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By Amy R. Handler | March 3, 2013

Matthew McLaughlin’s Gone is a moody, minimalistic, psychological thriller with the hybrid feel of a neo-noir, classic western. The result is smooth and slow vigilante justice.

Based upon actual events, the film follows Mike MacGregor (John Brotherton), a man with a sketchy, criminal past. MacGregor returns to his family home 4 years after his trial, to avenge the mysterious death of his brother James. Slithering in the shadows— just barely below the radar of the 2 cops who had dealings with him in the past, Mike pieces together the puzzle of a complex homicide.

While Gone is not without certain flaws, such as the occasional scene at night that’s way too muddy-dark— and monotones that sometimes grate— it’s a very well written movie with true moments of brilliance. Matthew McLaughlin’s artful, cinematic probe into Mike’s psyche, as the character stirs a cup of coffee— and thereby revisits disturbing events of his past— is truly exquisite.

Equally amazing is Steven McLaughlin’s original score that acts as an eerie narrator, moving the story along, with sound effects that are fueled by cinematic flashes of fire. Gone is further strengthened by its lack of bloody gore and by excellent acting. Special kudos are given to John Brotherton, Allison Raimondi, as Mike’s girlfriend, Katie, and Diana Parks, as the junkie-ex of the decedent.

And as the film closes upon Mike’s slow walk into the sunset, we are left with the burning question of whether vigilantism is ever okay under any circumstances, and what exactly that means.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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