With a sprawling cast of familiar faces, Murder at Yellowstone City reveals itself as character-driven from the start.
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Director Richard Gray’s well-crafted and handsomely mounted indie is as much a solidly constructed mystery as it is it a conventionally satisfying oater, with much to recommend to fans of either genre who rarely get to sample such a mix.
Much like the behavior of Sheriff Ambrose as he investigates the murders occurring around him, the story is best served as something to be glanced at rather than examined too closely. If you stare too long at fool’s gold, it loses its fleeting appeal.
The performances solidly do the job of moving things along, but as game, as they are, Belgau’s screenplay offers the actors few options to work around its creaky dialogue.
The results aren’t great. The picture’s predictable except when it’s at its most illogical, and the pacing is slow-footed when it needed to canter. But hell, you throw Thomas Jane, Gabriel Byrne, Scottie Thompson, Anna Camp and Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss against a saloon wall, you’re going to hit something.