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Non-Review Review: Shadow Dancer

Shadow Dancer is a taut, intelligent, sophisticated thriller. In a way, James Marsh’s film is more notable for what it doesn’t say, than what it does. Long passages of the film go by in relative silent, with the an economy of language to communicate information to the audience. It’s quite heartening how much faith Marsh seems to have in his viewers, that the film never feels the need to burden itself with awkward exposition, instead trusting the actors and the surroundings to tell the story. You won’t find a thriller this year that thinks more highly of its audience.

“Have you seen ‘The Informant!’…? Good, because this is going to be a lot less light-hearted.”

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Non-Review Review: Route Irish

Ken Loach’s Route Irish is a fascinating little thriller, even if it does ultimately feel quite shallow and end in a rather unsatisfactory manner. Indeed, it’s very hard to construct a mystery where the audience already knows the answer, based on experience within the genre. Framed as an investigation into the death of a contractor in Iraq, the culprits behind the assassination are obvious from the moment the film starts rolling, which means that none of the twists and turns pack any punch – because we already know the answer. However, Loach is a director skilled at offering atmosphere and mood, and he makes a valiant effort to overcome the script’s rather obvious deficiencies.

Paying the ferryman...

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