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Dragged Across Concrete
S. Craig Zahler Kanada, 2018
As irksome and obnoxious as such impulses may be, a measure of aggravation seems acceptable when faced with Zahler’s talents—for whatever one might make of his politics, his skills as a filmmaker are considerable.
March 26, 2019
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It’s overly patient, which is half the reason the film so frequently traipses into tedium (another marker of his work). But when he scores, he scores.
March 26, 2019
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Instead of imagining how heartless — or “cool” — mankind can be, Zahler looks for hidden virtues in each situation, no matter how bizarre. Ridgeman, Lurasetti, and Slim shift between being foes and allies. Dare I say, Zahler dramatizes what, in classic Westerns and crime films, used to be considered their Americanness.
March 22, 2019
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An extremely clever, gripping film, but you may come out of it wondering exactly what it is you’ve seen—uncertain whether it’s cynical in a productive or merely an exploitative way, or even downright nihilistic.
March 22, 2019
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The movie is generally watchable, even at its slowest and ugliest, simply because the actors are solid even when their characters are repellent. . . . Some openly voice their bigotry, which might have been a bold choice if Zahler had interrogated it rather than given himself convenient outs.
March 20, 2019
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With Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99, and now Dragged Across Concrete, writer-director S. Craig Zahler has refined a highly particular style of pulp that runs both hot and cold.
March 20, 2019
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The decision to leverage Gibson’s real-world pariah status as a form of shorthand for the frustration and alienation felt by his onscreen alter ego is ingenious casting, in a Tarantino sort of way, which is why Zahler’s claims that such resonance wasn’t purposeful read like dissembling.
March 20, 2019
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The result is an eerily melancholic dialogue exchange ripe with exhaustion and defeat.
March 19, 2019
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It’s an extraordinarily effective act of artistic trolling, a self-consciously brazen provocation that also covers its tracks with winkingly transparent gestures. It’s also impressively stylish, and its style coheres remarkably well with its substance—perhaps even more than Zahler intended.
March 19, 2019
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Lacking Tarantino’s self-congratulatory flamboyance, Dragged Across Concrete exemplifies the power of a dry but not unemotional approach to genre conventions.
September 13, 2018
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This Zahler film tamps down the outlandishness of “Brawl” (but doesn’t entirely dispense with it) and ushers in some Elmore Leonard the better to construct, with great patience and devilish craft (this is potentially one of the most engrossing 158-minute films you’ll ever sit through), a story of two criminal schemes that converge and go very wrong.
September 04, 2018
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