Dirty Work | Chicago Reader

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Local dramas like Lana's Rain and Shut-Eye prove that Chicago's back alleys have a perverse vibe all their own, and this taut 2004 crime flick by Bruce Terris takes full advantage of it. Lance Reddick (The Wire) stars as a south-side police detective whose gambling debts have enslaved him to a giggling, murderous racketeer (Austin Pendleton, having the time of his life); meanwhile a lovely Polish immigrant (Nutsa Kukhianidze) slips into a life of prostitution and a political candidate (Mike McGlone) struggles to conceal a deep dark secret. The characters are all pretty familiar—McGlone's seems to have stepped out of an old episode of Columbo—but the players, including Mike Nussbaum and Keith Kupferer as the racketeer's jolly enforcer, are excellent. 97 min.

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