The revelation in the park near the end may be improbable, but it's a heart-breaking moment of lucidity that made the film for me. Kevin Bacon's performance is tightly controlled yet so revealing and brave.
"TW does not try to force too much compassion on us or advance any plea on Walter's behalf apart from the recognition of his humanity. The movie, neither excusing nor exploiting him, instead regards him with wary, ambivalent curiosity, placing him at the center of a modest, frayed drama that feels both understated and generous."-- A.O. Scott, NYTimes 3.5 stars. Kudos to Kassell and Bacon for pursuing that balance.
Biased on this one. As I feel I inexplicably drawn to this exploration: What makes a monster?
I love this film but I feel they could have explored the first half a lot more. Or perhaps they should have started halfway through. Beginning dragged. Middle fizzled nicely. Ending caught fire. Fuck yeah. Great film. Recommend to everyone.
+ Great performance by Mos Def.