's a shame since there is such a waste of fine talent.

The story could have gone through a few more rewrites. A little too much needless exposition in the dialogue. If you go out and sit next to people you learn how they talk so you don't write lines like "I've made mistakes and I've paid for them." Oi vey! It's like someone coming over to your house and greets you by saying "I'm going to shake your hand and say hello."

I could be wrong about this movie since it made a whopping $2,000 at the box office.
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Not Good
bob-rutzel-129 July 2013
An Off-duty cop, Will (Forest Whitaker), walks into a robbery in a diner owned by the mob. Oh, oh, this can't be good.

And, it wasn't good. None of it. We have Michael Chiklis sporting a Cockney accent and to be truthful it wasn't half bad, but the acting all around needed help. Simply grimacing a face does not really show anger. The hostages didn't show the expected fear and looked ridiculous with phony crying and tears. Give me a break. It was like everyone was in rehearsal before the actual shooting. Nothing was believable.

Okay, let me back up some. Ray Liotta as the Man in the Suit, and Forest Whitaker as Will, the cop, who stepped into it, were the only ones who performed to what we expected of these stars. The problem was they weren't the main guys and had limited screen time. Bummer. Common as Jeff Porter, the on-scene police captain was okay, but he didn't have much to work with.

You have to ask yourself why would crooks knock over a diner owned by the mob? Isn't that like a group suicide? Hmmmm……. Well, there is something that we are not told until more than half-way thru. Then it kind of made sense.

There are twists in here and they are the only things that held me because every time I thought of shutting this down, another twist came into play and I had to see it through thinking this would get better. Fooled every time.

To be fair, some of the minor players did okay (maybe they should have been the stars?). HA ! (3/10)

Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Drug use: Yes, briefly. Language: Yes.
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Thrilling and tense until it's wrapping up
OJT24 November 2013
One quiet night at the diner is the start of a thrilling 90 minutes. I just loved this right from the start. It keeps the tension for ore than an hour, and though it's multi layered I didn't find it difficult to understand or be engaged in. A good cast is doing a great job. Stephen Lang, Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, Ronald Guttman, Michael Sciklis all doing their job.

The film starts off with a cop (Forest Whitaker) coming into a diner some minutes before midnight. He right away senses there's something wrong. He expects an unusual situation, but not like this... Minutes before, there's been action at the diner. What is happening? Who's behind it? The start reminded me a lot of the tension in the classic Dog Day Afternoon.

The problem is that the film doesn't end in the exciting way it starts. Still I'll give bonus for the first hour. A better finish to the manuscript, and another half an hour would have done it. Such a pity it wasn't quality all way through!
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Bland as cardboard
NateWatchesCoolMovies13 September 2016
Pawn is another gift from the assembly line of slightly muddled second tier crime dramas, cobbled together with elements of greats from yesteryear, and barely held together at the seam by acting titans who have fallen on hard times chasing that almighty paycheque. That's not to say it's bad (although plenty of its breed are woeful), but simply inconsequential and forgettable. Starting off with a simple diner robbery that will inevitably spiral beyond control, we meet a band of clueless petty thieves lead by Michael Chiklis, doing his utter best with a silly cockney accent that has no reason to exist here. Little do these geniuses know, the diner they picked to lift happens to be a front for the Russian mob, setting off a chaotic chain of events that could end in all their deaths. The mob panics, and brings in everyone they can to clutter things up. Two corrupt cops show up, one inside the diner, played by Forest Whitaker, looking like he had some trouble understanding his portion of the script, and one outside, played by Marton Csokas who is underused a lot it seems. Common shows up as a hostage negotiator of all things, which made me chuckle. Stephen Lang is dangerously quiet as the restaurant owner and strong arm of the Russians. He hires a chatty Ray Liotta to hold one of the thieves wives (Nikki Reed) hostage and appear vaguely menacing until everything blows over. So we have scenes of him talking to her in cyclical metaphors interspersed with all the intrigue going down at the diner, and it all amounts to... what, exactly? Well, you'll have to take a look for yourself, but the while thing seemed rather pointless to me.
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Generic hit-and-run
p-stepien11 September 2013
When a botched heist on a local bar takes a gruesome twist, three armed robbers led by Derrick (Michael Chiklis) are forced into a hostage situation. Amongst those locked inside are police officer Will (Forest Whitaker) and recently released ex-con Nick (Sean Faris). The robbery however has much more at stake than just money, leaving both corrupted cops and mobsters on the outside feeling jittery. While a mysterious man in a suit (Ray Liotta) tries to sort out stuff from the outside, negotiator Jeff Porter (Common) attempts to diffuse the tense situation.

Featuring a multitude of flashbacks and other even less welcome film tricks (including a gratuitous blood-splashing sequence, where one of the hostages thinks out in his head, what would happen if he acted 'the hero'), muddles the movie way beyond what the actual plot requires. Making simples actions and situations seem more intricate initially works, but as the story unravels, so does that paper-thin ploy. Featuring some disinterested performances by several people in the cast (most notably Ray Liotta) and one above average outing by Chiklis, this adrenaline-driven ride makes for a passable watch, rife with some action and hints of tension, but never truly make it worth your while. None of the dialogue exceeds general actioneer banter, while the story itself is simplistic, despite the attempts to obscure it. On the positive side David A. Armstrong never flinches, when its necessary to dispose of the character of any of his more recognisable cast members.
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Who is the maniac that cast Sean Faris?
The_moan_of_all_moans8 August 2013
Before i type about the film itself, i would like to discuss my dismay at the so-called actor that goes by the name of Sean Faris. His performance in this film was so bad i was tempted to turn it off, take out the disc and snap it in half. That bad. And just to stick the knife in, his on screen brother is also unwatchable. Trying to make up for their abysmally, cringe worthy roles are Ray Liotta, Max Beesley, Michael Chiklis and what can only be described as a cameo by Forrest Whittaker (why he's on the front cover amazes me, he's in it for 5 minutes). Liotta is as cool as ever and Beesley follows suit in that respect. Chiklis is solid as the leader of the trio of bandits. And as for Whittaker, he's good in the 5 minutes he's allocated.

The story starts off mid-way and then flashes back, then flashes forward, then back, then forward, then back... and so on and so on.And whilst that style of film works in certain cases, it becomes a headache in this. It quite simply runs out of gas and i started to not care what was going on. And as for the big reveal at the end; anti climax at it's finest. But never mind that, in films like these the end is a good thing, but as for the last scene in this film....well i'll let you rip your hair out when you see it. If you're looking at a career in acting and you want to know how NOT to act, just watch Sean Faris.
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