Death in Texas

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A freshly paroled Billy Walker (a durable Ronnie Gene Blevins, equal parts Tom Sizemore and Peter Sarsgaard) returns to his mother’s (Lara Flynn Boyle) home in El Paso to find her weeks away from death. Dr. Perkins (Sam Daley) informs Billy that the law prohibits him from discussing his mother’s condition before hinting that there’s a guy in Juarez who deals in replacement organs. The going black market rate for a three-pound liver is $160,000; pretty steep, but then Billy runs into an old buddy packing a wad of green that’s bigger than a Charmin Forever roll. It’s one thing to bone an old pal, just make sure the bag of loot you find on the premises doesn’t belong to Reynolds (Bruce Dern). You will never take Bruce Dern’s sunshine away. In this case, there is none. His face on the poster, along with the likenesses of venerable character player Boyle and compassionate caregiver Stephen Lang (and the promise of John Ashton) was enough to lure me in. There is one gaping hole of a coincidence that I almost broke my neck tripping over, and it didn’t take much to guess what course this was going to follow after director Scott Windhauser inserted a close up of Billy’s “AB Negative” transfusion bag. But the moments when Dern was allowed to unleash his angry asides — “You’re more full of shit than a Christmas turkey!” (and worse!) — kept me hitting the back button to relive the grizzled venality. And brace yourself for what happens after the bus pulls up to the hospital and unloads a band of armed vaqueros in the E.R. Put this at the top of your Mother’s Day screening list. (2021) — Scott Marks

Rated NR | 1 hour, 41 minutes
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