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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Knox Goes Away (2024) - The Last Hit, The Lost Memories

Rating: ★★★½ (3.5/5 stars)

Released 03-15-2024

Watched 04-07-2024

Reviewed 04-10-2024

Rented from iTunes

"As far as you're concerned, I'm Schrödinger's murderer."

"Knox Goes Away" offers a gripping exploration of crime, family dynamics, and the harrowing effects of dementia, helmed by the talents of director Michael Keaton and writer Gregory Poirier. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival before its theatrical release, the movie presents a somber yet captivating tale that resonates with audiences despite its modest box-office returns.

At the heart of the film is John Knox, portrayed with nuance and depth by Michael Keaton. As a contract killer facing a terminal diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, Knox grapples with his own mortality while navigating the treacherous world of organized crime. Keaton's performance is nothing short of stellar, capturing the internal conflict and emotional turmoil of a man torn between his past sins and the desire to make amends for his family's sake.

Supporting Keaton is a talented ensemble cast, including Al Pacino as the formidable crime boss Xavier Crane and James Marsden as Knox's estranged son, Miles. While Keaton shines brightest, Pacino delivers a solid performance, though some may argue it lacks the intensity of his iconic roles. Suzy Nakamura, as Detective Emily Ikari, adds depth to the narrative, portraying a relentless investigator determined to uncover the truth behind the interconnected crimes.

What sets "Knox Goes Away" apart is its exploration of dementia as a central theme. The film deftly portrays Knox's descent into cognitive decline, adding a layer of vulnerability and poignancy to his character arc. As Knox grapples with memory loss and confusion, viewers are invited to empathize with his plight, witnessing the toll his condition takes on himself and those around him.

Despite its strengths, the film is not without its flaws. Some viewers may find the pacing uneven, with certain plot points feeling predictable or underdeveloped. Additionally, the low box-office turnout may be attributed to the film's niche appeal and lack of widespread marketing.

In conclusion, "Knox Goes Away" is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant crime thriller anchored by Michael Keaton's powerhouse performance. While it may not achieve commercial success, its exploration of complex themes and compelling characters make it a worthwhile watch for audiences seeking a more introspective take on the genre. With its blend of suspense, drama, and heartfelt moments, "Knox Goes Away" earns a solid 3.5-star rating and deserves recognition for its ambitious storytelling.

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