Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Toronto Review: Michael Keaton Directs and Stars in Sensational Thriller, James Marsden Best Work Ever


Michael Keaton could have come to the Toronto Film Festival last night as a director. His excellent thriller, “Knox Goes Away,” opened to a jam packed audience at the Princess of Wales Theater. Many other actors who’ve directed films at the festival have shown up even though their casts stayed away.But Keaton was a no show, which was too bad.

“Knox” is a knockout, a great thriller and mystery that features the actor as well as James Marsden in his best work ever. Marsden just about steals the film playing Keaton’s son who commits a violent murder. Of course, his genes aren’t very good as Keaton plays a hit man who is diagnosed with a form of dementia. Al Pacino, as usual, gives a glowing turn as Keaton’s boss. “I am criminal you know,” he reminds Keaton’s John Knox.

We probably won’t see “Knox” until 2024, and I think both Keaton and Marsden will get a lot of awards attention. High praise too for the well plotted screenplay– which has a lot of humor– from Gregory Poirer.

PS The movie is not all men. Joanna Kulig, so amazing in “Cold War,” is devastating as Knox’s call girl girlfriend. Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden shines as Knox’s ex wife.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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