2 1/2 Stars
Dead Man Down is a deadly serious movie, about serious people, doing serious things. The melancholy mood set early weighs on the story until the hardboiled crime thriller threatens to turn overwrought along the path to its conclusion. Danish director Niels Arden Oplev, re-teaming with his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace, has crafted a modern noir with overt shades of European new wave cinematic storytelling. That sensibility works for the film in the stark opening passages, where the audience must piece things together quickly with virtually zero exposition or initiation.