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3.6 out of 5 stars
38
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 August 2013
Channing Tatum plays Jonathan "Milk" White, a police officer who recently transferred to Queensboro, NY. It is 2002, the aftermath of 9-11 is going on, and acts as a symbol of Jonathan's life. The movie flashes back to 1986 when Jonathan lived in the Queensboro projects with his grandmother. He was harassed by a thug, who he shot and killed. The body was dumped in the garbage, the crime was never solved. A lot of people knew "Milk" did it. The people in the projects hate the cops.

Now in 2002, Jonathan lives with his wife Katie Holmes and a daughter with a medical condition. She is one of those adorable kids that make you want to run out and have a dozen or so. There is a push to clean up the district, making it safe. There is an anonymous person who places articles about TWO unsolved murders from 1986, a reminder to Jonathan. The projects is still an asylum and the cops have better things to do than to dig up a 16 year old case (the movie claims 14 years, but do the math.)

Al Pacino plays Officer Charlie who was investigating the case in 1986. Ray Liotta plays Captain Marion Mathers , Jonathan's boss. Jonathan was the son of a police officer, one that was the partner of Officer Charlie.

As the movie progresses we get more pieces of the puzzle and the harassment becomes more intense. We are drawn into it. We want to know, "Who is the snitch?" "Why are they doing this?" "Who else knows?" The snitch part is fairly easy to figure out.

This isn't Pacino's finest film. This isn't the best cop drama around. The acting was decent, the script had a certain amount of predictability. Katie Holmes was great for the short time she was on the screen. It makes for a decent rental.

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb, no sex, no nudity.
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Casting may be 90% of the work in getting a move right, but this time even top class actors can't rescue the confused plot with its rather obvious 'twist'.
Ray Liotta is convincingly bullish and scheming as the police chief on his way up. Al Pacino brightens the few scenes he appears in as the outgoing top dog, who in his earlier career may have helped his partner's son evade a murder rap. A whole bunch of ghosts come back to haunt everyone, and the now grown killer has turned into an honest policeman himself; a family man, and frankly a fairly dull and dumb arm of the law if ever there was one.
Sadly, Channing Tatum's performance is what lets down the movie; his scenes tend to plod and that's a problem because he is the pivotal character. There's also some random violence thrown in for no good reason (ask yourself at the end who rammed his car and why). And the 'heartwarming at home with the family' scenes gave me gas.
When the motivating force behind the events is revealed then very little of it makes sense: the bad guys, who are perfectly willing to kill, could just have topped a couple of people earlier in the day and saved themselves an awful lot of meaningless machinations.
The Son Of No One also suffers from the usual poor soundtrack mix (incidental too loud, key dialogue mumbled).

Overall, thought, this is a reasonably entertaining little thriller if you abandon common sense. Just don't be distracted by the big names and think you're going to see some quality scripting or direction; it's a B-movie which aims high, is all. Three stars is generous: two stars is a little bit harsh.
5/10
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Casting may be 90% of the work in getting a move right, but this time even top class actors can't rescue the confused plot with its rather obvious 'twist'.
Ray Liotta is convincingly bullish and scheming as the police chief on his way up. Al Pacino brightens the few scenes he appears in as the outgoing top dog, who in his earlier career may have helped his partner's son evade a murder rap. A whole bunch of ghosts come back to haunt everyone, and the now grown killer has turned into an honest policeman himself; a family man, and frankly a fairly dull and dumb arm of the law if ever there was one.
Sadly, Channing Tatum's performance is what lets down the movie; his scenes tend to plod and that's a problem because he is the pivotal character. There's also some random violence thrown in for no good reason (ask yourself at the end who rammed his car and why). And the 'heartwarming at home with the family' scenes gave me gas.
When the motivating force behind the events is revealed then very little of it makes sense: the bad guys, who are perfectly willing to kill, could just have topped a couple of people earlier in the day and saved themselves an awful lot of meaningless machinations.
The Son Of No One also suffers from the usual poor soundtrack mix (incidental too loud, key dialogue mumbled).

Overall, thought, this is a reasonably entertaining little thriller if you abandon common sense. Just don't be distracted by the big names and think you're going to see some quality scripting or direction; it's a B-movie which aims high, is all. Three stars is generous: two stars is a little bit harsh.
5/10
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on 3 May 2012
Set in New York in 2002, Channing Tatum (The Eagle) stars as Jonathan White, a 30 something New York rookie cop with a young family, who for reasons brushed over, happens to be assigned to the Police precinct that presided over his housing project as a youth. Where in 1986 as a 14 year old kid, something sinister happened, and now, 16 years on, someone is sending letters to nosy reporter Loren Bridges (Juliette Binoche -Dan in Real Life) and slowly revealing details of those involved.

Overall this film was a hard watch, not for any grotesque content, but for the way it was written & presented, so convoluted, that it made little sense in all honesty. The crux of the film wasn't even something that heigtend interest as it wouldn't had made any significant difference if the truth was to come out, because there would had been no physical proof to link anyone to the murders. There was no real action in this film of any real note either, it was mainly an attempt at a Noir-ish character based crime drama, which was so drawn out & not going anywhere fast. And even when the build up to the finale came, i felt no suspense, as the ending felt rushed & messy.

The steller cast did the best with what they had to work with. Tatum was alright, with a limited lead role. Pacino (Heat), Liotta (Goodfellas) & Juliette Binoche shined for the moments they had, but weren't stretched to any extent of their true acting abilities. Underused were Katie Holmes (Dawson's Creek) as White's wife & Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) in a cameo performance as the older Vinnie, who looked pretty promising as a serious actor, i normally slate him in his Comedy films, but i'd definatly like to see more serious work from him after this. The acting highlight of the film were probably from the two kids who played in the many flashbacks during the film, Jake Cherry (Night At The Museum 1 & 2) as White & Brian Gilbert (Son of no one) as his friend Vinnie.

In conclusion, I was really disappointed in how the Son Of No One turned out, with a promising cast & story premise going sadly unfulfilled, as it's badly let down by the execution. Avoid.
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The phrase `slow burner' was made for The Son of No One. It's about a cop with a secret from his childhood that's about to come back and haunt him while he battles to save his marriage.

Basically, it's a `cop-on-the-edge' thriller. Only it's not much of a thriller. Drama would be a better description, as there's not much action in it.

It's not particularly dark and it's not particularly gritty. It's just slow. The plot is strung out through use of flashbacks which tell you things that you already know (only longer).

You may be tempted to watch this because Al Pacino and Ray Liotta feature heavily in the promotional material. However, be warned, they're not in it that much - barely passing characters.

Overall, it's okay, but only if you don't mind your films slow and brooding. Every actor does his or her job in the film. Nothing special.
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on 1 May 2012
One cannot but think that this is a film which in itself justifies its title given the old adage that success is everyman's child, but failure is an orphan. The plot is simple enough - a young boy kills two degenerates and years later, the young boy, now a New York cop assigned to the precinct in which he grew up and committed the killings, is faced with retribution from someone. The problem is that the storyline is convoluted in the extreme, the dialogue dull, and occasionally unintelligible, and the acting mediocre. I really fail to understand how actors of the calibre of Al Pacino and Ray Liotta could lend their names to such a travesty as I'm sure they couldn't have needed the money that badly. I made my usual mistake of watching it through to the end in the hope that it would get better, but of course it didn't. My copy of the DVD is destined for the local charity shop.
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on 1 February 2013
I feel I have to leap in here just to boost this film's ratings. Dito Montiel collaborated with Tatum before on Guide to Recognising Your Saints and Fighting, and the quality of this one is close to the former IMHO (pretty damn solid). Personally I like Montiel's slightly fussy edit style, although it does arguably counter the verite of his setting and the naturalistic performances (which I would also say were excellent all round) - but then again we are often dealing with memory and first person flashback here, let alone psycho-drama.

The bad reaction to the movie does seem unjustly harsh. It is perhaps more akin to the 1970's kind of gritty urban drama than modern mores allow - one thing I don't agree that this movie is, is slow. And I would also hazard a guess that non-linear narrative is too big of an ask these days, but the problem therein lies with the audience and not the film-maker, who knows what he is doing. Try a Nic Roeg film sometime, people. I bought into the story here. It takes on a difficult subject (police corruption, post 911) within portrayal of an urban blight that most filmmakers and audiences would rather ignore. So more strength to Montiel. I suspect there's a greater truth in here concerning the sorts of murders that no-one cares about.

If you dig any of the actors involved, ignore the brickbats and try this movie. Then make up your own mind.
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on 2 November 2015
The disc arrived in fine order quickly - unfortunately the actual film was not watchable even for the ten minutes we tried. Mumbling american jiberish in protracted disconnected scenes didn't help. So I can understand why it was jobbed out. We can't win them all!
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on 8 June 2015
The sort of film where the cast is so uninteresting that you could not care less about them. It was dead boring and even Al and Ray looked out of place. Takes more than a couple of aging male stars to make a decent movie.
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on 24 March 2015
I bought this because it was Channing Tatum and did watch it right through. However it was one of those stories where I wondered why it was made.
Unadulterated misery and totally unpleasant characters.
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