6.5/10
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133 user 219 critic

Dead Man Down (2013)

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In New York City, a crime lord's right-hand man is helped by a woman seeking retribution.

Director:

Niels Arden Oplev

Writer:

J.H. Wyman
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Popularity
4,822 ( 156)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Victor
Noomi Rapace ... Beatrice
Terrence Howard ... Alphonse
Dominic Cooper ... Darcy
Isabelle Huppert ... Valentine Louzon
Luis Da Silva Jr. ... Terry
Stu Bennett ... Kilroy
Franky G ... Luco
Declan Mulvey ... Goff
John Cenatiempo ... Charles
Roy James Wilson Roy James Wilson ... Blotto (as Roy James Wilson) (as Jr.)
Myles Humphus ... Lance
Stephen Hill ... Roland
Aaron Vexler Aaron Vexler ... Paul
James Biberi ... Ilir
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Storyline

Victor, a rising gangland player, has infiltrated the crime empire run by ruthless kingpin Alphonse, with the single purpose of making Alphonse pay for destroying his once happy life. As he meticulously orchestrates his vengeance from his high-rise home, Victor watches and is watched by Beatrice, a mysterious young woman who lives in the apartment across from his. On the surface a fragile woman-child, Beatrice seethes with a rage of her own. When she uncovers Victor's dark secrets, she threatens to expose him unless he helps her carry out her own campaign of retribution. Each fixated on avenging the past, they devise a violent and cathartic plan that could change their worlds forever. Beatrice is kidnapped by Alphonse towards the end, Its a race against time for Victor to save her. Written by FilmDistrict

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Revenge is coming. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language throughout and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

8 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Marcado por la muerte See more »

Filming Locations:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,345,250, 10 March 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,880,926, 14 April 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dominic Cooper and Terrence Howard have both appeared in Marvel Universe films pertaining to Iron Man. In Iron Man (2008) Howard plays Colonel Rhodes, Tony Stark's best friend and sidekick. In Captain America: the First Avenger (2011) Cooper plays Howard Stark, Tony's father. See more »

Goofs

When Beatrice is looking at a newspaper cutout about her accident, the headline has the word sentence spelled as "sentance". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Darcy: [holding infant son] It wasn't meant to be this way, you know? We make our plans, sure. But life... life is what happens to you along the way. You know, first I didn't want this. I didn't want to connect. I didn't want to get involved. But she kept on with me, you know. This is what life is. This is why we're here. To connect. To... to build. We're here to build something. And then we had Theo. And then I understood that... you know, she was right. We're not meant to be alone. You ...
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Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

A Fine Mess
Written by Girard Knox
Performed by The British Columbians
Courtesy of Rural Records
By arrangement with Brightmind Music
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User Reviews

 
An intelligent thriller that takes its time dishing out retribution.
13 May 2013 | by TheSquissSee all my reviews

Dead Man Down is a surprise and an exceptionally rewarding viewing experience. This is an intelligent thriller packed with action that takes its time to unfold and finally wanders off into the sunset leaving the viewer invigorated and satisfied, but ready for another bout.

Victor (Colin Farrell) is a player in in gangland kingpin Alphonse's (Terrence Howard) empire and, though he gives the appearance of being Alphonse's right-hand man, his intentions towards the crime lord are decidedly darker. Meanwhile, the girl in the apartment opposite, Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), watches him dispatch an adversary and blackmails him into dishing out a generous serving of retribution that she herself is unable (or unwilling) to administer.

Neils Arden Oplev (the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and currently shooting Stephen King's Under the Dome) peels back layer after layer to reveal ever-rawer characters and emotions in Dead Man Down. It isn't just about unfolding the story, though he does so beautifully, it is more about filling out the characters carefully so that we understand what makes them tick. No, what makes them angry.

There are some severely damaged characters on display here but their emotions, their actions, come across as not just understandable but entirely justified. Forget petty crooks with violent whims, Victor and Beatrice have given serious thought to their revenge but that doesn't make them shallow or irredeemable.

While Victor bubbles along in a coldly, organized manner, Beatrice rages under her skin. On the surface she is the cool cat but the confusion, the maelstrom of rage, bitterness and loss, swirls within her so that she is potentially dangerous to herself and Victor. It is tempting to use the old cliché of both Farrell and Rapace 'never being better' but it isn't true in her case; she is frequently this good, even if the films don't always match her talent. In Farrell's case, he has so many under-performing films (London Boulevard, Tigerland) and the odd turkey (Total Recall) on his CV that it is easy to forget that he is generally on very fine form. Don't believe me? Look again at Phone Booth, In Bruges…

Howard has a reputation in the industry of being 'difficult' (note the recasting of Colonel Rhodes in the Iron Man sequels) but his body of work is extraordinary and the intensity of his performance in Dead Man Down makes it blindingly obvious why he's a good bet on screen. There's no Nicolas Cage-type ranting, just a considered, quiet violence to his Alphonse.

Dominic Cooper slips along in Dead Man Down, not at all unremarkable, but just another fine actor and a superbly cast film. As Darcy, another of Alphonse's mob and friend of the traitorous Victor, he comes across as a good(ish) guy who's unfortunate to be caught up in entirely the wrong job in the wrong place at the wrong time. He doesn't steal scenes here but he fills them out, he completes them, knowing his place in the hierarchy of the mob and his billing in the film.

Oplev has crafted a very fine thriller indeed. The drama excites, the explosions scorch the skin but what makes Dead Man Down stand above so many others in the genre (I'm talking to you, Welcome to the Punch) is not the ramped up action but the stillness and the time and care he takes over his characters and the setting of the atmosphere. He allows us time to enjoy the clinking of ice-cubes in glasses as Victor and Beatrice consider each other and, strangely for a director of an action flick, allows the dialogue to do the talking rather than the gunshots and the car chases.

Dead Man Down is at times gentle but always thrilling and the pauses in the action don't ever detract from the pace. Conversely, they make it more intense and a film that truly deserves to register at the box office in spite of the big-buck, megastar vehicles of Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness. I fear it will be another 'underperforming' film on Farrell's CV, but don't for a minute confuse that with being a flop. The dead man might be down but he definitely isn't out.

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