The Devil's in the Details
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
From its muddled chronological structure to its convoluted and confusing resolution, THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS is one big mess. Most of the film is an exercise in torture and the rest is an assortment of unrelated scenes. I wouldn't recommend this bomb to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
Few movies start out with as much promise yet failure to deliver as The Devil's in the Details. What could have been a memorable film with a veteran cast of actors is instead a massive disappointment.

The Devil's in the Details tells the story of a soldier struggling with PTSD, kidnapped by a drug cartel in an attempt to use his family to help smuggle drugs into Mexico. Combat veteran Thomas Conrad is tortured as his wife and child are held hostage, while everyone's fate depends on the cartel's tasks being performed on schedule.

The only good news about this film is that is features a variety of experienced actors. But that's not enough to redeem all of the problems that plague what had the potential to be a memorable crime thriller. As for the bad news, there's plenty of it.

The movie involves a number of flashbacks, but unlike Slumdog Millionaire or Pulp Fiction, the non-linear approach doesn't do much for this film. It's filled with tiring dialogue and scenes that seem to go on forever. To distract you from the pointlessly long scenes, the camera is always panning around, and there's too much atmospheric background music. Most of the action is off-screen until the movie is almost over, and the torture is unnecessary considering the cartel's hostage plan can work without it. The ridiculous coincidence of what Conrad's family members do for a living is already hard to swallow, let alone the pointless complicated smuggling plan.

Raymond J. Barry and Ray Liotta bring some talent to the film, but are totally underused. Emilio Rivera steals the show as the devilish kidnapper, but sadly his performance will go unnoticed since this film will get little attention. As for the main character Thomas Conrad, I have no idea why Joel Mathews was cast as the lead in this movie. He had only been in one full-length film plus a short by the same director; the 12 year old playing his daughter actually had more screen experience. His performance was just terrible.

Any tension that isn't wasted in the movie builds up to a twist, and it's a weak one. As the seemingly relevant flashbacks continued, I was hopeful that a dark spin was coming a la Session 9 or Jacob's Ladder. So when the twist is revealed (and it's not original), you're left saying "Wait... that's it?" It's such a let down that you're forced to believe it's so brilliant and subtle that you missed something. Well, you didn't.

The only reason I'm not giving the film one star is because of Emilio Rivera, Raymond J. Barry, and Ray Liotta. The sole special feature is a 12-minute behind the scenes featurette with cast interviews. Watch this online before you consider buying the DVD or Blu-Ray. If you're a fan of Emilio Rivera or Ray Liotta, it's worth watching online once, otherwise give this one a pass.
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on April 15, 2014
I am forced to give this one star since there is nothing lower. -2 stars might be better. The acting, thje weak plot by only one or two movie "greats" did little for the movie. The useless torture, the girl on the street being killed. some idiot kid acting like he was also a prisoner was stupid. I am unsure but I think the twist was that his brother and sister were actually competing big time drug dealers and all this show was to get them to turn over their stash to save Conrad's life. Was the ending out of focus shot telling us he got back together with his wife and daughter/ What did the father tell the shrink that make him go to some unknown house and kill two of the remaining bad guys? One star was a gift.
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on January 12, 2014
Loved this flick. It's not the best film ever made, but the story is pretty bad ass and the acting is very good. For a lower budget film, it hits all the marks and I always love Ray L. Good stuff!
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on October 28, 2013
I really liked this movie. I don't know why people are not seeing Joel Matthew's performance as I was. He was quite good and believable, I felt he was being tortured and felt his angst at not knowing what was going on & fear for his family. I hope to see more of him. The script failed mainly at the end with the "it wasn't really what you thought it was, but it was still a pretty bad situation reveal."
Could Brad Pitt have played it better? Maybe, but he would have been given a free pass because of his name.
I'm glad to see an unknown get a chance. Ben Affleck is often more wooden, in my opinion, though I do like him a lot.
His family, acting mainly through voices on the phone were also highly believable, I felt their fear as well. I wanted to punch his Dad & his brother-in-law.
Make up wise, they made mistakes by having Thomas's face too clean after being tortured & the blood was too bright from older stab wounds, if it was that bright, he would have bled out.
Ray Liotta was superb as always, I would have liked his scene with the hostages played out.

After the movie I immediately searched Joel Matthews online to find more of his work, I hope he keeps at it, he will only improve with time.
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on July 19, 2013
The Devil's in the Details was very, very INTENSE, yet at the end not sure of what happened to Thomas family, except for the wife and daughter. Father was not shown alive, Sister was not shown what happened to her if it was true or not what Bill told him and the Brother not sure if he allowed the van to cross the boarder. Good movie up until the end, as it left you with way too many unanswered questions. Give us a solid ending for this type of movie or it leaves us asking why and what happened really.

I rented this but it is not a keeper in my collection of movies, I am glad I saw it but will not buy. This movie could of been great with a ending that made sense to show what really and truly happened to Thomas family.

The acting was superior with Ray Liotta was great as Dr. Robert Michaels, Emilio Rivera a true great actor as the thug conman Bill Duffy and Joel Mathews the victim, as Thomas Conrad was the lead and star of this movie and has a future with better pictures with an ending that makes sense.

Below is the link for "The Devil's in the Details" - B00BSBWH1U
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
Saw this film on holiday. It is the pits, a totally dysfunctional film that jumps around all over the place and leaves you trying to work out the weak story line. Ray Liotta is simply in a cameo role to try and give it some credit. Joel Matthews who plays the lead is so amateurish and wooden that it begs belief.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2013
This movie is really bad. The lead actor, Joel Matthews, cannot act to save his life. Emilio Rivera is brilliant in Sons of Anarchy but he seems to be mailing it in this movie. Same goes for Ray Liotta. Ray is a great actor, but for some reason, he seems to be uninterested here. You don't really care for the characters. The kicker came when Corbin comes in and stabs the lead character with a rubber knife. Bad acting and editing equals a total time waster, pass at all cost.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2013
I usually enjoy most Ray Liotta movies, although he wasn't the main character in this waste of time, film, and money movie. Some of the worst acting I've ever seen. 1 of 5 stars is too high!!! Liotta has fallen to the bottom by putting his name on this one.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2013
"We're here to identify your moments. Your moments and events that lead you here into this room." After serving his country in a brutal tour Thomas Conrad is having a hard time adjusting to "normal" life. He is sent to see someone (Liotta) who will help him adjust. While there he begins to explore the problems he has had with his family as well as recalling his meeting with a drug cartel enforcer (Rivera) that changed his life forever. Going in I was expecting the normal B-action movie type plot and idea. I have to admit that this was actually not as bad as I was expecting and actually kept me watching and interested. The movie is pretty suspenseful even though the movie is pretty much played out in a way that you imagine all the action. Thtoughout the movie you see Thomas being tortured and talking to his family trying to save everyone but not the actual action, to me that is really a neat idea and adds to the enjoyment. I won't say it's exactally like reading a book, but it's close. If you like suspense and have a good imagination then this is a movie you will enjoy. Overall, an original type of action movie with a very interesting presentation. I liked it. I give it a B+.
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