By Doug Brunell | January 30, 2004

Spinner (played by the ominously billed Mr. Ryder) is one of the most interesting on-screen psychos I’ve seen in years. He comes across as real and real dangerous. Creepy, and utterly mesmerizing. He adds an air of distress to this picture that I think would have been diminished had anyone else played the role.

The rest of the film is pretty good, too.

“Kanadiana” is a simple crime story about two brothers, Steven (Tom Schioler) and Spinner, who rob a courier of his diamonds. When Steven senses a possible encounter with the police, he hides the diamonds in the bag of a woman named Kirsten (Christie Wilkes), who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, they have to get the diamonds back.

This sounds like just about every other crime movie and the plot of any sitcom that does a special two-hour “let’s take a vacation overseas” episode. Where this films gets its strength, however, is in the characters and its abrupt surprise ending.

The three leads and the lives they lead are more realistic than what you would normally find in a genre film. They aren’t the smartest of people, and they don’t always say the right things, but they are people you know, and that lends the film an air of authenticity. It also makes this one of the better crime films of the year, and it makes me look forward to this team’s next film.

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