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Dragged Across Concrete

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Rated R · 2h 39m

Director S. Craig Zahler
Starring Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White

Genre Crime, Action, Thriller

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Two policemen, one an old-timer, the other his volatile younger partner, find themselves suspended when a video of their strong-arm tactics becomes the media's cause du jour. Low on cash and with no other options, these two embittered soldiers descend into the criminal underworld to gain their just due, but instead find far more than they wanted awaiting them in the shadows.


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The Guardian by Damon Wise

Zahler has a way with action, and the set pieces are inventive and nasty, with an unflinching eye for violence. Such style and confidence is impressive. But after three movies, his increasingly morose characters’ world-weariness is becoming wearying in itself; a little more light and shade here and there would easily take this cult director to the next level. That is, if he wants to go.

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

The insanely self-indulgent running time of two hours and 40 minutes and the tendency to undercut tension with fussy dialogue that continually draws attention to its cleverness make Zahler’s third feature a lot less fun than it seems to think it is.

Screen International by Demetrios Matheou

Anyone expecting a progression in Zahler’s work may be disappointed, as the amusingly mannered dialogue starts to feel self-conscious and forced, as does the fatalism.

Variety by Guy Lodge

At a whopping 158 minutes, “Concrete’s” sleek, languorous anatomy of a heist represents the filmmaker’s most extreme exercise yet in painstaking genre deceleration, sparked as ever by the tangy movie-movie vernacular of his writing, the crunchy metal-on-asphalt dynamism of his craftsmanship, and the back-from-the-brink reanimation of his stars.

CineVue by John Bleasdale

The trademark brutal violence remains effective, and Zahler maintains a pervasive feeling of dread throughout his films, but Dragged Across Concrete shows the limits of taking the game long.

The Film Stage by Leonardo Goi

Where the new entry lacks in bloodshed and bone-splintering violence, it still confirms Zahler’s penchant for complicated characters, and conjures up a bad cops action movie which, despite blips in tension and a second half far superior to the first, crystallizes Zahler’s as a key name to watch for lovers of the genre.

The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

Even when the heist gets underway, the film takes its time about everything: what Zahler has essentially done is put a 15-minute mid-blockbuster set-piece on the rack and stretched it out until its cartilage pops. The duration is part of the point – you can’t do gnawing fatalism in a hurry – but the repetitions and languors here can feel presumptuous.


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