City of Ghosts | Chicago Reader

City of Ghosts

117 minutes

Matt Dillon's directing debut (2002) has been getting a bad rep among some critics, but it kept me intrigued and entertained. Cowritten by Dillon and noir novelist Barry Gifford, it's a sort of bargain-basement Graham Greene story about an insurance scam artist (Dillon) who travels to Cambodia in search of his seedy mentor (James Caan), and the players—among them Stellan Skarsgard, Natascha McElhone, and Gerard Depardieu at his hammiest—keep things bubbling. This is very much the work of a cinephile, calling to mind such middle-period Orson Welles jumbles as The Lady From Shanghai and Mr. Arkadin as well as dozens of other movies I only half remember, a familiarity that's essential to its charm.

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