You Kill Me

3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

I SAY A LITTLE SERENITY PRAYER Will AA sharpen Kingsley’s shooting?

Hit men, drunks and star-crossed lovers have been comedic fodder since forever, so you’d think a movie about somebody who’s all three would be a scream. Alas, John Dahl’s glum, not unappealingly touchy-feely You Kill Me doesn’t make much of the combination; despite some sly narrative and visual touches, it’s too dark for easy laughs but not dark enough for perverse glee.

In a larky riff on Sexy Beast’s Don Logan, Ben Kingsley plays Buffalo Polish-mob assassin Frank Falenczyk, a boozer who botches a strategic hit and is exiled to San Francisco by his boss (Hall). Once there, he’s handed a job as an undertaker, attends AA meetings (where Wilson, an effective character actor, is his sponsor) and falls for a brassy ad saleswoman (the perpetually underutilized Leoni). Dahl, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and the cast all have clear affection for these characters, and that warmth propels the film through its plodding patches. But the story’s grasping, eager-to-displease setup never establishes enough depth to be fully engaging, let alone metaphorically significant—and why else make a movie about a psychotic kicking hooch in order to be a better killer? (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — Mark Holcomb



Release details

Cast and crew