Matthew Lickona 12:01 p.m., Dec. 7
A Sundance favorite that once again proves the film festival should use invisible ink in its stamp of approval. Based on events that took place at a McDonald's in Kentucky in 2004, the by-the-book manager of a ChickWich restaurant (Ann Dowd, destined to be remembered come awards season) fields a phone call from a law enforcement agent demanding that she strip-search one of her employees (Dream Walker) who has been accused of theft. Turns out it was a goof, and by not questioning authority, Dowd becomes an unwilling accomplice in a canny prank phone caller's wet dream. Writer-director Craig Zobel probably figured there was so much inherent drama built into the source material that it would play even if he nailed the camera to the floor. His idea of opening up the action is to follow Dowd as she briefly leaves the restaurant to walk a bag containing the victim's clothing to her car. It's one thing when a director struggles to adapt a stage play, another to turn original material into something that resembles canned theater. At best, this functions as a feature-length Public Service Announcement asking people to use their brains. With Pat Healey as the Touch Tone Terrorist. 2012.
- Seen on DVD • June 5, 2013