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Dead Man's Shoes (Unrated)

Release Date: May 12th, 2006 (Cinema Village) by Magnolia Pictures.
The Cast: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell, Jo Hartley, Seamus O'Neill, Stuart Wolfenden, Paul Sadot, Paul Hurstfield, Emily Aston.
Directed by Shane Meadows.

BASIC PREMISE: Richard (Considine) returns to his hometown to revenge the wrongful death of his brother, Anthony (Kebbell).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Dead Manís Shoes takes a while be engaging and, when it does, it becomes too contrived. The first act attempts to build suspense as a killer remains on the loose and frightens his victims, but the suspense diminishes once the Richard claims to be the killer. Now, the only remaining question is: why does Richard hold a grudge against them to begin with? Director/co-writer Shane Meadows answers this question using too many confusing flashbacks that feel too overwhelming and distracting. A more linear plot would have been much less headache-inducing. Moreover, the excessive violence could have easily been reduced to focus on more important elements such as character development. On a positive note, the cinematography creates a very gritty atmosphere that effectively reflects Richardís mental state. Itís also worth mentioning that Paddy Considine gives a terrific performance that makes this unfocused film at least mildly entertaining.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The third act is touching, but without being powerful enough to be haunting. Richardís amoral actions show how too much pent-up anger can lead to incontrollable tragic events. He completely loses his mind instead of seeking therapy or, more simply, finding the courage to find forgiveness. Unfortunately, not everyone has that innate capability.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: A muddled, confusing plot with too many flashbacks.


IN A NUTSHELL: Paddy Considine gives a terrific performance! However, despite great cinematography, a muddled plot with too many flashbacks makes it difficult to sit through.


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