Review: Small Crimes (E.L. Katz, 2017)

Writer-director Evan Katz follows up his debut feature, Cheap Thrills (where he was credited as E.L. Katz), with Small Crimes, a potboiler that’s as modest as its title suggests.

Katz’s film is co-written with Macon Blair, director of fellow Netflix Original movie I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, who also pops up in a fairly stacked cast of favoured character actors. Though based on a David Zeltserman novel of the same name, Small Crimes, as laid out by Katz and Blair, feels akin to Blair-collaborator Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin, in its depiction of a blood feud leading to a protagonist digging deeper and deeper holes for themselves. This one’s lacking Saulnier’s level of impeccable craft and detail, but there’s the odd quirk that makes it stick out – in particular, a fun performance from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, where you can always see the gears turning in his character’s mind, as he spouts various insincere sentiments…

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