A former getaway driver (Dwayne Johnson) goes after the men responsible for the murder of his half brother, all the while dodging an unstable hit man (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and a troubled cop (Billy Bob Thornton, channeling Harry Dean Stanton). In an era when action films are defined by flashiness, this revenge tale distinguishes itself through crisp visuals and compact plotting. Director George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food) and screenwriters Tony and Joe Gayton cultivate an old-school vibe heavily indebted to Walter Hill's The Driver (1978) and Johnny Handsome (1989), and like Hill, they understand the genre's potential for myth-making; the final third of the movie takes the form of an evangelical parable, with Johnson standing in for the devil. The film never outshines its influences, but as back-to-basics action filmmaking, it's often superb. (98 min.)
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Writer: Joe Gayton and Tony Gayton
Producer: Tony Gayton, Liz Glotzer, Martin Shafer and Robert Teitel
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Berenger, Carla Gugino, Micaela Johnson, Jennifer Carpenter, Maggie Grace, Moon Bloodgood, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Courtney Gains