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You Kill Me

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After a Buffalo hitman with a drinking problem bumbles a job, he's sent to San Francisco to dry out. Alcoholics Anonymous proves beneficial to the laconic, aging Frank (Ben Kingsley); there he learns not to regret his murders (they were all deserved), but that he did them so poorly while loaded on booze. The humor in John Dahl's crime comedy is so deadpan as to be virtually non-existent, and it's matched by ice-cool, emotionless performances throughout (even from old-school hams Philip Baker Hall and Dennis Farina). Kingsley employs a truly weird accent that keeps us keyed to the film's hothouse artificiality, as does a poorly developed subplot about Polish and Irish gangs in Buffalo. It's an odd, though not completely unsatisfying turn by Kingsley. But if he wanted to slum and let his metaphorical hair down a bit, maybe should have taken that role in Cleaver.

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