More often than not, the best stories are the ones that take risks, that play with convention, and defy expectations. Other times, the risks fail to pay off and leave the audience with a diminishing sense of fulfillment. So rarely is the latter the case when Ben Foster is attached in any way, shape, or form. His presence has a way of uplifting material, while his performance makes the film far more engaging. Truly a gifted actor, he’s one of the many reasons the adaptation of Nic Pizzolatto’s (True Detective) book Galveston, by first-time screenwriter Jim Hammett and directed by sometime actor #Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Bastards), feels propulsive in the few action scenes and tension-filled in the quiet ones. Replete with thoughtful character work by Foster and co-star Elle Fanning (The Beguiled) and immersive direction by Laurent, Galveston (2018) is a lingering cinematic experience.
Hired heavy Roy (Foster) is sent by his boss Stan (Beau Bridges) on a routine job to rough up a lawyer causing trouble, but things go south quickly when it turns into an ambush. Just barely taking down his assailants, Roy’s gathering himself together when he notices a woman, Rocky (Fanning) tied to a chair, and, in an inexplicable moment, decides to untie her to take her with him. On the run, the pair head for Galveston, Texas, the only place Roy thinks might be safe from Stan’s extensive reach. Complicating matters further, Rocky convinces Roy to make a pit stop along the way where she picks up her younger sister Tiffany (Tinsley and Anniston Price). Faced with difficult choices at every turn, Roy and Rocky find themselves not only trying to escape Stan, but their own individual horrors of the past.