The Good Heart Movie Review
Brian Cox and Paul Dano star in the dialogue-fueled The Good Heart, a movie about a jackass bartender and owner who takes in a young homeless man to raise him as his successor. Sharp-tongued and brutal, he in many ways plays overlord to his young counterpart, even though he does sincerely care for him.
Written and directed by Dagur Kári, The Good Heart is a well-acted tour de force, marred by an absolutely horrible ending that makes it impossible to recommend. Ninety-nine percent of the movie is perfectly watchable, even good, with Cox chewing scenery and Dano staring wide-eyed as usual at his abrasive "mentor," but the ending ruins any goodwill Kári developed with his audience up until that point.
The ending is convenient and overly coincidental, beyond belief and unsatisfactory. The movie could have gone so many directions, and instead Kári chose the worst possible one. The fact that the surviving character shows no remorse at the end is even more befuddling.
The Good Heart is fun and easy to watch until the ending rips the carpet out from under the audience. It isn't a twist; it's just a shockingly bad turn of events. Not recommended.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.