Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2019

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Solid performances keep ‘The Square’ grounded

The Square

The Square

Beyond the Sun

Sun coverage

It treads a pretty well-worn path, but the noirish Australian thriller "The Square" hit its crime-story beats so well that the familiarity is more an asset than a liability. This is one of those movies where the main characters happen upon a pile of money and think, “We can just take this money and no one will know, and then our lives will be much better.” Anyone who’s seen, say, A Simple Plan or No Country for Old Men knows that in fact the opposite is true: Absolutely everything that can go wrong does go wrong after Ray (Roberts) and Carla (van der Boom), lovers who are each married to other people, decide to steal a mysterious sack of money that Carla’s husband’s been hiding.

Director Edgerton and his screenwriter brother Joel (who also co-stars) craft a twisty, bleak tale in which nothing ends well for anyone, and they never let up on the suspense. The performances are solid all around, keeping the movie grounded even as the plot spirals into the slightly absurd, and a surprising amount of dark humor cuts through the grimness. All the way through its uncompromising ending, "The Square" is a remarkable piece of thriller craftsmanship.

(Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

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