In Andrea Arnold's Red Road, Katie Dickie portrays a surveillance technician who becomes obsessed with one of her subjects. Turns out she recognizes him and is very concerned to see him out and about when he's supposed to be in jail. This all sounds very suspenseful and intriguing and it did win the Jury Award at Cannes last year, not to mention a crapload of Scottish BAFTAs and you know what? Boring. As. Hell.
In spite of Oscar-caliber acting by Dickie (and Tony Curran as the object of her interest) and strong direction by Arnold, the movie itself is, well, dull. I will, however, give the film props for providing subtitles for the characters' thick Scottish brogue. It seems unusal at first but, trust me, you'll need them.
I followed that up with the more uptempo Uro, in which an ex-soldier joins the eponymous Norwegian drug task force. Uro balances the elements of a crime drama with those of a family drama well while not having anything particularly new to add to either. If you really wanna get your undercover-cop-in-too-deep groove on, I'd sooner recommend Narc or Deep Cover, both of which are criminally underseen (or, of course, Undercover Brother). Still, I'd say it's a fairly promising debut for director Stefan Faldbakkenn (the Norse Michael Mann) and lead Nicolai Cleve Broch. (The Norse Ryan Phillipe – I mean that in a good way. Did you see my boy in Way of the Gun? He was the harshness.)