A gritty, old-school detective story, A Walk Among the Tombstones is an above-average excuse to watch Liam Neeson load handguns, kick down doors, and grill bad guys in a questionable American accent. Based on the Matthew Scudder detective novels by Lawrence Block, the movie goes so far as to name-drop Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade twice in the first 30 minutes, just to make it clear that this is an old-fashioned, hard-boiled thriller -- although maybe with just a little bit more dismemberment than you saw in those í40s film noirs.
Scudder (Neeson) is a private eye, recovering alcoholic, and retired police officer. In between AA meetings, he takes on jobs catching cheating husbands and rescuing runaway daughters, until one fine day a drug kingpin named Kenny Kristo (Dan Stevens) hires him to find the two guys who kidnapped, murdered, and chopped up his wife -- so Kristo can kill them. With the help of a smart street kid named TJ (Astro), Scudder soon discovers that the killers have done this sort of thing before. He then tracks them down via a series of tense and sometimes violent encounters with the various people he pumps for information, from hardcore thugs to creepo cemetery workers.
And of course, Neeson does it all with the effortlessly badass charm heís been working onscreen since Taken. It happens that his action-movie persona is a great fit for this particular variety of ass-kicking protagonist: which is to say, the burned out antihero who doesnít care whether he lives or dies. Heís pointed plenty of pistols at plenty of bad guys throughout his career, but itís fair to say that, amid his long resume of crime thrillers, A Walk Among the Tombstones is a cut above the rest.
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- Released: 2014
- Rating: R
- Review: A gritty, old-school detective story, A Walk Among the Tombstones is an above-average excuse to watch Liam Neeson load handguns, kick down doors, and grill bad guys in a questionable American accent. Based on the Matthew Scudder detective novels by Lawrenc… (more)