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Review: Snitch

Feb. 21, 2013by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: After his son is caught in a DEA sting for trafficking drugs, John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson)- desperately cuts a deal with the federal prosecutor (Susan Sarandon), where heíll go undercover setting up dealers, in exchange for his sonís release.

REVIEW: SNITCH is very atypical for The Rock. Usually, he acts in either hardcore action, or big-budget family movies. SNITCH is certainly not the latter, but neither is it the action flick itís being positioned as. Directed by Ric Roman Waugh (FELON), SNITCH is an ultra-serious crime thriller where Johnsonís relatable family man is caught up in a nightmare scenario.

His son, a ďjust-turned eighteenĒ suburban kid (a delicate-looking Rafi Gavron) is busted for holding a package for his friend. Knowing it was full of drugs, heís nonetheless way out of his league when heís slapped with the mandatory minimum law, in which heís guaranteed a minimum of ten years in jail. Not knowing anyone he can snitch on, heís in big trouble. Thereís a scene early on where Johnson visits his locked up son, whoís been the victim of a severe beating, and is being taunted sexually by another prisoner- while all The Rock- usually an action God, can do is look on in horror. Itís very affecting- and perfectly sets the stage for Johnsonís desperate attempt to get his son out of jail by whatever means necessary.

Usually, Iíd say the idea that the DEA is willing to let a suburban dad go undercover in the drug world would be a stretch, but apparently SNITCH is inspired by true events. I have no idea how close the filmmakers stayed to the original story (my guess is not very) - but Waughís straight-forward, gritty take on the material makes it seem believable.

Dwayne ďThe RockĒ Johnson is very different in SNITCH than youíd expect. Despite being set in the ultra-violent drug world, donít expect any major physical action from Johnson- who, in his only physical scrap of the film, actually gets beaten up. The only real action comes in the final act, with a really well-conceived truck-chase/shoot-out thatís like a real-world version of the climax of THE ROAD WARRIOR, and impressive in its lack of CGI.

Johnson also gets a heck of a supporting cast this time out, with Jon Bernthal of THE WALKING DEAD, playing his ex-con employee that he coerces into helping get him into the drug game, making a big impression. Michael Kenneth Williams from THE WIRE (Omar!) shows up as, you guessed it- a drug dealer. Given his menacing look, I suppose heís been stereotyped, but even still- he brings something different to the part that you wonít appreciate until his final scenes. As the big baddie, we get Benjamin Bratt- as a kind of Gus Fring suburban cartel leader, and with his goatee and glasses, he looks menacing. Speaking of goatees- Barry Pepper spots a crazy, SONS OF ANARCHY-looking one as the sympathetic DEA agent in charge of Johnsonís case- while Susan Sarandon, as the prosecutor, comes off as only slightly less evil than the drug dealers.

Overall, I was really impressed with SNITCH, which surprised me by being a lean and mean thriller, and probably The Rockís best film to date (outside of FAST FIVE that is). With this, he demonstrates a wider range than I thought he had, and admirably dials it down enough so that itís easy to accept him as an everyman (even his physique is downplayed- with no shirtless scenes or even short-sleeve shirts). SNITCH is a real gem, and a nice little February sleeper. Itís not off-the-wall action, but itís thrilling in its own low-key way and highly recommended.

Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
4:55PM on 02/24/2013

Saw It, Loved It!

This was a great movie, far better than I expected. It was nice to not see a pile of CGI and unbelievable stunts. It was interesting how the beating was handled, so there was no way to directly compare DJ's size against anyone else. Speaking of size, did they shoot all the scenes with Dwayne Johnson and the other actors with platforms for them. He's at least 6'5" tall and the director made him look almost normal sized.
BTW, I give this movie a solid 8/10.
This was a great movie, far better than I expected. It was nice to not see a pile of CGI and unbelievable stunts. It was interesting how the beating was handled, so there was no way to directly compare DJ's size against anyone else. Speaking of size, did they shoot all the scenes with Dwayne Johnson and the other actors with platforms for them. He's at least 6'5" tall and the director made him look almost normal sized.
BTW, I give this movie a solid 8/10.
Your Reply:



11:27AM on 02/23/2013

Awesome flick

Really enjoyed it! It was a lot like Contraband too (Innocent guy has to get into the drug trade in exchange for someone they love/care about). If anything Snitch had a far better screenplay than Contraband (and I enjoyed Contraband too).
Really enjoyed it! It was a lot like Contraband too (Innocent guy has to get into the drug trade in exchange for someone they love/care about). If anything Snitch had a far better screenplay than Contraband (and I enjoyed Contraband too).
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10:26AM on 02/23/2013
A 6.8 (so far) on IMDb and a 53% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Add that to the very bland trailer and I think we've probably just got another generic "star" vehicle for The Rock... only without the action. Which is like a banana split... without a banana.

Who knows, maybe I'll eat my words on some rainy sunday afternoon.
A 6.8 (so far) on IMDb and a 53% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Add that to the very bland trailer and I think we've probably just got another generic "star" vehicle for The Rock... only without the action. Which is like a banana split... without a banana.

Who knows, maybe I'll eat my words on some rainy sunday afternoon.
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11:17PM on 02/22/2013
I might check it out, your review has given me a different point of view.
I might check it out, your review has given me a different point of view.
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10:23AM on 02/22/2013
8/10, wow. More like 5/10. The Rock is not remotely believable as an everyman. You're always aware that he towers over everyone in the room and appears capable of snapping anyone in half in seconds. The way he ends up working for a major cartel so quickly is built upon some serious contrivances and absurdities. It's too simplistic and melodramatic. And it goes completely off the rails at the end, with The Rock firing a shotgun while driving a semi down a freeway. Laughably stupid. Please, rent
8/10, wow. More like 5/10. The Rock is not remotely believable as an everyman. You're always aware that he towers over everyone in the room and appears capable of snapping anyone in half in seconds. The way he ends up working for a major cartel so quickly is built upon some serious contrivances and absurdities. It's too simplistic and melodramatic. And it goes completely off the rails at the end, with The Rock firing a shotgun while driving a semi down a freeway. Laughably stupid. Please, rent The House I Live In instead to see a vastly superior take on a similar topic. Snitch is mediocre at best.
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2:41PM on 02/22/2013
I just looked up "The House I Live In" and it sounds incredible. Thanks for the recommendation.
I just looked up "The House I Live In" and it sounds incredible. Thanks for the recommendation.
5:37AM on 02/22/2013
Great review. I will be checking this out now.
Great review. I will be checking this out now.
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1:53AM on 02/22/2013
Nice review and glad to see it is a good movie. Can't wait for Saturday now to see the movie.
Nice review and glad to see it is a good movie. Can't wait for Saturday now to see the movie.
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10:45PM on 02/21/2013
Great to hear that the film is good. But I'm really excited to see Jon Bernthal in a film. The guy was amazing as Shane in The Walking Dead.
Great to hear that the film is good. But I'm really excited to see Jon Bernthal in a film. The guy was amazing as Shane in The Walking Dead.
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+10
10:17PM on 02/21/2013
Sounds very similar to Faster & thats a good thing. That movie was very well done & even though he barely had a speaking line, The Rock owned that movie, ranks up there with The Rundown as one of his best.
Sounds very similar to Faster & thats a good thing. That movie was very well done & even though he barely had a speaking line, The Rock owned that movie, ranks up there with The Rundown as one of his best.
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10:16PM on 02/21/2013
This is awesome news, great review. I am a big fan of the Rock so I am glad this seems good.
This is awesome news, great review. I am a big fan of the Rock so I am glad this seems good.
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9:20PM on 02/21/2013
Wow. This movie is pretty much under the radar and I haven't heard the movie before until the I saw the trailer, like, 2 weeks ago. With 8/10, I've got to watch this movie.
Wow. This movie is pretty much under the radar and I haven't heard the movie before until the I saw the trailer, like, 2 weeks ago. With 8/10, I've got to watch this movie.
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8:53PM on 02/21/2013

Happy to hear this...

Love DJ's ability to prove people wrong. We all know what he's known for and what we want to see him in, but he worksso hard to take his talents to another level. I'm not a fan of the Oscars. I don't foresee him ever winning one, but don't be surprised by the end of his career if he sucks up a juicy role someday and gets nominated for a Globe at least...
Love DJ's ability to prove people wrong. We all know what he's known for and what we want to see him in, but he worksso hard to take his talents to another level. I'm not a fan of the Oscars. I don't foresee him ever winning one, but don't be surprised by the end of his career if he sucks up a juicy role someday and gets nominated for a Globe at least...
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7:39PM on 02/21/2013
I was already cautiously optimistic about this, but after reading you're review I'm really excited. I think I'll have to see it tomorrow.
I was already cautiously optimistic about this, but after reading you're review I'm really excited. I think I'll have to see it tomorrow.
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+10
7:30PM on 02/21/2013
I was worried that this was going to be a dud, as the trailer initially did nothing for me. You talked me into it, I wanna give this a look now.
I was worried that this was going to be a dud, as the trailer initially did nothing for me. You talked me into it, I wanna give this a look now.
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6:51PM on 02/21/2013
Terrific news indeed.
Terrific news indeed.
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5:52PM on 02/21/2013

Great news

The Rock should only be in good movies and not wast his talent and charisma in lame family movies. Or he should choose GOOD family movies to star in. What is the last good family movie ? And I mean adventure movie (no superhero). Are there even adventure movies nowadays ? Was Crystal Skull the last live action adventure movie (not counting CGI monkeys and gophers) ? Why do I love this movie so much when so many people got their childhood raped by it ? What does that make me ? A childhood rape
The Rock should only be in good movies and not wast his talent and charisma in lame family movies. Or he should choose GOOD family movies to star in. What is the last good family movie ? And I mean adventure movie (no superhero). Are there even adventure movies nowadays ? Was Crystal Skull the last live action adventure movie (not counting CGI monkeys and gophers) ? Why do I love this movie so much when so many people got their childhood raped by it ? What does that make me ? A childhood rape advocate ? What was my first question again ?
Damn you stream of consciousness !
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5:34AM on 02/22/2013
I agree with the lack of adventure movies being released. I just watched all 4 Indiana movies to get my fill last week. I am actually hoping they make a new National Treasure movie for the sole reason of a new adventure movie. Anyone know of any good recent adventure movies?
I agree with the lack of adventure movies being released. I just watched all 4 Indiana movies to get my fill last week. I am actually hoping they make a new National Treasure movie for the sole reason of a new adventure movie. Anyone know of any good recent adventure movies?