Cert 18, 104 mins, Thriller/Drama
Deputy sheriff Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) is a well-respected pillar in small-town Texas, working alongside sheriff Bob Maples (Tom Bower). Lou has a pretty schoolteacher girlfriend, Amy Stanton (Kate Hudson).
But Lou is a conniving sociopath, embroiled in a sadomasochistic affair with town prostitute Joyce Lakeland (Jessica Alba).
When a plot to wreak revenge on millionaire Chester Conway (Ned Beatty) with Joyce’s help goes horribly awry, wily District Attorney Howard Hendricks (Simon Baker) sets out to expose the deputy as a menace to society.
Michael Winterbottom’s film is punctuated by explosions of stomach-churning violence. Affleck delivers a compelling and fearless lead performance.
Star Rating: 4/5.