Triple 9 (out now on Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital HD and On Demand) is an exceptionally smart thriller that revisits the fine line between lawmen and criminals, as an Atlanta police officer unravels the dealings between a ring of dirty cops and an organized crime syndicate. Many of the crooked police are veterans with tactical training and the good cop is also a veteran who's struggling with post-traumatic stress.
We interviewed director John Hillcoat back when the movie was in theaters and he told us that screenwriter Matt Cook is himself an Army veteran of the war in Iraq.
The film features an impressive cast: Casey Affleck (who gave the best performance in Coast Guard thriller The Finest Hours) plays Chris Allen, the military veteran cop who untangles the plot and Woody Harrelson is the uncle who's also his mentor on the force. Anthony Mackie (Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hurt Locker), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, The Martian), Clifton Collins Jr. (Pacific Rim, “Westworld”), Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad,” Need for Speed) and Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead,” The Boondock Saints) are the criminal crew. Kate Winslet puts on an impressive Russian accent as the organized crime boss.
Triple 9 uses Atlanta to good effect, especially in the scenes filmed in high-crime areas that the real city fathers try to pretend don't exist. During the chase scenes, though, the characters call out street names that don't actually exist and suggest that the original screenplay was set in Los Angeles.
The movie is the latest from Open Road Films, a studio that's one of the few trying to make action movies with a brain: End of Watch, Sabotage, The Gunman, Killer Elite and Nightcrawler are all ambitious thrillers that that we've covered here (and most of them are on Netflix). The studio also released last year's Best Picture Spotlight and has Oliver Stone's Snowden coming out this fall.
Triple 9 features a lot of excellent actors and an ambitious script filmed by a director that understands action. It actually plays better at home than it did in theaters and deserves to find a larger audience from all of you who don't actually leave the house to see movies. Check out the bonus features below. Fair warning: don't watch the bonus features until you've seen the film. There's a huge spoiler in the deleted scenes.
BLU-RAYTM, DVD & DIGITAL HD BONUS FEATURES:
- Deleted Scenes
- Under the Gun – The acclaimed cast of Triple 9 offers an in-depth look at its characters and the pulse-pounding twists and turns at the heart of the film.
- Authentic World – Director John Hillcoat and the cast of Triple 9 discuss how their grounded approach to filmmaking helped highlight the film’s gritty, authentic look and feel.