5.3/10
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32 user 31 critic

A Kind of Murder (2016)

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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.

Director:

Andy Goddard

Writers:

Susan Boyd (screenplay by), Patricia Highsmith (based on the novel "The Blunderer" by)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Wilson ... Walter Stackhouse
Jessica Biel ... Clara Stackhouse
Haley Bennett ... Ellie Briess
Eddie Marsan ... Marty Kimmel
Vincent Kartheiser ... Det. Laurence Corby
Jon Osbeck ... Jon Carr
Radek Lord ... Tony Ricco
Christine Dye ... Claudia
Kelly Mengelkoch ... Helen Kimmel
Corrie Danieley ... Betty Ireton
Ian Short Ian Short ... Bill Ireton
Ken Strunk ... Mr. Philpott
Jennifer Enskat ... Mrs. Philpott
Buz Davis Buz Davis ... Detective Harvey
Barry Mulholland Barry Mulholland ... Captain Millard
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

From the Novel by Patricia Highsmith.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blunderer See more »

Filming Locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$978, 16 December 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,806, 23 December 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Killer Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Hayley Bennett's character Ellie is singing in the club, it is actually Haley Bennett who sings the song "I can't Escape from You". See more »

Goofs

When Clara tells Walter that she'll go see a psychiatrist, she rushes over and embraces him with her hand on his lower torso. When the shot changes, her hand has moved high up on his chest. See more »

Quotes

Kimmel: Proof is not the key thing. It's doubt.
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Connections

References BUtterfield 8 (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Care
Written by Raymond Dahrouge
Performed by Ray & The Darchaes
Courtesy of Westwood Music Group
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User Reviews

 
A kind of mess
5 May 2017 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Patrick Wilson is a two-time Tony Award winner who bears, at certain angles, a resemblance to Paul Newman. He has enjoyed a very good career. But if he doesn't stay away from films like this, I fear for him.

"A Kind of Murder" takes place in 1960 and actually begins in a movie theater where "Butterfield 8" is being shown. A Chevrolet commercial can be heard from the screen; I'm not familiar enough with the film to say it took place in the movie, nor am I aware of commercials being shown in theaters, but I found it odd.

The story concerns two men, architect and some time writer Walter Stackhouse (Wilson) and a bookstore owner, Marty Kimmel (Eddie Marsan). Kimmel's wife is murdered and found near a tavern, and an aggressive cop, Laurence Corby (Vincent Kartheiser) is positive Kimmel is the killer. However, a young man has given him an alibi - he and Kimmel were both in the theater to see Butterfield 8 at the same time.

Then Walter's wife Clara (Jessica Biel), a beautiful but deeply disturbed and unhappy woman, winds up dead in the same location. Both women had taken the same bus, which stopped near the tavern. Walter, tired of Clara being neurotic, had told her he wanted a divorce. She threatened suicide, then left abruptly to be with her sick mother.

Detective Corby harasses both men mercilessly, and when he finds out that Stackhouse has clippings of the Kimmel murder as a resource for the writing he does on the side, he doubles up the harassment.

I'm not sure why this was set in 1960 except that it was based on a Patricia Highsmith novel probably written then. I wonder if the screenwriter (or Highsmith) realized that the Fourth Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1790 so that Corby could not have walked into Stackhouse's home and started going through his house without a warrant. And what idiots allow such harassment and never retain an attorney?

The film had some atmosphere but was slow and dull. It took forever to get to the plot. Now, modern screen writing demands this. I have no problem waiting for the point of the movie if the film is moving along. This one didn't.

Patricia Highsmith was a wonderful mystery writer, but she wasn't perfect. I haven't read her novel but somehow I feel it had to have been better than this.


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