Second screen version (after Burt Kennedy’s grindhouse one in 1976) of Jim Thompson’s kinky crime novel, kept in the original Fifties period, with the choirboyish Casey Affleck, and his quaky, croaky, pubescent voice, in the part of the psycho deputy sheriff of a West Texas small town, outwardly much less menacing than his predecessor in the part, Stacy Keach, and correspondingly less convincing. The slack narrative showcases unfollowable plotting, unintelligible dialogue, tin-pot psychology, savagely sadistic violence (in which director Michael Winterbottom is a full accomplice), oblivious Western swing music in the background, and a sickening finish to a sicko whole. Those who cannot resist the siren song of the spanked bare bottoms of Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson will be duly punished for their weakness. With Elias Koteas, Ned Beatty, Tom Bower, Simon Baker, and Bill Pullman. (2010) — Duncan Shepherd
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