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Straw Dogs' thrills hit above average

Rod Lurie's Peckinpah remake assured in its execution


Rod Lurie’s remake of the 1971 Sam Peckinpah thriller makes up for the opacity of its meaning with the assured execution of its tension-and-release formula. James Marsden and Kate Bosworth star as David and Amy, an effete LA screenwriter and his actor wife, who move out to her tiny Mississippi hometown. David’s threatened by the hyper-masculine customs of the roofing crew he hires to repair a barn, local boys led by True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard, whose idea of Southern hospitality includes leering at Amy and threats (and acts) of violence that escalate until the unhappy couple are forced to defend their home against the armed gang. If Lurie’s trying to make a grand point, it isn’t clear, but his plot setup and exciting climax raises Straw Dogs above the average revenge-flick fare.

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Straw Dogs

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Director: Rod Lurie

Writer: Reed Steiner

Producer: Marc Frydman

Cast: Alexander Skarsgaard, James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Dominic Purcell, James Woods, Willa Holland, Laz Alonso, Walton Goggins, Rhys Coiro and Anson Mount

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