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A Walk Among the Tombstones - Blu-ray Review

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A Walk Among the Tombstones - Movie Review


2 stars

It isn’t quite January just yet but Liam Neeson’s next big action flick is already in theaters.  That’s right, Neeson – our beloved “January Man of Action” - is back on the prowl as a troubled ex-cop  (is there any other?) bringing Old Testament justice to the violent streets of New York.  Directed by Scot Frank, A Walk Among the Tombstones is as generic as its title suggests.  Its edgy atmosphere isn’t enough to save it from the bountiful clichés that will have audience members – who recognize the patterned storytelling - groaning.

Needlessly horrific in its display of violence and rape, Neeson’s new (but old) romp through the underbelly of revenge is unsettling only in the fact that it is just too damn generic.  He plays unlicensed private eye Matt Scudder, a former NYPD cop and heavy drinker, who finds himself in a deep and dark pit after an upscale drug trafficker named Kristo (Dan Stevens) hires him to track down the kidnappers and killers of his wife.  Women are kidnapped and brutally tortured (on-screen) and Neeson, who gets sidelined by a street and film noir-wise punk (Brian “Astro” Bradley), must stay one step ahead of the criminals.

Unfortunately, Frank goes for the literal and plows through this material with a heavy hand and his leading man doesn’t help matters.  Neeson plays a sad man; the saddest of men, in fact.  He does it well because he’s been playing the same role since Taken became a monster surprise hit.  He hasn’t tired of it apparently.  It’s probably a good moneymaking gig and he does it well – even authoritative – but it isn’t enough to save this film from a cluster of untapped potential. 

Crime writer Lawrence Block has been with this character for close to 20 books and, stuffed into one movie, the detective clichés are killer.  Even his statement of doing favors for friends and they give him things feels as tired as the cross tattoo right above his wrist.  The crime against women depicted is so heinous that it doesn’t really shock; it merely repulses.  The screenplay blatantly begs for the brutality and that – with its Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe references – makes it even more deplorable.  It doesn’t earn the violence it needs to make Scudder a real person…ever.

Ultimately, the only lesson learned in A Walk Among the Tombstones is that people really need to stop pissing Liam Neeson off.

A Walk Among the Tombstones - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, disturbing images, language and brief nudity.
113 mins
: Scott Frank
Scott Frank
Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour
: Action | Documentary
People are afraid of all the wrong things.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I do favors for people, In return, they give me gifts."
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 19, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 13, 2015
Synopsis: Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels, A Walk Among the Tombstones stars Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law. When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, the PI learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime... nor will it be the last. Blurring the lines between right and wrong, Scudder races to track the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again.

A Walk Among the Tombstones - Movie Review


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - January 13, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH, French, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; DVD copy; BD-Live
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Universal has done a masterful job with a knock-out hi-def transfer of a dud of a film. But does a beautiful transfer of a bad film translate into something worth owning? Hardly. But hats off, Universal for going the extra mile. With such a dark, noir-ish atmosphere characterizing nearly every scene in A Walk Among the Tombstones, one might expect plenty of opportunities to carelessly cut corners and not give a flip about the transfer. But they do care. A Walk Among the Tombstones is a dark film, but black levels are richly detailed and never show signs of noise of over-aliased compression, while colors (what few there are) are fully-saturated and pop with life. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio is equal to the task with some of the loudest, ear-piercing gun shots you’ve heard since 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma.



  • None

Special Features:

With all the attention paid to the quality of the hi-def transfer, the extras and supplements are surprisingly a bit lacking. All you’ll get are a behind-the-scenes piece featuring filmmaker interviews and on-set clips and a blu-ray exclusive 6-minute Matt Scudder character bio hosted by Director Scott Frank and author Lawrence Block.

HD with Ultraviolet let’s fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download

  • A Look Behind the Tombstones (12:00)
  • Matt Scudder: Private Eye (06:00)

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