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Movie Review: The Lookout

Alternate Title: The Patsy

Story: High school, golden boy Chris Pratt had the whole world ahead of him when a tragic accident, caused by his reckless driving, takes two lives and leaves him brain damaged. In a flash his once promising life turns to crap. We find him four years later trying desperately to function in a new world. His injury leaves him without the ability to process things in sequence. Each task, regardless of difficulty, often becomes a major challenge. His daily grind includes going to rehab and working as a night janitor in a bank. He lives with an older blind telemarketer from rehab who becomes a sort of guidance counselor.

First time director Scott Frank (screenwriter for Out of Sight and Get Shorty) manages to do a lot with his own fairly predictable screenplay. Director Frank has a clear, direct vision behind the camera and I look forward to seeing more of his films.

We care deeply for young Chris and his older roommate. The plot thickens when Chris meets an old HS alumnus who he befriends and then convinces Chris to be a part of their plot to rob his bank. I was intensely involved in all of the characters, and some of them were pretty scary. Despite a loose predictable ending, it was very entertaining and a welcome treat.

Acting: Joseph Gordon-Levitt has traveled a long way since starring as the kid on Third Rock From the Sun. He was remarkable in Mysterious Skin (see my 2005 review). He underplays each role and is riveting to watch. Matthew Goode (Match Point) was terrific as the very bad bank robber. Jeff Daniels, never gives a bad performance. Once again he hits it right on the head.

Predilection: None.

Food: Thanksgiving meals, ravioli and stewed tomatoes.

Blatant Product Placement: O'dool's beer.

Opening Titles: All titles are at the end but the opening sequence right before the car crash is stunning to watch.

Visual Art: The cinematography by Alar Kivil was stunning.

Theater Audience: I went to a preview with a friend so it was crowded.

Weather: Chilly in Kansas.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Bad guys make me squirm.

Drift Factor: No drifting for me.

Predictability Level: Pretty high

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen - go for the thrill of it all. Jeff Daniels is a fine actor whose career will have many more years. Some of my favorite Jeff Daniels film for you to rent are: Good Night, and Good Luck,The Squid and the Whale, Pleasantville, Fly Away Home, Dumb & Dumber, Gettysburg,The Butcher's Wife, Radio Days, Something Wild, The Purple Rose of Cairo

Length: One hour and 40 minutes.

LOBO HOWLS: 7