Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire, who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son.
Ex-government operative Bryan Mills is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed or witnessed. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.
Matt Scudder is a former cop now a private eye. He is asked by a drug dealer to find the men who kidnapped his wife. It seems like they killed her even after he paid them. Scudder refuses. But the man later goes to see him and tells him how his wife was killed. Scudder takes the job. He does some research and thinks the men he is looking for have done this more than once. And that everyone they grabbed is connected to a drug dealer. He was about to give up when they grab another girl and Scudder tries make sure she's returned alive.Written by
Although is the second time a Lawrence Block novel about Matthew Scudder is turned into a movie, this is the first one set in New York. It is often considered the city is a character itself in every book written by Block. See more »
At the beginning of the movie Scudder is firing an M1911 pattern pistol at the fleeing robber. There is no similar weapon on the approved carry list for a regular (carrying a badge and not undercover) officer of the NYPD. See more »
You need some help, man.
I don't care. You want to mess up your own shit - but you're going to mess up mine, too. I need to know you got my back. Not that you're going to come falling through the door behind me...
Don't worry your pretty little spic head off.
Anyway. That was all I wanted to say.
Is that it? Fuck you!
[gets out of the car]
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The offending scene cut from the film (so it could be rated 15 instead of 18) features the two villains tormenting and sexually threatening a restrained woman in the back of a van. The British censors felt this scene lingered on the nastiness and detail, and was disturbing. The UK distributor removed the small scene and got their desired 15 rating. See more »
Liam Neeson Is An Actor First and An Action Star Second
Credits roll, and a haunting cover of "Black Hole Sun" by Nouela plays (the same song from the trailer). Its mellow and dilatory tune perfectly encapsulates the bleak, somber tone of this chilling thriller where Liam Neeson isn't the invincible badass his reputation usually proclaims. We first meet Matt Scudder (Neeson) in a flashback in the early 1990's where he clumsily takes down three crooks in a murky New York City. Fast forward to 1999, and he's retired—apparently scarred by his own incompetence on that wretched day—laying back at his favorite restaurant when an acquaintance (Eric Nelsen) informs him of a significant (unofficial) assignment. Oh no, a retired, gloomy detective returns for one last job? And yet, the film astonishingly manages to feature these kinds of irksome clichés but executes them in such an exceptional way as to overshadow their familiarity with the underlying compelling storyline and arresting cinematography.
Long story short: a drug dealer's (Dan Stevens) wife has been kidnapped and chopped into bits and pieces only to be nauseatingly dispersed in a park's pond. The remainder of the narrative—about 25 minutes in—sees Scudder investigating and following the cunning tracks of two alarming killers. In that regard, the killers (David Harbour and Adam David Thompson) make for incredibly creepy villains, mirthfully indulging in the rape of young girls and innocent wives while videotaping the horror and asking for a substantial ransom from their respective families. Alas, the audience will be forced through disturbingly shot and edited sequences of helpless women exerting to lie still as execrable hands scale their flesh—close-ups of wide eyes and deathly pale skin.
On another note, many have been complaining that A Walk among the Tombstones isn't exactly the unpredictable and fast-paced mystery thriller they were expecting. However, that doesn't deem it a bad film, does it? Because it's clearly not attempting to (generically) fall into that category. Initially, I was also flabbergasted and immensely underwhelmed by David Fincher's Zodiac, presuming it to be a tense, brisk thriller; nevertheless, after a repeat viewing, I quickly realized that marketing—while, yes, manipulating audience expectations— shouldn't be an indicator of actual quality. If this particular movie was striving to be unpredictable yet you correctly predicted every single twist long before it came, then yes, it would've been a disastrous failure. Like Zodiac though, the movie is more about the grim and eerie atmosphere and, of course, the psychopathic killers themselves.
Aside from a few effectively humorous lines, this film is not the typical "crowd-pleaser expected from a post-Taken Liam Neeson picture, and the trailers clearly established that too. With that being said, it's still more exciting than a slow burn. As long as moviegoers accept its (effectual) dark aura and are successfully frightened by its imagery and subject matter, A Walk among the Tombstones will be a highly satisfying experience at the cinema. In fact, judging by its underwhelming box office results, I will even go so far as to say it might be the sleeper hit of this fall like Rush and Don Jon were last September.
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