Not Particularly “Gripping” But It Most Certainly Has Its Seductive Moments



MARLOWE is a thematic, mystifying, aesthetic riddle rather than a gumshoe “gripping noir crime thriller” being pitched, marketed, publicized and set to release in a fashionable grand style today, February 13, in Big Apple’s AMC Empire 25, Lincoln Square 13, Union Square Stadium and IPIC Fulton Market.

Liam Neeson as Philip Marlowe.

Diane Kruger as Clare Cavendish.

114 Minutes | R | USA | English | Color

It’s a thematically, mystifyingly, aesthetic riddle for this reviewer because it has him wondering why the filmmakers made MARLOWE in the way that they did. The casting, vintage and otherwise, is an example. The list includes a diverse crew of thesps: Some are top of the list for celebrity recognition while others are near the top or not far behind, yet, all performing in a languid and languorous cinematography style that this reviewer has never seen before.

There is about as much “noir” in MARLOWE as one would find in a Disney family film – yet the film exudes an eccentric charm and class, even though there is this feeling that many elements of filmmaking in MARLOWE flow like pretentious walkthroughs. Some afficionados – if not reviewers – might find it sluggish.

X marks the spot of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Cedric.

The cinematographic machine-gunning, sleazy double-dealing, backstabbing and snarky dialogue that one would expect in a “gripping noir thriller” ain’t there.

Director Neil Jordon surrounded by his crew.

A whiff of comedic sardonicism might be resonating on a subatomic level in MARLOWE about lurid, degenerate, debauched and corrupt elements of L.A. high society. That’s one of the things that kept me watching, and there was never a moment of: ‘Why am I watching this movie’?

And, in truth, I could hardly give this film a thumbs down because: I like that it star-ed Liam Neeson as Philip Marlowe, Diane Kruger as Clare Cavendish, Jessica Lange as Dorothy Cavendish, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Cedric, Alan Cumming as Lou Hendricks, Danny Huston as Floyd Hanson, Ian Hart as Joe Green, Colm Meaney as Detective Bernie Ohls, Daniela Melchior as Lynn Peterson, François Arnaud as Nico Peterson, Seána Kerslake as Amanda Toxteh, and Patrick Muldoon as Richard Cavendish.

I luv-ed the lavished cinematography. Even though I have no problem saying that MARLOWE was my first Xanac Movie.


Gregg W. Morris can be reached at,