Film review: 'A Walk Among the Tombstones'

September 17, 2014 8:35 AM

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Scott Frank's detective thriller "A Walk Among the Tombstones" is, at heart, a fully old-fashioned pulp potboiler -- set in the convincingly ancient-feeling era of 1999 -- enlivened on one hand by a committed Liam Neeson, playing a more cerebral version of his usual avenging heavy, and soured by some predictable yet relentlessly sadistic savagery toward women, this adaptation of Lawrence Block's novel ought to at least provide a healthy counterprogramming option at the box office.

Starting with a 1991 prologue, we're introduced to detective Matt Scudder (Neeson), a racial-epithet-spewing drunken cop straight out of the Popeye Doyle school. Double-fisting whiskey with his morning coffee, Scudder happens to be out of sight in a tavern when a trio of armed assailants burst in an...

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