Release Date: September 25
Director: Rahmin Bahrani
Cast: Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern
Shannon has never been better (which is saying something) as a gangster real estate broker in this urgent topical drama from Bahrani (Man Push Cart). Garfield is a desperate construction guy who loses his family home to Shannon before they form an uneasy, unexpected alliance — a deal with the devil, really. Bahrani beautifully dramatizes the conflict: our “hero” does terrible work for incredible reward, and the filmmaker ends up slyly testing the entire concept of empathy for the protagonist. Garfield is very good, reminding us there’s a fine actor hiding under the Spidey suit. But it’s Shannon’s show all the way, particularly in his killer “America doesn’t bail out the losers” speech, which is good drama, good writing, good commentary, and great performance, all at once. Some of the storytelling is overly coincidental and the ending’s a bit too tidy, but overall, this is sharp, intelligent, and infuriating filmmaking.