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Parents' Guide to

A Kind of Murder

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Lust and murder in pulpy, book-based thriller.

Movie R 2016 95 minutes
A Kind of Murder Poster Image

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Often, Patricia Highsmith's novels are adapted into high-class affairs, but this thriller feels refreshingly small-time and pulpy, getting closer to the story's raw emotions and impulses. Director Andy Goddard, a veteran of TV shows like Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Daredevil, and Luke Cage, brings a small-screen economy to A Kind of Murder, stripping it to its essentials but still providing plenty of style and rich, 1960s-style atmosphere.

The screenplay by first-timer Susan Boyd feels logical and honest, following characters into emotional traps that make sense; the characters never come across as stupid. And the casting is pitch-perfect, with Wilson as a clean-cut everyman, Bennett as a potentially dangerous beauty, and especially Marsan as the twisted, repressed bookseller and Kartheiser (Mad Men) as the relentless, rodent-like detective. A Kind of Murder could almost be a movie magically transported from the bottom half of a 1960s double-bill to the present day. It's sordid, spiffy fun.

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