In his recent film releases, such as Taken, The Grey and Non Stop, Neeson has taken on the role as the iconic leading man in American movies. With A Walk Among the Tombstones, Neeson gives a simple performance, but with nuanced moments of vulnerability and nobility.
Former New York cop turned private investigator Matthew Scudder (Neeson) is hired by a shabby character that he meets at an AA meeting.
The shabby character reveals that his brother is a drug kingpin who needs a private investigator. It turns out that the wife of the drug kingpin has been murdered and the crime lord wants revenge.
However, revenge is not easy because the motives seem convoluted. Could the killers be from a rival gang? Could this be a conspiracy grown from the incompetency of the DEA?
Scudder unravels this mystery while confronting a personal demon of his own, alcoholism.
The best part about this film is the relationship between Scudder and TJ (Brian “Astro” Bradley), a homeless boy with sickle cell anemia. The relationship grows out of respect for great detective literature from Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, with life lessons about the importance of maintaining good pistol maintenance.
The biggest flaw in this film is the climatic ending. As Scudder takes matters into his own hands, we heard a narration expressing the 12 Steps of alcohol recovery. While the intention may have been noble, the juxtaposition between audio and the visual is jarring.