Crime + Punishment in Suburbia

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A rare disappointment from maverick indie producer Christine Vachon, this story of festering psychosis beneath the placid surface of everyday US suburbia looks familiar coming so soon after American Beauty. Director Schmidt coaxes assured performances from Keena's good-girl-gone-bad and Kartheiser's black-clad loner, with Barkin suitably ravaged as the unhappy mom, and Ironside playing on his usual villainous screen image as the violent dad. One waits in vain for genuine revelations as the plot spirals into murder and remorse, since the artful visuals and supercool soundtrack (Sleater-Kinney, Joey Santiago of The Pixies) make the film seem more cutting edge than it actually is.

Release details

Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rob Schmidt
Screenwriter: Larry Gross
Cast: Monica Keena
Vincent Kartheiser
Jeffrey Wright
James DeBello
Michael Ironside
Christian Payne
Conchata Ferrell
Ellen Barkin
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