Film Review: Liam Neeson back in action again in 'A Walk Among the Tombstones'

September 19, 2014 4:03 PM

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LOS ANGELES – It's not for nothing that the names of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe are reverentially referenced in writer-director Scott Frank's adaptation of the 10th novel in Lawrence Block's long-running, best-selling series featuring unlicensed private eye Matthew Scudder. Distinctly and proudly old-fashioned in its retro, film noir vibe, "A Walk Among the Tombstones" is notable for its dark atmospherics and strong performance by Liam Neeson in the latest example of his unlikely late career transformation into an action hero.

Scudder is a terrific character, whose casting choice its creator heartily approved, expertly embodies with his usual physically commanding presence and world-weary gravitas. The film's tense 1991-set opening scene efficiently provides the character's backstory as an alcoholic NYC cop who gave up th...

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