106 minutes, U.S.A., 2012, Colour, D-Cinema

Oscar-nominated as the troubled soul whose bitter truths rocked Revolutionary Road, powerhouse actor Michael Shannon enhanced his reputation in the ominous fable Take Shelter, and is surely bound for iconic status providing he gets the right roles. His wide-eyed intensity and looming height make him suitably scary as notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski in this true-life crime-drama, where he compellingly incarnates a walking index of moral contradictions – a loving family man who kept his dark side secret from his wife and daughters. And we are talking dark, given the sobering body count hinted at by writer-director’s Ariel Vromen’s grisly chronicle.

While the film hardly eclipses Scorsese’s mafiosi sagas, it does boast the evergreen Ray Liotta as a permanently edgy crimelord, though Shannon certainly takes the spotlight. When he gets that look, you don’t want to be in his bad books.  (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)


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