Sources: imdb and twitter.
ETA: Realized I should point out that there are spoilers here.
IMDB Part 1
SHOOT! Don't wanna say too much about this flick yet but
1) Just leave your preconceived notions of Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, (and even Macy Gray to a certain extent) as actors and actresses at the door before seeing this movie . David Oyelowo's character is a PIP. You might wanna chill on seeing Lee Daniels as THAT PRECIOUS DIRECTOR as well. This is a different type of flick.
2) The "N" word gets uttered a few times for those sensitive to that.
3) Zac Efron is filmed quite gorgeously in this. His physical beauty is definitely emphasized and he has numerous shirtless scenes but , yes, he DOES act in this and I found he managed to blend his own just post teenybopper phase to the character quite well.
4) Health doses of sex, sometimes coupled with violence are in this flick. In fact a wide spectrum of sexual situations are explored, few of them unfortunately are healthy. I mean, practically not one of the main characters is spared in this area
5) Nicole Kidman dances with Zac Efron
6) No synopsis will do this film justice. How the camera tells the story is probably even more important than a plot outline. Feelings and emotions are rendered almost tactile by the imagery in this though some may find themselves driven to distraction by some of the camera tricks
7) Folks die
8) Macy Gray's character is the down to earth, grounded one
9) Gator slaughtering is shown quite graphically
IMDB Part 2
Kidman's character has developed some sorta infatuation or misguided love for John Cusak's character, whose in jail. Actually their first meeting features a memorable scene that may well put Meg Ryan's in When Harry Met Sally to shame. Efron's character seems to have developed a misguided love of his own for Kidman's character, but you have more empathy and sympathy for the latter budding relationship.
Matthew's character is too interesting not to let you see for yourselves but he is a little sexually twisted. Yardley is another character with a few secrets tucked under his belt that may give you room for pause. Macy Gray is a Black maid dealing with this crazy family she's been taking care of for umpteen years and the underlying racism that sometimes rears its ugly head therein.She remains well grounded throughout.
I can say the movie is funny in a weird way in that events happen in the course of the investigation that almost completely obliterate any reason for having one in the first place.
IMDB Part 3
1. Which actor gave the best performance? How would you rank their performances?
A) I think Zac Efron was damn near perfect to cast in his role. First off, he his simply beautiful in this and if Alex Pettyfer was considered for the role, I can only assume this is an important aspect of the character. At any rate, Zac had the face and bod to be a handsome young former swimmer but something in him makes him able to play someone still unsure on his feet, a bit of a dreamer, and one given in to his emotions. He is safely sexy. I think Alex would have put too much smolder on it, too much of a worldly sense of things, he would have given Kidman TOO much of a run for her money. Zac is more immediate and more of a bundle of energy, stuff is churning away inside of him that he doesn't always know quite how to express. He embodied a spirit I readily related to and a specific time in the development of a life I think most males could relate to, just right on the precipice of being a man and walking thru the labyrinth of love and/or passion.
B) Matthew's character has some pathos. He is sexually self destructive and lives life a little TOO dangerously sometimes. He wears a facade of being Joe Cool living on the edge and enjoying the rush and being jaded to it all but he has some serious unresolved issues he stubbornly refuses to work thru and unsuccessfully tries to bury instead. His role finds him in some uncomfortable situations which I can appreciate as a filmwatcher and I think he does a good job
C) David Oyelowo's character has an enigmatic edge to him, the Black British dapper who can afford to be a bit "uppity". He seems easily offended and proper and you wanna like his unique attitude against the backdrop of racism within the town. When his dark side comes to light though, watch out...he ain't taking no prisoners. He reveals much to chew on and you will definitely feel different about him by movie's end
D) Hmmm, Nicole Kidman..perhaps traces of TO DIE FOR or THE HUMAN STAIN here. She dirties up a little here and her character tries to appear more classy than the actuality sometimes. I am not quite sure why she latches onto John Cusack's character but the two start off a hoot. I like her relationship to Zac's character which goes into familiar dynamics with bittersweet results (perhaps more bitter than sweet). Her character though rarely shows a nakedly honest moment,though
E) John's character has me at a disadvantage for I do not know how menacing he is supposed to appear to be. I like him more clean cut and everydayman personally but his first appearance did elicit murmurs of "that's john cusack?". He's kinda hard to figure out. Sometimes he is comically dastardly, so over the top as to loose any edginess, then othertimes he is coldly ruthless. In a way he is a bundle of energy and emotions like Zac but the way he expresses it is much more sinister.