Triple 9

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Triple 9

We’ve seen a few crime films of late that have suggested crime is turning America into a warzone, but this cranks it up a notch: here Atlanta is a city torn between murderous Latino gangs who leave severed heads on car bonnets just for fun, and the all-Jewish Russian Mob who have a stranglehold on the “tied up people in car boots” market. Can the police save us? Hardly. Two members of the gang of bank robbers, lead by Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor), are moonlighting cops. So when their Russian boss (Kate Winslet) orders them to do an impossible job – and then murders one of them as motivation – the cops (Anthony Mackie and Clifton Collins Jr.) come up with a perfect scheme: murder their partner (Casey Affleck) then do the robbery while all the other cops rush to the scene.

Australian director John Hillcoat (The Road) knows how to put together a tense sequence and this is full of nail-biters; crime fans should be there opening day. But there’s not a lot to this beyond that: the characters are barely sketched in (only Woody Harrelson’s nutty drug-addled detective stands out, and he’s in a different film entirely) so it’s hard to care about what’s at stake. There’s some great film-making here; it’s just not a great film.

Reviewed by Anthony Morris