A Kind of Murder (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Director: Andy Goddard
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 92 minutes

A Kind of Murder (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Eddie Marsan
Bad: No proper character presentation
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There’s something about the sixties that keeps appealing these days it seems. Series like Masters of Sex and Mad Men scored a huge success, mainly focusing on the big changes that occurred at that time. Women got more conscious of their bodies, Neill Armstrong landed on the moon, Martin Luther King was shot dead. It provides a lot of background for interesting stories, and while the story of A Kind of Murder, the film we’re about to review, doesn’t really interact with these facts, the sixties vibe is still there.

A kind of murder

It’s New York in the sixties. Walter Stackhouse (Patrick Wilson) is an architect, while his wife Clara (Jessica Biel) is a successful real estate agent. While they have been a happily married couple for a few years, Clara sunk into a depression, and it’s getting harder and harder on Walter to try and make her happy. At a party, he meets Ellie Briess (Haley Bennett), a young attractive woman who aspires a career as a singer. The two start talking, and seem to hit it off quite well, much to Clara’s dislike.

Walter is an architect, but in his spare time, he likes to sit in his study and write short crime stories. He finds inspiration in newspaper articles he cuts out and puts in a scratch book. One article in particular has caught his attention recently. It’s an article about a man whose wife was found murdered at a bus stop, not that far outside of the city. The police, and in particular Detective Laurence Corby (Vincent Kartheiser), suspect the man, Marty Kimmel (Eddie Marsan), of murdering his wife, but there is no hard proof for it, and Kimmel keeps denying.

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Mr. Stackhouse is intrigued by the story, as he believes that Kimmel did indeed kill his wife, and got away with it too. Somehow, he admires the man for having the courage, and he starts thinking what life would be like if he himself would be rid of his wife. He wouldn’t ever kill Clara, that’s for sure, but the thought of being without her does sound quite appealing. When Clara is found dead not much later near the same bus stop, Stackhouse’s life changes drastically, as while it’s very likely that Clara killed herself, the police don’t rule out the possibility that he is responsible for her death.

The story of A Kind of Murder is actually quite intriguing, but unfortunately it wasn’t thought out very well. While the book this story was based on will quite surely (we must admit we didn’t read it) have taken its time to sketch the characters and their way of thinking, the film didn’t at all. The characters stay quite shallow, and thus we never really got into the story, as it all felt a bit unnatural. The subject may be quite dark, this darkness just didn’t project to the screen as it should have.

It feels like the film didn’t take enough time for character development. The actors did a nice try to make something of the characters they were presented with, but it wasn’t enough to elevate the story. We did however like Eddie Marsan’s performance as Marty Kimmel. He seemed to be the only actor who really managed to create some mystery around his character in his way of acting.

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There are no extras on this DVD release, and we must say we are not sorry for it, not because of our disappointment in the story, but simply because we believe that it wouldn’t really add a lot more value to a film like this. If there had to be an extra, maybe some more info about the book and how they went from the book to the screenplay would have been nice, but we didn’t really miss it either.


A Kind of Murder is a film that has a story with a lot of potential, yet doesn’t manage to truly draw you in, as the characters aren’t properly presented, which causes the whole dynamic between them to feel awkward, and makes the story a lot less mysterious than it tries to be. As the acting didn’t really stand out either, there isn’t really much more to say than that it was a nice try, but it just didn’t work out very well.

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