Steel Country (2018) Poster

(2018)

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8/10
Slow Burner
andyge26 June 2018
Saw this at the Edinburgh Film Festival so didn't know quite know what to expect.Dark murder investigation set in Trump's backwater USA. Very deliberate and precise direction from Simon Fellows and two standout performances from Andrew Scott and Bronagh Waugh make this an always interesting film to watch.Christa Beth Campbell is also luminous as the daughter.Slightly let down by the plot and script which can at times seem obvious and unintentionally funny. Will I think be a slow burner but certainly makes some clear statements about life in present day America and overall is involving and entertaining to watch so would recommend if you are looking for something dark and offbeat.
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6/10
Solid, if fairly familiar, small-town mystery/thriller
Red-Barracuda27 June 2018
It is surprising to learn that this is a British made film. Made entirely with UK money, an English director and a couple of Irish actors in the two lead roles. Most impressive given that this passes pretty easily as an American product. It falls into a category of crime/thriller/mystery which there seems to be quite a few of, i.e. one set in a small town in the backwaters of the U.S. where an ordinary individual investigates or is hurled into a crime scenario. Many American independent films have been of this type in recent years and I guess this is one aspect which goes against Steel Country slightly, in that it is an overly familiar set-up. Nevertheless, it remains a good enough film with a very impressive central performance from Andrew Scott in the lead role of a bin man with an Asperger's type of condition, whose particular mind-set impels him to not accept a recent account of a young boy drowning. He suspects foul play and this leads him on a dangerous path with reveals dark secrets in the local town.

The film works more as a mystery than as a thriller; albeit, there are a couple of memorable scenes which fall under the latter bracket, including a surprising one near the finale. But mostly, this one focuses on an amateur sleuth seeking the truth and a town which seems reluctant to reveal all. Ultimately, this is a good, if relatively standard, bit of Americana (even if it is actually British!).
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