Illtown

  • 1998
  • 1 HR 37 MIN
  • R
  • Crime, Drama

This brooding, disturbingly violent crime drama from director Nick Gomez will disappoint viewers expecting another NEW JACK CITY. But for the adventurous, it's a spellbinding and highly original piece of filmmaking. Dante (Michael Rapaport) and Micky (Lili Taylor) are romantically involved heroin dealers who, along with their pal Cisco (Kevin Corrigan)...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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This brooding, disturbingly violent crime drama from director Nick Gomez will disappoint viewers expecting another NEW JACK CITY. But for the adventurous, it's a spellbinding and highly original piece of filmmaking. Dante (Michael Rapaport) and Micky

(Lili Taylor) are romantically involved heroin dealers who, along with their pal Cisco (Kevin Corrigan) and a string of adolescent dealers, run a small but profitable racket out of hip Florida nightclubs. It's a tidy setup, run as ethically as possible and glossed over with bourgeois sense of

propriety. But respectability comes with a price tag: Years back, Gabriel (Adam Trese), the couple's out-of-control ex-partner and a serious junkie, was conveniently subtracted from the equation after the cops caught him tooling around town with a carload of dope and guns. Now the day of reckoning

is at hand: A pissed-off Gabriel is back in town, whacked out on dope and self-help psycho-twaddle, and surrounded by an army of sociopathic teen angels. The theme may be fairly conventional -- the sins of the past inevitably come crashing home -- but there's nothing prosaic about what Gomez does

with it. Set in a shifting, morally ambiguous world in which "love" is also a brand of smack, and personal salvation often depends on fingering someone else, the story is pulled together through a series of flashbacks, flashfowards and fantasy sequences. Gomez experiments with a bold array of

visual techniques and his use of sound is fascinating. The result may not be entirely successful -- it's probably a little too ambitious for its own good -- but even at its most oblique, the film has a remarkable hypnotic power.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This brooding, disturbingly violent crime drama from director Nick Gomez will disappoint viewers expecting another NEW JACK CITY. But for the adventurous, it's a spellbinding and highly original piece of filmmaking. Dante (Michael Rapaport) and Micky (Lil… (more)

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