The Motel Life Reviews
Recalling characters from a Bukowski novel or Tom Waits song but with less complexity, the brothers are endowed by their creators with little agency, not doing much except lamenting the sorry state of their lives.
It's admirable and even memorable, in its moody fashion, thanks to Roman Vasyanov's richly textured cinematography-he's a shooter to keep our eyes on-and three affecting performances.
We have seen many films about losers on the run, but in the directorial debut of former Chicago siblings Alan and Gabe Polsky, we get an intriguing new take on brotherly love not only gone wrong, but clearly hopeless from the beginning.
This independent drama effectively captures the spirit of much contemporary fiction: the tone is at once precious and stark, and the narrative drifts from one episode to another (and from realism to fantasy) as though it were playing out in a dream.
Hirsch and Dorff give it their all - as does the always-welcome Kris Kristofferson, as a boss and father figure to Frank - but they can't make up for the screenplay's shortcomings.
Alan Polsky and Gabriel Polsky propel the material in a way that can feel over-determined. But they grasp the eccentricities and desperation of fringe dwellers, and at its strongest their atmospheric film has the pull of a sad outlaw song.
A pedestrian, undeveloped indie clunker, its failure as a complete, satisfying story especially disappointing since the sibling relationship at its center could have been special with a better script.