City of Ghosts | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

City of Ghosts 

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Matt Dillon's directing debut (2002) has been getting a bad rep among some critics, but it kept me intrigued and entertained. Cowritten by Dillon and noir novelist Barry Gifford, it's a sort of bargain-basement Graham Greene story about an insurance scam artist (Dillon) who travels to Cambodia in search of his seedy mentor (James Caan), and the players--among them Stellan Skarsgard, Natascha McElhone, and Gerard Depardieu at his hammiest--keep things bubbling. This is very much the work of a cinephile, calling to mind such middle-period Orson Welles jumbles as The Lady From Shanghai and Mr. Arkadin as well as dozens of other movies I only half remember, a familiarity that's essential to its charm. 117 min. Century 12 and CineArts6, Landmark's Century Centre, Water Tower.

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