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What’s Up at the Movies: We Review “Those Who Wish Me Dead”

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

There are times when my target wordcount for these reviews feels restricting, when I run out of space after only scratching the surface of what I wanted to say and have to be content with calling up friends to discuss the rest. That excess of material, be it praise or criticism, is a good problem to have. There are also times when I stare at a blank document and wonder how I’m going to fill the page with words when, in person, I would sum up my viewing experience with a gesture: a shrug, a grimace, maybe a simple shake of the head no. That’s where I am with Those Who Wish Me Dead, out now in theaters and available to stream on HBO Max. It’s a movie that just struggles to be interesting, despite ostensibly having many reasons to be so.

This second feature from writer/director Taylor Sheridan, which adapts Michael Koryta’s novel of the same name, follows the collision of two storylines. In the first, forensic accountant Owen Casserly (Jake Weber) flees his Florida home with his son Connor (Finn Little) after learning his boss, a district attorney who uncovered some sensitive information, died under suspicious circumstances. They drive to Montana to meet up with Connor’s uncle, the Deputy Sheriff and survivalist Ethan Sawyer (Jon Bernthal), while two assassins Jack (Aiden Gillen) and Patrick (Nicholas Hoult) are hot on their trail. In the second, veteran smokejumper Hannah Faber (Angelina Jolie) is assigned to an isolated lookout tower after her last time fighting a forest fire turned tragic. Ethan worries the trauma has

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