Before watching this movie, I recommend buying the recently published Black Box: A Record of the Catastrophe and reading “What Is a Life in Angola Prison” by Tanya Erzen. This essay will provide an excellent background for the main character, Mo Lundy, of this Southern Gothic noir. Mo is white, an ex-convict who spent much of his youth in Angola (a notorious maximum security prison in Louisiana), and a Muslim (converted to the religion while doing time). After winning his freedom, he lands a job at a dog rescue operation. One day, a crying woman, her husband (a sadistic cop), and their dying dog appear at the rescue. The bad visit sets into motion a plot that is very strong until its third act. The problem? Not in the acting or in the direction but in the writing. The third act needed to be rewritten. A few important changes here and there, and this would have been a noir masterpiece. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
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