written and directed by Scott Caan
by Walter Chaw An extremely auspicious hyphenate debut from actor-director Scott Caan (son of James), Dallas 362 is a kinetic and visually literate film composed of Nan Goldin-inspired two-person tableaux that offer a startlingly clear-eyed balance to the force of transitional sequences. An opening montage reminds in the best way of the still-photo manipulation over the main titles of "The Rockford Files", an interesting photo-scoping technique seen in the recent documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture and revisited in the body of the film as a particularly interesting way to tell a flashback. The power of images, black-and-white, juxtaposed with hard-driving music or narration is a nice reminder of the nature of picture's storytelling authority--enough so that when the flashback substitutes its black-and-white for colour, the effect is startling and elucidative. Shawn Hatosy and Caan provide the film's centre, but in truth Dallas 362 soars on its ensemble democracy that counts as its assets Jeff Goldblum in his best performance in years and Kelly Lynch, likewise. Its story eventually a crime drama, Caan's writing and direction betray a greater interest in character and dialogue. Not an unqualified triumph, Dallas 362 nonetheless feels too good to be a first film and represents a bar for Caan that'll be difficult to best. Originally published: October 12, 2003.