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It may be tempting, and not entirely inaccurate, to describe Christopher Smith’s Detour as “Sliding Doors” reimagined by Quentin Tarantino, but this cleverly twisty neo-noir thriller turns out to be more substantial and surprising than such logline shorthand might suggest.
The A.V. Club
Detour is just film-school-ish synthesis, right down to the cinematography-midterm shot lit through venetian blinds and the anachronistic analog static on the motel room TV—the story of a young man who hates his stepdad so much that he stumbles right into an over-complicated thriller set-up that can only be watched once.
The effect of the film becomes not unlike watching a puzzle solve itself without demanding either the audience’s emotional or intellectual investment.
Los Angeles Times
What’s painfully clear is that all the artfully composed shots, hinky situations and extra conceptual surprises can’t make this Detour all that compelling beyond its crisp artifice.
The Hollywood Reporter
Christopher Smith’s self-consciously stylish genre homage finally feels like a baby film noir, playacting without the requisite bone-deep dread.
There’s something fresh in Detour, but it’s buried underneath a largely unremarkable movie.
Remarkably pointless movie.
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