After discovering that a string of baffling murders seems to be inspired by the macabre short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, Baltimore cop Emmett Fields turns to the brilliant-but-boozy author to help solve the crimes.
Edgar Allan Poe hasn’t sold a story in a while, and he’s out of money. He’s angry that hacks like Longfellow are getting published in the paper, while his stuff is getting cut. How’s a poet supposed to buy his booze? Thing is, he doesn’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. He doesn’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed. You know, as a career. He doesn’t want to do that. He does want to keep getting with this chick Emily, for whom he wrote “Annabel Lee”. Oh yeah, then some murders happen.
John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe
You know how sometimes you get to see one of your favorite actors playing in a ridiculously fun role, where they’re just chewing up the scenery? This was not one of those times. Cusack plays Poe in a fashion that is simultaneously over-the-top and phoned-in. How is that even possible? I mean, I saw Hot Tub Time Machine, and I thought, “He’s still got it.” With this, it was like he wasn’t even trying. The worst part is that it could have been one of those ridiculously fun roles. As my husband noted, in this role, Cusack makes Nicholas Cage look subtle.
Alice Eve as Emily Hamilton
You may recognize Alice Eve from Entourage, She’s Out Of My League, Men in Black 3, or that time she was on Poirot. She, at least, gives the role of Emily her best shot.
Luke Evans as Detective Fields
I recognized Luke Evan’s face, but I’ve never seen any of the movies he was in (Clash of the Titans, The Three Musketeers, Immortals). Much like Alice Eve, he tries, too.
Kevin McNally as Maddux
Oh Kevin McNally, you’re in everything! Sadly, I’ll still always like you best as Gibbs. Especially since the best part about your role in this was your last scene…
Brendan Gleeson as Capt. Charles Hamilton
And Brendan Gleeson! You’re in everything, too! But I loved your in this movie. Mostly because of your facial hair and Baltimore accent.
Couch-Sharing Capability: High
Trust. You’re gonna need someone to turn to for “The Pit and the Pendulum” scene alone, not to mention the eye rolls you’ll want to share.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Moderate
I quite enjoyed peppermint tea while watching this movie, but I imagine a little alcohol wouldn’t hurt.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Good
Despite its flaws — and there are many — at its core, this is a fun, suspenseful thriller.