Maggie Moore(s) (2023)

Maggie Moore(s) (2023)

An endearing cast can’t save this forgettable true-crime thriller

6.5

Movie

United States of America
English
Comedy, Crime, Mystery
2023
JOHN SLATTERY
Allison Dunbar, Bryant Carroll, Christopher Denham
99 min

TLDR

You’re better off watching an episode of Fargo.

What it's about

Based on true events, the film follows Police Chief Sanders as he investigates the consecutive murders of two women, both incidentally named Maggie Moore, in a small town in New Mexico.

The take

This a small-town, true-crime thriller that has John Hamm (Mad Men) as the detective, Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso) as the trusty sidekick, and Tina Fey (30 Rock) as the love interest. They’re a charismatic cast helming a bizarro story whose real-life details are already teeming with juicy details, and yet, the resulting film, directed by John Slattery, is as lackluster and forgettable as can be. There is no sense of mystery, the jokes fall flat, and every scene looks like it’s shot from a studio lot. There is plenty of better fare out there for anyone looking for comedy capers, and I bet the true crime documentary of the real-life Maggie Moore case is infinitely more engaging than its filmic counterpart. 

What stands out

The potential of Maggie Moore(s)—what it could have been with a sharper script and steadier direction. More than anything, you’ll be thinking about the better version of the movie while watching it. It already has a charming cast and a wacky story in place, all it needed was a stronger push to guide it to fulfillment. Now don’t get me wrong, Slattery is a talented man; an immediately delightful presence in any production he’s in. But if only he was as good at directing as he was at acting, then Maggie Moore(s) could’ve been a brilliant gem on par with the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, or more recently, Rian Johnson’s Poker Face. As it is, Slattery will need more polishing before even getting close to that level.

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