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Red (2008)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Red (2008) Avery Ludlow (Brian Cox) is fishing down at a lake, accompanied by his old dog Red, when Danny (Noel Fisher) and his two friends come alone. At gunpoint they ask if he has any money and when he replies that he only has a few dollars they shoot his dog, laughing all the time.

Avery wants justice, so he manages to track down who the kid is and goes to his house. He explains everything to the father, Michael McCormack (Tim Sizemore), who then asks Danny if he killed the dog or not. Danny says no and McCormack tells Avery to go away, that his son is innocent.

Avery then goes to the police, who won't do anything, and then to a lawyer. So he starts following Danny around, simply wanting an apology from the kid. A local newspaper reporter (Kim Dickens of HOLLOW MAN) gets wind of the story and wants to help but McCormack pays off the news station to drop the story. Then, the the trio of hoodlums throw stones through Avery's window and even burn down his grocery store when he won't drop the issue with his dog.

RED has good acting and a subdued story that steadily escalates into a bloody showdown. The screenplay tones down the backstory, which explains what Avery's crazy son did to his wife (it's much worse in the book), but it's still unsettling. This is down and out the best adaptation of a Jack Ketchum novel.

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