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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Small Town Crime and Punishment

The Locksmith on IMDb

Plot Overview


loversConsummate locksmith Miller Graham (Ryan Phillipe) supplements his income with an “easy” safe job w/ his friend Kevin Reyes (George Akram) as a partner and police officer Ian Zwick (Jeffrey Nordling) as a lookout. Zwick betrays them for a promotion resulting in a felony conviction for Miller and the demise of Kevin. Ten years later Miller is out and wanting to reestablish connection with his paramour Beth Fisher (Kate Bosworth) who has moved on and their twelve-year-old daughter Lindsay (Madeleine Guilbot) waiting in the wings. Kevin's sister April (Gabriela Quezada) figures he owes her and taps him for a big score to make it up. Mean­while, Beth has joined the Dos Caminos police force and been promoted to vice to be watched by her super­visor Lt. Zwick and his crooked cronies for signs of betrayal. An informant Tanya Saunders (Kaylee Bryant) seeks her out and life gets complicated all around.


Miller had a cozy job until he started feeling the effects of the small town decline: fewer customers. Further­more, modern digital locks cut into his lucrative night calls (“I need a lock­smith;”) when people could program their PINs with, say, their birth­days, they didn't find them­selves locked out and needing him. He got a little antsy at night worrying about his kid's college fund that he wasn't adding to, much like the soldier returned from war in a Henry Miller novel:

punching outThe moment he sat down he went soft as putty. He wasn't a man any more, but just a big child. There must have been millions of them like him, big children with machine guns who could wipe out whole regiments with­out batting an eye­lash; but back in the work trenches, with­out a weapon, with­out a clear, visible enemy, they were help­less as ants. Every­thing revolved about the question of food. The food and the rent—that was all there was to fight about—but there was no way, no clear, visible way, to fight for it. It was like seeing an army strong and well equipped, capable of licking any­thing in sight. and yet ordered to retreat every day, to retreat and retreat and retreat because that was the strategic thing to do, even though it meant losing ground, losing guns, losing ammunition, losing food, losing sleep, losing courage, losing life itself finally. Wherever there were men fighting for food and rent there was this retreat going on, in the fog, in the night, for no earthly reason except that it was the strategic thing to do. It was eating the heart out of him. To fight was easy, but to fight for food and rent was like fighting an army of ghosts. All you could do was retreat, and while you retreated you watched your own brothers getting popped off, one after another, silently, mysteriously, in the fog, in the dark, and not a thing to do about it. He was so damned confused, so perplexed, so hope­lessly muddled and beaten— (45)

That was the locksmith who, “Ten years ago I was afraid I couldn't provide for you guys. I f__ked up. I made a really bad decision.” A student of the proverbs might have known not to look for a quick score but to keep plugging away slow and steady: (Prov. 30:7) “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:”

(Prov. 30:8-9) “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” The get-rich-quick scheme if it works will leave one in the clover but denying his dependence on God who is our ultimate Provider. If it doesn't work he'll be poor enough to steal and swear falsely about it (“I swear to God it's true.”) The lie that Miller hadn't kept far enough from was crooked Zwick's assurance.

Miller, Beth and Lindsay seemed to be doing okay in the “food convenient for me” department. They ordered lunch at the Fork in the Road Diner where Beth was waitressing when the two were seeing each other (“We used to come here all the time.”) Later when baby sitting, Miller promised, “no fast food, real dinner.” For lunch they had sandwiches and later a “nice dinner.”

casino party

Game-winning handKevin's sister April was left in the lurch (“After Kevin died I didn't have anyone”) and went into the foster care system. When she aged out, she was scooped up by real estate developer Garrett Field (Charlie Weber) to work in “enter­tain­ment,” but “it's a front; he runs girls.” She became a call girl whom he wouldn't let go, not with­out violent reper­cus­sions. She needs to be set up financially to leave. Her plan now is to have Miller raid Garrett's annual Casino Night party for the half-million dollar pot from the buy-ins of the dozen or so execs who come to this small town to play where they won't be recognized. Gambling is another form of vanity one should keep away from. As for Garrett, “looks like business is good.” How­ever, his study is festooned with antlers & hunting trophies but no religious emblems, God having no part in his life.

Production Values

music practiceold men playing
chess” (2023) was directed by Nicolas Harvard. It was written by John Glosser, Ben Kabialis and Blair Kroeber. It stars Kate Bosworth, Ryan Phillippe and Ving Rhames. Bosworth gave a command performance albeit in a cut-rate movie. The acting generally isn't half bad, but the written dialogue is. Child actor Madeleine Guilbot was well coached for her wide emotional range playing a kid who gets reunited with her dad only to be taken hostage by a bad guy later on. Her character is portrayed as college material worthy of her parents' investment as she plays chess, tinkers with a smith's tools, and gives a music recital. She is worthy of the two jobs Miller eventually acquires to the praise of his P.O.

Certification in the United Kingdom was 15. It was filmed on location in Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA. The camera work was notable for its flexibility with changing focus, near and far. We see a rare screen chess game whose realism is not sacrificed for a quicker pace—the kids used cool sound effects with their moves. Runtime is 1½ hours.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Imagination is necessary to the enjoyment of this film, because the characters are familiar with their small town, its people, its history, its issues, but we are not. They're not hard to imagine, just not handed to us on a platter. Fortunately, if you've got through my review, you're not a lazy viewer and should do okay. The main lesson to derive from it is both biblical and sensible, so you've good justification for seeing this one during home­work time.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability for Children: Suitable for youth 15+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quotations from the Authorized Version. Pub. 1611. Rev. 1769. Software.

Miller, Henry. Tropic of Capricorn. Copyright © 1961, Grove Press Inc., New York: Grove Press. Print.