Fiction films can be a trickier proposition at the Tribeca Film Festival than their nonfiction counterparts; for some time the fest had a reputation as a home for pictures that made the slate for the movie stars they’d put on the red carpet rather than the quality they’d put on the screen. That rep has fallen away in recent years, bolstered by a stronger slate of under-the-radar indies and faves from other festivals. Here’s a look at the 22 new narrative movies your film editor saw, and how they stack up.
THE CLOSE CALL
Gerard Johnson’s British crime drama concerns a dirty London cop (Peter Ferdinando) and the crew of ruthless Albanians he’s both investigating and partnering up with. It’s carefully constructed so that he’s a bad guy, but the “bad guys” are far worse, and Johnson works up some genuine suspense as his protagonist tries to stay a couple of steps ahead of both his fellow cops and his fellow criminals (the twist of it is, he’s a smart guy and, when he wants to be, a good investigator). But the filmmaker occasionally lingers too long on the ugly business happening on the side, particularly a graphic rape scene that’s just too upsetting for what is, when you get down to it, a cop thriller.