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Directed by Oren Moverman

USA, 2011

Cornerhouse, 25 February 2012


With an original screenplay by James Ellroy, this film is definitely worth a watch.

As a portrait of a man facing moral meltdown, it is riveting, Woody Harrelson delivering a take-no-prisoners performance as Dave Brown, a rogue LA cop.  He is a killer, a womaniser, a thief, a man of violence.  But his love for his daughters cannot be doubted.

If you’re familiar with Ellroy’s work, it will likely occur to you that Dave Brown is an updated version of Lloyd Hopkins, the cop in the L.A. Noir trilogy of novels, while his surname harks back to the writer’s first novel (Brown’s Requiem).  What is different here is the emphasis on Brown’s psyche and on a distinctive kind of (self-) destructive masculinity, rather than on the progress of a particular police investigation.

A good film – see it for Harrelson’s performance above all.