Movie Review: Criminal

By | May 2, 2016



A movie I wanted to like more than I did.

What Works: You’ve got to admire Kevin Costner. At a time when a lot of 80’s stars have become self-parodies (Ah-nuld) or bizarre, outright disgraces (Mel “Let Me Tell You About Jews–Hey Where You Going?” Gibson), Costner still manages to star in diverse, interesting projects (everything from “Black or White” to “MacFarland USA”). I just wish this one were more successful, but any film with Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman isn’t completely terrible.

What Doesn’t: This film is a mess. By the last act, it’s become so lifeless and predictable, you won’t really care about what your eyes are seeing. Even as it becomes clear this film isn’t so much trying to reinvent the generic spy thriller as just go through the tropes more dutifully, if anything.

What I Would Have Done Differently: The idea of using a criminal’s brain to bring back a CIA agent’s memories is one of those thriller plots that feels like you’ve seen it before. When you’re starting out with an “original” idea that feels like something you’ve seen before, you’re at a disadvantage, but it still might have worked if Costner’s Jerico character wasn’t a relentless, mumbling bore. A criminal character is supposed to mix in a little fun with his sociopathy.

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