They don’t make ’em like they used to, but sometimes things aren’t too far off.
The B-picture throwback “Life of Crime” is set during the 1970s and it feels like a relic from the period, with the polyester suits and other stylistic accoutrements matched by a loose, funky spirit.
Writer-director Dan Schechter adapts the Elmore Leonard novel, retaining the sharp dialogue and precise characterizations that are the hallmarks of the author’s universe. The film follows the kidnapping of rich wife Mickey Dawson (Jennifer Aniston, smartly returning to independent cinema) by Ordell (Yasiin Bey, the former Mos Def) and Louis (John Hawkes) and the complications that ensue when Mickey’s husband Frank (Tim Robbins) refuses to pay for her return.
Schechter ably balances plot machinations with character-driven moments; there’s some Coen Brothers-esque weirdness thrown in for good measure. An abiding insignificance looms over “Life of Crime,” but it’s a fun 98 minutes.
Life of Crime
Directed by Daniel Schechter | Starring Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Tim Robbins | Rated R Playing at AMC Empire, Village 7