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By Amy R. Handler | May 23, 2013

When an ex-con gets released from the penitentiary after twenty years of incarceration for rape and murder, catching up with his siblings at dinnertime proves not to be the ideal choice for any of them.

Director Matt Miller’s Lovelock, CA grapples with numerous issues pertaining to the criminal justice system that show just how problematic it is for just about every person entering its infrastructure. These include not only the judiciary, inmates, and families, but virtually everyone in between that allow the system to work— or in many instances— not work.

There are three characters in Lovelock, CA: the ex-con, Henry (Frederick Lawrence, who’s also one of the film’s co-writers), his brother William (Eddie Jemison), and his sister, Kate (Laura Lamson). Apparently, these three siblings are what remain of their family. The patriarch
is mentioned briefly by William, as one who held everyone in the family accountable for their actions, but how the father (or for that matter, his wife) died, is never discussed.

All action in the film takes place around the dinner table, making Lovelock, CA character-driven to a large degree, but what makes the movie interesting is what happens in between the dialogue.

Much like Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movies, Lovelock, CA’s strength lies in the fact that each character is essential to the plot, and none are more important than the others. But what truly makes this 20-minute drama suspenseful and shocking is its powerful and subtle writing that reaches into those dark crevices most would prefer not to see.

About the only possible flaw I did notice in this very interesting and courageous project is in the script itself, where William mentions that he was adopted, and Henry later states that the siblings are his blood relatives. However, since all of the characters in Matt Miller’s movie struggle with facts to some degree, perhaps this error in the script is not one after all.

Be that as it may, I strongly recommend that all critically thinking adults view Lovelock, CA as soon as possible. This movie will not only shake loose any resistant ideals you may have buried, but it will also create endless discussions of the most provocative variety for years to come.

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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