Runtime: 92 Mins
What To Expect: More of a drama than a thriller, it is recommended for its performances and lack of cliché
You normally expect that movies like this are only given limited releases because they’ve been shunned on account of quality. And to be fair, that’s often the case. Sometimes you get a surprise though, and this little drama/thriller starring John Travolta is one of the exceptions. I mean it is not amazing but it is watchable. I get the feeling on another day, with a different cast, the exact same script might have been a much bigger movie with all the bells and whistles of big studio promotion.
It’s kind of billed as a heist thriller, but it’s more of a quiet drama. John Travolta is a con, Raymond Cutter, who wins an early release from prison, so that he can be with his teenaged son, Will Cutter, played by Tye Sheridan. His son is suffering from a brain tumor and they are not sure if treatment is going to work, so Cutter senior is desparate to be with him. The price is that his release was faciliated and purchased by a powerful gangster, who now demands that Cutter forge a valuable painting and steal the real one.
It is a heist movie in a way, at least at the end, where they do the swap and steal thing. But this is a father/son bonding movie fueled by subtle but strong performances by Travolta and Sheridan. I like Sheridan, he’s a good actor and understood the role well here – the worst thing they could’ve done was hire some 18 year old who overdoes it. Understated is the correct way to do it, plus the guy has a certain screen presence. Another positive for this movie that it avoids the angst-ridden cliché that we might have feared, the old chestnut of a boy resenting his father for ‘not being there’. Instead, Cutter junior digs the fact that his father is a conman. And Travolta’s father thinks so too. Good, I don’t think I could’ve recommended this movie without that.
This is a cheap movie and some people aren’t going to like the pacing or quietness of it. But I found it quite watchable. Even if he’s been pushed way down the pecking order to stuff like this, Travolta still has it.