It looks like Coastlines is the type of movie we dread here at the Binge. Oh, it's not supposed to awful, if that's what you're thinking. Instead, it's supposed to be completely mediocre. What can I do with that?
The film is third and final installment of Victor Nunez's panhandle triology (Ulee's Gold and Ruby in Paradise were the others) and stars Timothy Olyphant, Josh Brolin and Sarah Wynter (i.e. Jack Bauer's lusty lady in Day 2 of 24). The plot centers around Sonny's (Olyphant) release from jail and his attempt to retrieve money owed to him by the local mob boss. He ends up needing the help of his innocent friends from a previous life (Brolin and Wynter). The intial reviews are pretty wishy-washy.
Enough of the ingredients for a sultry downscale noir are in place in "Coastlines," that once the film turns perversely goody-good, it leaves you feeling vaguely disgruntled, as if after consuming a rich, greasy meal, you were handed a single sugarless mint for dessert.
...as tempting as it is to make Coastlines an example of what's wrong with the indie market, it must be noted that this is the least successful entry in Nunez's Panhandle films. It keeps many of the expected Nunez virtues—understated and absorbing performances, a strong sense of place, unhurried direction—but dilutes them with clunky dialogue and relationships that seem forced.
Keith Phipps of the Onion is referring to the faults of the indie market because this film was originally shown at Sundance four years ago and is only now making its theatrical debut. Well, at least it's playing at the IFC Center, which is one of the better theaters in the city.