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Bullets fly on the Atlanta freeway as armed thieves make their getaway following a bank robbery in broad daylight. In order to pull it off, the gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer
The movie involves a pair of heists, a prisoner abroad, corrupt cops, mobsters, gangsters, and more, and the parts are considerably better than the messy, unfocused whole. But oh, the parts can be a pleasure.
Hillcoat directs with a sense of immediacy and grimy realism, bringing the audience into the shootouts and bloodshed on the streets. Atlanta becomes another war zone for the men who have seen war, battling an enemy of a different race and culture.
There's a blue-chip cast running the gamut from A (Casey Affleck) to W (Kate Winslet) and terrific action sequences in Triple 9 - but in the end, this relentlessly nihilistic crime-caper thriller adds up to less than the sum of its impressive parts.
The uneven thing [here] is John Hillcoat's direction: a tense, sustained journey through an apartment while lined up behind a bulletproof shield alternating with indulgent zooms and cuts depicting local color.