"Small-town murder has never been more intriguing"
This is the film that belongs at the top of director John Sayle's resume'. It boasts an intriguing use of non-linear narration, a respectable cast that renders a palette of fascinating characters, and the gothic Americana setting of a small Texas town with many skeletons in its closet.Chris Cooper excellently portrays sheriff Sam Deeds, although most of the locals of Rio County just call him "Sherriff Junior". He is doomed to live in the shadow of his father, legendary sherriff Buddy Deeds (Matthew McConaughey in flashbacks). Seems that Buddy became the sheriff after Sheriff Charlie Wade (Kris Kristofferson), a corrupt lawman, went missing. When his remains are found in the desert outside of town, Sam Deeds is suddenly saddled with the task of solving a decades-old murder mystery.
As he gathers clues, he crosses paths with several characters whose fathers may or may not have been involved in Wade's murder. Their stories, and the stories of their fathers, are told through a brilliant series of non-linear flashbacks that seamlessly merge in and out of the present. Along the way, Deeds also rekindles a romance with his long-lost teenage love, Pilar Cruz (the odd-looking but still hot Elizabeth Pena). The closer he gets to solving the murder, the more secrets he discovers that threaten to send his life into a tailspin.
Drive-In Triple Feature Picks for Lone Star:
Memento - a more extreme, but no less entertaining, use of non-linear narration
High Noon - Another tale of a small-town lawman with extremely linear (real time) narrationExcellent work all around here, from the cast to the story to the directing - it's just damn near perfect. A strong ensemble piece with beautiful imagery and a sense of history that will linger with you for a long time.