Year: 2005
Production Co: Bergman Lustig Productions
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Joseph Gordon Leavitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin, Richard Roundtree
I wonder how much money this movie made and whether the majority of people who went actually liked it.

I have a feeling it, like Magnolia. had critics fawning all over how inventive and fresh it was, but I found it irritating and unexciting. The supposedly ground-breaking device of mashing up a teen high school movie with a noir thriller (complete with the language of an old gumshoe movie) felt completely phoney and unrealistic and I couldn't stick with either genre the film tried to channel.

In hindsight it was probably the novelty and fantasy of the idea that had people so enamoured, but I just found it ridiculous.

A high school kid (Leavitt) gets an urgent phone call from his former girlfriend (de Ravin) and then discovers she's been murdered and dumped in a nearby storm drain.

To get to the bottom of the murder, every cliché from a hundred Hollywood noir films lines up behind him from the seductive bad-girl dame, the crime lord and his heavies and the crooked cop (the principal, in this case) to the nerdy offsider (who - you guessed it - is called 'brain').

And it's all delivered in at times ear-bendingly obscure dialogue that's been passed over a dozen times with a knowledge of the wiliest films from the genre until plain English bent out of shape and you can barely keep up with what's going on.

An inventive attempt at something new, but it doesn't work as a piece of entertainment. The noir aspect is too far out of place and without it it's a vanilla flavoured drama thriller.

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