I really dig these small town murder movies. I'm not sure as to why, I think because they show a simpler side of life, yet violent at the same time. SHOUT Factory has picked up Sweet Virginia, a film that stars John Bernthal, who after his recent turn in The Punisher is becoming a very bankable star.
Sweet Virginia opens hot. We see Christopher Abbott murder three people during a card game. Turns out he's looking for the wife of one of the guys he murdered. As he his obviously tired from a triple murder he heads into town and checks into The Sweet Virginia Hotel. Its owned by Sam (John Bernthal). Sam is a former rodeo star who is now all banged up and walks with the help of a cane. Abbot's character Elwood takes a liking to him and they strike up a friendship over dinner. Sam, keep in mind does not know he is hanging out with a murderer at this time. Unbeknownst to Elwood Sam is having an affair with one of the women whos husband was killed in said murder.
The two of course will eventually cross paths on a different end as Sam is a washed up hero of sorts yet he has a dark and violent side that is brought out by his friendship with Elwood. Elwood is a contract killer, just waiting in this little town to hit his target. He obviously is not a quiet hitman as he doesn't have a problem with killing anyone not associated with his target.
What sets this a part from a lot of films of this style is the performances. Bernthal gives another outstanding performance as Sam. A guy who you just want to root for. And Abbott is simply menacing as a cold blooded killer who doesn't mind killing anyone wo gets in his way. Throw in the beautiful backdrop of this town and you have a winner on all fronts.
Shout Factory has done their typical great job on this transfer but sadly its a bare bones release. I would have loved to have heard a commentary or at least a few interviews with the stars, but regardless its still a fine transfer.
Its part of the IFC partner line. The audio is superb as usual, and the colors are amazing on this Blu-ray, thanks in part to the setting of the town. Fans of thrillers will no doubt enjoy watching this one. I give it a high recommendation.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 stars