Movie Review: A Walk Among the Tombstones

I didn't know before seeing this movie that A Walk Among the Tombstones is actually a book - #10 in the Matt Scudder series, by Lawrence Block. Interestingly enough, the film works fine as a standalone movie, with Liam Neeson (a go-to action hero, if ever there was one) in the part of Matt Scudder.

Matt Scudder (Neeson) is a retired NYC cop who goes to Alcoholics Anonymous. He was asked to leave the force eight years ago, when he gunned down two criminals as they fled the scene; one of the bullets took a "bad turn" and killed a little girl. Drug trafficker Kenny Kristo (Dan Stevens, also starring in The Guest this weekend) asks him to find the murderers who killed his wife - he paid them $400,000 to get her back, and instead they left her body parts for him to find. Matt is able to track down one of the perpetrators, but he was only the driver, and that lead soon runs out; when the murderers abduct another girl, however, he intervenes to try and get her back safely to her family.

The trailer for this movie caught my eye (or rather, my ears) because of the "Black Hole Sun" cover in it (Soundgarden, covered by Nouela) that was rather haunting (listen here). The film itself, however, was very slow-paced, which is not always to my taste; I found myself losing interest during some parts of the movie. Neeson always excels in these types of roles, though, and I almost didn't recognize Dan Stevens, as the drug trafficker, because I had seen him in a screening of The Guest only the night before, blonde and handsome, and he was dark-haired with a mustache in this movie.

Yes, see this film, just be aware of the slow pace. It's definitely not for the faint of heart, either, as we see some murders occur, and a lot of blood is shed. The film takes place in 1999 New York City, for the most part, as well, and is shown in gray, muted tones. Moviegoers who enjoy well-thought-out mysteries should enjoy this film, and the casting of Neeson should draw people to the theater; because of him, and perhaps fans of the book series, I'm betting that it will do well overall.

A Walk Among the Tombstones is currently playing in theaters, and is rated R with a runtime of 113 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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