Review: ‘A Violent Separation’

In Theaters and On-Demand May 17, 2019
Directed by: Kevin and Michael Goetz (A Scenic Route)

In a quiet midwestern town, Norman Young (Brenton Thwaites) is faced with an impossible decision; arrest his older brother Ray (Ben Robson) for murder or help him cover it up. Norman chooses family. As the ensuing investigation withers, neither of the brothers are prepared for the weight of their guilt or how that guilt will strain their loyalty to those closest to them.

Brenton Thwaites is the one thing that truly shines in this film. His emotional journey is a tad more interesting, but not by much. That is a reflection of the writing and not his abilities. He does the best he can and should be commended for it. While the cinematography is lovely, this script ends up feeling really anticlimactic and frankly pretty dull. I can see what it was trying to do but there was very little in the way of character development outside of the first 20 minutes. Even then, it was small-town cliche. Alycia Debnam-Carey is vastly underutilized and her character is overly simplistic. You knew exactly where this was going from the very beginning and the final scene between brothers was telegraphed from a mile away. The investigation (the driving force of the plot) was not very thorough which led to little to no intrigue. A Violent Separation needed more meat on the bones for my taste.

Starring: 
Brenton Thwaites (“Titans, The Giver)
Ben Robson (“Animal Kingdom,” “Vikings”)
Alycia Debnam-Carey (“Fear the Walking Dead,” “The 100”)
Claire Holt (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Pretty Little Liars”)
Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs, “Monk”)
Francesca Eastwood (Outlaws and Angels, M.F.A.)
Gerald McRaney (“This Is Us,” “Promised Land”)
Peter Michael Goetz (Father of the Bride Part II, My Girl)

Kevin and Michael Goetz’s film explores how far we will go to protect the ones we love. Screen Media will release A VIOLENT SEPARATION in theaters and on-demand May 17, 2019.

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.