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Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Review by CJ

Director:
Ami Canaan Mann

Starring:
Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jessica Chastain, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jason Clarke

Running time:
105 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Zodiac, a low budget and low quality Se7en

 

A local detective (Worthington) and his New York native partner (Morgan) work against the clock to find a serial killer in their small Texan town.

Texas Killing Fields is based on a true story. In my opinion, one of two things can happen with a true story. The film can own that it is based on a true story and be inspirational, meaningful and engaging, or it can get so bogged down in being based on a true story that the film becomes disjointed and dull. Unfortunately for Texas Killing Fields, the latter has occurred in its case.

The performances from most of the cast meet this tone. The only consistent exception to this is Moretz who plays her role of Little Ann, a neglected child, with heart and depth. Worthington’s inability to stick with a Texan accent is distracting. Morgan’s attempts to play the cool, calm character often feel like they portray boredom more than caring or insightful. Chastain performed well but was pretty forgettable. Unfortunately, forgettable is a good way to describe Texas Killing Fields as a whole.

The screenplay doesn’t flow and has more bumps in the road than a country lane. Texas Killing Fields seems more inclined to focus on small town drama than the thriller element that could have made it an entertaining and engaging film.

If you want to watch a great quality psychological crime thriller, then you would be far better off with Se7en than Texas Killing Fields. If a true story is what you’re after, I would recommend Zodiac or Monster over Texas Killing Fields. Honestly, I would only recommend Texas Killing Fields if you happen across it on television and there isn’t a lot else going on.

Rating:

“Next time you don’t answer my partner’s questions I’m gonna take your peace officer’s license and I’m gonna shove it up your ass. You say ‘hi’ to Nancy for me.”

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