Poor movie version of Pete Dexter novel Discuss this article
Adapted from the novel by Pete Dexter, Lee Daniels’ new film plops us down in sweltering 1969 Florida, where a reporter (McConaughey), his little brother (Zac Efron) and his black, British-accented writing partner (David Oyelowo) work to prove the innocence of a death-row inmate (John Cusack, outrageously miscast). Their crusade is an afterthought, an excuse to put this mismatched posse in the company of an ageing Nicole Kidman, who vamps shamelessly as the jailbird’s lady on the outside.
Here and there, the movie resembles a Rob Zombie remake of In the Heat of the Night, all zooms, split screens and faint social outrage. Mostly, however, Daniels leaves his pretensions of seriousness at the door. There’s something almost satisfying about seeing this exploitation artist drop the illusion of nobility and get his hands dirty.
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