After a number of aborted projects Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) delivers a powerful return to filmmaking with this brilliantly executed minimalist noir starring Joaquin Phoenix.
Joe (Phoenix) is a Gulf War veteran and former FBI agent turned killer-for-hire, specialising in saving victims from child sex rings. When Nina, a US Senator’s daughter is kidnapped, he is contracted to dispense with the perpetrators and save the girl but an escape plan derails, unleashing a maelstrom of violence.
A meticulous meditation on repression and abuse taken from the novel by Jonathan Ames, the film has drawn parallels with Taxi Driver but has a brilliance and originality all of its very own.
Reuniting several of her key collaborators on We Need to Talk About Kevin, her taut, syncopated cinema is intensified by Jonny Greenwood’s pulsating score, Thomas Townend’s expressive camerawork and razor-sharp editing from Joe Bini who rejects exploitation, cutting away from the action rather than to it.