ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

While this movie has a few flaws, its cast makes up for the weak spots.

1. This tightly-wound gangster-and-dirty-cop movie is gritty, bleak and dark (and I mean, it's literally dark; like half the movie takes place at night or in unlit buildings).

2. It's about a small group of ex-special forces members and dirty cops who pull heists for the Russian mafia. When they are ready to quit working for the Russians, they are forced to pull off one last mission, which stresses the group to the breaking point.

3. It's kind of a complicated plot, and there's really no exposition; you have to sort of deduce what's going on while you're watching it. So it can get a little confusing.

4.There's kind of a side plot about a detective working a case involving the Mexican cartels. It doesn't have a lot to do with the main story, so the movie feels kind of scattered while you try to figure out how (or if) different events are connected.

5. The ensemble cast is made up of well-known actors, and indie actors. While the movie doesn't have an actual star, there are a few standout performances, like Anthony Mackie's. He started his film career playing a gay guy, and after a few minor roles and indie films, he became known for being the Marvel superhero Falcon. I'm glad he has a real acting role again. Casey Affleck does great, like always, and I hardly recognized Kate Winslet as the super cruel Russian mafia queen.

6. Of course, when you have cops, mafia, and gang members all boiling together, there will be blood. This movie may be too violent for some people, although they probably wouldn't come see this movie anyway.

7. One of the films strengths is in the little details of the setting or the characters. These are elements (like a street protest) that didn't have to be in movie at all, but including them makes the movie feel more fleshed out, more realistic.

8. The movie is paced well, and periodically there are some pretty suspenseful scenes. Some of those scenes involve police raids, and some come from wondering who is going to get betrayed and how it's going to happen.

9. This is a pretty tightly-written, believable film that stays interesting from beginning to end. It's a good mix of action and story. Just make sure you are in the mood to concentrate on it.

Here's the trailer:

What did you think? Good crime caper, or too dark and confusing? Let us know!


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