At the movies: ‘No Sudden Move’

By EDDY FRIEDFELD
Posted 7/9/21

Director Steven Soderbergh serves up “No Sudden Move,” a stylish gangster film with an all-star cast.

In 1954 Detroit, Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle) just got out of prison after four …

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At the movies: ‘No Sudden Move’

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Director Steven Soderbergh serves up “No Sudden Move,” a stylish gangster film with an all-star cast.

In 1954 Detroit, Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle) just got out of prison after four years. He walks into a local barbershop. He is set up with someone who is looking for a reliable person, as he is “looking for something quick.”

In the alley, he steps into a car and meets Doug Jones (Brendan Fraser). The “score” is “we’re sending someone to pick something up in an office. We need someone to babysit his family for three hours. Two thousand up front and three on the back end.”

Curt’s next stop is Ronald Russo’s (Benicio Del Toro) apartment.

“I can’t tell you how surprised I am that you called,” he says.

“Self-interest is the sincerest form of flattery,” Curt says.

Ronald is offered $3,000 up front and $4,500 on the back end. The two men join Charley (Kieran Culkin). “Some outfit out of Illinois wants to expand into Detroit,” he tells them. “Watkin’s codebook goes missing. Every debt, every bribe, every payoff.”

“Everything is normal, just like every other Monday, except …” Ronald tells the mother, Mary Wertz (Amy Seimetz) and young son, Matthew Wertz Jr. (Noah Jupe). Charlie tells the husband Matt Wertz (David Harbour) that they are going to retrieve an item in his boss’ safe and as long as he cooperates his family will be fine. “They don’t want to hurt us. That’s why they’re wearing masks,” Mary tells Matthew.

Matt gets to the office, gets into the safe, but the items are gone. He gives phony documents to Curt. He and Charley return to his house.

“Why are you doing this?” Matthew asks Curt.

“There’s a piece of land that was taken away from me.”

“What if you don’t want the things that you’re supposed to want?” Ronald asks Mary.

When Charley is going to kill Matt and his family, Curt kills him. It turns out that Curt and Ronald were hired to be set up themselves. Curt retrieves a suitcase he gave to a lady friend before he went to prison. He cuts a book out of the lining.

“Is that what I think it is?” Ronald asks.

“That depends on what you think it is,” Curt replies.

The plot unfolds slowly and suspensefully and there are crosses and double crosses. “You’re not smart enough to know how not smart you are. Which makes you unpredictable and sloppy,” Ronald is told. 

The great supporting cast includes Ray Liotta, Jon Hamm, Julia Fox, Craig muMs Grant, Frankie Shaw, Bill Duke, and Matt Damon.

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