A Crooked Somebody (2017) Poster

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ferguson-63 October 2018
Greetings again from the darkness. The lust for fame is really just a plea for acceptance. In director Trevor White's film, the lead character, Michael Vaughn, wreaks of desperation for acceptance ... from the public, from his associate, and mostly from his Pastor-Dad. Unfortunately, the path Vaughn chooses is simply the first of many bad decisions. In fact, the film is really a chronicle of the downward spiral of Michael Vaughn's bad decisions.

Rich Sommer (Harry Crane in "Mad Men") plays Michael Vaughn, a psychic who tours the country peddling his book and his "act". And yes, it's an act. It's such an act, that it could be considered a scam. However, Michael focuses on connecting the living with their beloved dead ones, so his (sparse) audience is filled with those who want to believe he is legitimate. His assistant-associate-accomplice-would be and one time lover is played by Joanne Froggatt. Her job is to prevent Michael from becoming despondent over the lack of book sales, and also to be his audience-plant when a session gets stalled.

The bulk of the story revolves around Nathan (Clifton Collins, Jr), a man who believes Vaughn has connected to a man Nathan killed. In trying to clear his conscience, Nathan wants Vaughn to use his talents to help Stacy (Amanda Crew), the now-grown daughter of the man Nathan killed. Instead of focusing on "helping" those involved, Vaughn seizes the opportunity to put himself in the spotlight ... gaining notoriety as the psychic who helped solve a long-ago murder case. And no, this isn't the final bad decision Vaughn makes. He manages to make things much worse.

Real life married couple Ed Harris and Amy Madigan play Vaughn's parents - the one's he so wants to win respect from. The script from writer Andrew Zilch offers some pretty decent on screen tension, though it strains a bit too much in places - even with a worthy and relatable central idea. It's human nature to desire acceptance (especially from loved ones) ... though it takes a flawed personality to strive for fame and celebrity (especially at the cost of core values). Here's hoping you don't see too much of yourself in Michael Vaughn.
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Psychic Treat
omendata4 November 2018
This is how a thriller should be written.

Although it has the look and feel of a tv movie; even the sound effects, music and feel were all very 1970/80's don't let that put you off, it is so much more.

For once we have a good story and clever writing throwing morals and honesty at every turn to make the viewer think, superb acting from virtually every character, involving and intriguing story that keeps you guessing and wanting more and the finale was for once not a let down and a joy to behold.

Even the title music at the end topped the film off for me - Reminiscent of an old Jim Reeves tune. The whole movie was crafted to play out like a TV murder mystery you used to watch on a Saturday night but with a lot of aplomb, polish and craft.
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So So
arfdawg-122 October 2018
Not for nothing, but Ed Harris is alarmingly thin. Like Anorexic thin. He is hard to look at. Thankfully he's barely in th film.

This is a small budget movie that people are either going to really like or really hate. As a small movie, it does it's job, but there's nothing life changing or memorable here. It's directed like a TV movie. I found it rather slow and boring
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Quick Thinker... Victim of Plot.
icelandknight11 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is not so much a review as a criticism of how dumb the "psychic" was made at the end, especially, after showing his cunning throughout, like, when the cops challenge him, he's quick to turn the situation in his favour, yet... When the bad guy takes his assistant as a hostage, he is not cunning enough to claim: The murderer was behind it all, the whole time, and he only did what he did because the murderer threatened to kill his assistant if he didn't tell everyone the murderer had dead, so he'd get away with it. Sorry, but THAT is what this cunning "psychic" would have done. Not what he was made to do at the end of this film. Otherwise this was an excellent thriller, that is sure to have everyone in suspense right to the end.
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An Exposé?
westsideschl16 December 2018
One way to expose the workings of a medium/clairvoyant team. You know it's great acting when our lead villain elicits both sympathetic & disgusting feelings. Good insight into the "how" technique of presenting bits of information gleaned from the dead (and the living). Quite twisty, could have ended a number of ways.
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You saw something
nogodnomasters3 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Michael Vaughn (Rich Sommer) is a phony psychic and not very good at it. He uses a shill, a sometimes girlfriend (Joanne Froggatt) when he gets into trouble. It is good enough to convince the weak minded he talks to the dead. Nathan (Clifton Collins Jr. ) attends a demonstration and is convinced Michael knows that he killed a man named Jim long ago. Nathan abducts Michael and intends to kill him...but the fast thinking Michael manages to escape and befriend Nathan, leading to an odd relationship that takes a number of twists.

What I liked about the film is that it was fresh. It had a good plot, good dialogue, and decent performances. I wish every low budget film had those free aspects.

Guide: F-word. No sex or nudity.
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Offbeat and Wickedly Funny Satire
lavatch2 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"A Crooked Somebody" is a sleeper with a great set of quirky characters and offbeat humor.

On one level, the film is a satire of psychics, as the focal point is the character of the charlatan Michael Vaughn. Michael and his sneaky partner Chelsea prey upon those gullible souls who attend his seminars and seek to commune with the dead. Michael is always looking for the right angle, and he keeps doubling down on exploiting people until he reaches the endgame.

The showdown comes in the sleepy community of Lone Valley, Nevada. It is there that Michael seeks notoriety and riches in a sensational interview of an orphan with her deceased father. Michael is working in cahoots with a shady character named Nathan, who killed Stacy's dad, but became tortured by guilt over the years. Nathan at first kidnaps Michael to help him seek atonement, then is duped into believing that Michael is a genuine psychic.

The most intriguing relationship in the film is that of Michael and Nathan. Michael tries to turn the tables on Nathan by exploiting the murder and leading a news crew to the site where Nathan buried the body. Chelsea becomes a player when she appears to be working in league with Michael to promote the fantastical story.

Ed Harris's small role of Michael's father, a pastor, who considers Michael to be the prodigal son, is one of the many carefully crafted small roles in the film. The father delivers the moral message of the film when speaking the following words to Michael both as a minister and a father: "It's better to be an honest nobody than a crooked somebody." Of course, Michael does not heed the advice.

Other well crafted roles include a pair of wily police officers working the beat in Lone Valley and a sassy motel proprietor, whose character nearly steals the show. It is a great cast and a noble effort in creating a clever dark comedy. Kudos to the producers of this modest but creative film!
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What Now?
BatmanFunReviews201812 October 2018
An attention-seeking psychic is kidnapped and tries to use the situation to boost his popularity. I have no idea why Ed Harris is listed first here on IMDb but his role is so forgettable that makes this movie even worse i mean he was hardly in this movie and just makes fun of good people's money and that's absurd as a whole. The acting was also nothing special and the storyline was even worse as well also and nothing really good to say about it i mean this film wasted such a good actor in the face of Harris who was used only as a promotional product for this movie.
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black comedy en masse'
ops-5253512 October 2018
Well, a nice film this was, with every aspect of the black comedy genre in it. the acting are good,so are the filming and locations. haVe n mind that youll need to use your fantasy to absorbe the core of this feature.psycic powers are the keyword ,also murder,kidnapping and extortion. there are no glamour or extravagancy in this flick,just good old and plain acting,with a nice script and editing.
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a psychic looks to be famous
cdcrb11 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
First off, I am a sucker for psychic movies. so I was pre disposed to like this film. it's not great, but I enjoyed the story. a 'psychic" thinks he can find fame and glory by taking advantage of a very tricky situation. things don't really work out.
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