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All Critics (23)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (17)
| Rotten (6)
There's nothing new in The Standoff at Sparrow Creek except the title.
The gaps in logic might be easier to forgive if the movie's real-world resonances weren't so troubling.
The film has so much potential, but it's a shame that it all falls flat.
Even without the strength of its character-actor cast, the warehouse-set drama would attract Reservoir Dogs comparisons; though neither as twisty nor as satisfying as that film, this debut shows pulpy promise and is a step ahead of its genre peers.
The chief pleasure of this small, self-contained film is in its dialogue, which is leaner and less garrulous than in Zahler's films and will be throwback heaven for David Mamet fans.
With a single minded focus, it tells a razor sharp story about as well as it can be told, complete with a hell of an ending, to boot.
Dunham obviously takes the less-is-more approach ... providing a plot that can be summed up in a single, simple sentence ... but ensuring that the simplicity ends there.
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek is the first feature film for writer/director Henry Dunham, but he has already cracked the formula for making a quality movie.
It's a textbook taut drama, imperfect in some ways, but still engaging through to the end.
It comes alive in fits, finding a way to make monologuing and dead stares compelling as connections between characters are discovered.
A tightly-wound thriller with some terrific performances.
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek successfully fulfills the ambition of many a crime drama: It keeps us watching, on the screen, people we'd never want to meet in real life.
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