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Review: 'Lake City'

Family drama about a mother and son who reunite after a tragedy has talented actors but uneven story treatment.

By Robert Koehler / November 22, 2008

Lake City, starring Sissy Spacek, Troy Garity, Dave Matthews, and Rebecca Romjin.

Courtesy of Screen Media Films

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It would be reasonable to think that a roster of actors such as Sissy Spacek, Keith Carradine, Rebecca Romijn, Dave Matthews, Drea de Matteo of "The Sopranos," and Troy Garity would join up for something a tad more significant than the movie that "Lake City" turns out to be. Although matters begin with an arch "action scene" involving Garity's scruffy Billy on the run from Red (a thuggish drug dealer convincingly played by Matthews), the film's core concerns Billy, his mom Maggie (Spacek), and their buried emotions stemming from a terrible family tragedy. But first-time writers-directors Perry Moore and Hunter Hill appear torn between making a movie that could be a comfortable fit on the Lifetime Channel and a crime thriller, each tendency yanking the drama in incompatible directions. The astonishingly inept finish could serve as a primer in screenwriting classes on how not to wind up a family drama. On that score, "Lake City" has some enduring value. That, and seeing Spacek, aglow as always, and Carradine, who's criminally underemployed in American films, on screen together in a pair of brief scenes. Grade: C (Rated R for language and some violence.)

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