My weekly movie reviews. You can also read these on letterboxd.
This week focuses on William Friedkin’s final film, THE CAINE MUTINY COURT-MARTIAL
THE CAINE MUTINY COURT-MARTIAL (2023)
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
William Friedkin’s last film could never equal one of the classics he made throughout his career but it is a fitting, final note to an incredible career.
Once again, he takes on a stage adaptation. I persist that no one has ever been better when it comes to bringing a play to the screen, from BOYS IN THE BAND to his underrated 12 ANGRY MEN and his two Tracy Letts films. CAINE might be the least cinematic of all those but Friedkin still manages to keep a single room drama (plus a hallway and an additional room) riveting from beginning to end.
He guides the performances and lets them carry the show. I found Kiefer’s performance to be effective if a little forced at times. It’s still a nice character role for the actor who so often gets cast in less complex parts. But it’s Jason Clarke who steals the picture. The actor who showed so much promise with ZERO DARK THIRTY has taken a strange path in his career, not living up to the potential he showed early on either because of his own choices or the opportunities he was provided. Here, he reminds us what he is capable of. This is evident especially in the final minutes when he and Friedkin turn the tables on the audience. That ending is what takes CAINE from being a good film to one you can’t miss. And it’s one last punch in the face from a director who never pulled any throughout his unforgettable career.
Watched on Amazon.