You don’t tend to see chamber pieces about big men with guns, but that’s exactly what THE STANDOFF AT SPARROW CREEK is, which is pretty novel. Someone in this militia has opened fire at a cop’s funeral and everyone is baying for their blood. James Badge Dale is reliable as always, here a coiled spring acting as chief interrogator of such character actors as Chris Mulkey and Gene Jones and writer-director Henry Dunham gives the film a good murky look to match the deception at play. But it somehow manages to feel much longer than it actually is, the dialogue doesn’t have much crackle and the surprises, when they eventually come, aren’t all that surprising. You’d also be hard-pressed to nail down exactly what the film is saying about American gun culture, “both sides”-ing the debate. It’s a decent effort but nothing that you’ll remember come the morrow. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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