Starting with a violent bank job and police chase, Triple 9 is hardly original (and in its early stages, somewhat confusing). But what unfolds is a gritty and atmospheric storyline of corruption, bent cops and the Russian mafia.
Director John Hillcoat (Lawless, The Proposition) continues to explore the male world of loyalties and sudden violence, with an impressive cast queueing to play against type – Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Secret in their Eyes), Anthony Mackie (The Avengers, The Adjustment Bureau) and a wonderfully blousy Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic) as a Russian mob leader.
But it’s the quiet dignity of Casey Affleck that provides the focus to a film that is considerably better than its story. Hillcoat just needs the right material to become huge.