"Don McKay" is my kind of movie. It's got a suspenseful story, humor, twists and turns and a top notch cast. And it all came from first-time filmmaker Jake Goldberger, whose six year battle to get the film made is just as exciting as the film itself. Article continues below
The story revolves around a lonely high school janitor, Don McKay, who gets a letter from his ex-girlfriend asking him to return back to his hometown, the place he left over twenty five years ago. She is terminally ill and the one person she wants to be with during her last days is Don.
But everything is not as it seems and Don finds this out the hard way on just his second day in town. As more characters are introduced, the story becomes more complex and more intriguing, but we are not privy to what's really going on since the audience only learns new things when Don does. In other words, we get to solve this puzzle alongside the title character.
"Don McKay" moves at a nice slow pace, just like the town he is visiting. But don't let that fool you, the movie has surprising twists at every corner and enough subtle humor to have you sit there with a smirk throughout the duration of the showing. The tone can easily be compared to the many works of the Coen brothers.
Regarding the cast, Keith David (Coraline) has only a supporting role as Don's old buddy, but his part is filled with so much clever dialogue and personality traits that he ends up stealing the show every time he's on screen. Elizabeth Shue's role as Don's ex-girlfriend Sonny, will prove to audiences that she can still take on complicated roles. And then there's Thomas Haden Church who stars as the title character... While I felt that he seemed awkward at times, I can't imaging any other actor tackling this part. It's no easy task to lead a film like this, but Church succeeds.
I will have to stop right here out of fear that I will reveal too much. But I will mention that there are parts of the film that seem "independent," like the music. Outside of that... if you're a fan of Coen brothers, dark humor and a story that is not only witty and suspenseful, but will keep you guessing throughout... this movie is for you.