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Unexpected Twists and Unlikely Alliances: a Fresh and Engaging Journey of Redemption

One Day as a Lion


Genre: Action, Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 27m
Director(s): John Swab
Writer(s): Scott Caan
Cast: Scott Caan, Frank Grillo, Marianne Rendón, Taryn Manning, George Carroll, Virginia Madsen, J.K. Simmons
Where To Watch: available in select theaters on April 4, On Demand & Digital Friday, April 7, 2023

RAVING REVIEW: ONE DAY AS A LION, a crime thriller that attempts to pay homage to the iconic films of Quinten Tarantino and the Coen Brothers, intertwines humor, suspense, and genuine emotion to pull in the audience with its narrative. The film follows the exploits of a hitman on a mission to save his son. With a kind heart, he finds himself in a precarious situation when a plan to eliminate a target debtor goes awry, and he’s forced into doing more than he bargained for. The problems unfold from there, and it’s clear that he isn’t cut out for this line of work.

In a desperate attempt to raise funds needed to free his son from jail and prevent him from pursuing a life of crime, the hitman forms an unconventional alliance with an unsuspecting character. Together, they embark on one misadventure after another, giving the film a distinctive and engaging quality. Parallel to the hitman's journey is the story of a ruthless thug assigned to hunt him down, only to become romantically involved with the hitman's former lover, adding another layer of complexity to the plot. While there is humor in the film, for the most part, it's played very straight when push comes to shove.

The movie's fast-paced, unpredictable narrative, dark humor, and shocking twists are reminiscent of films that this was inspired by but with its original take. ONE DAY AS A LION engages viewers with its witty dialogue, impeccable timing, and a plot that maintains an air of anticipation.

This crime thriller has enough humor to balance the entire experience and keep it from falling flat as a strict drama. The cast is noteworthy and surprisingly deep with J.K. Simmons, Frank Grillo, Virginia Madsen, Taryn Manning, and Scott Caan; you get well-rounded performances from the core and supporting cast. It is a must-watch for those who appreciate intricate, suspenseful, and amusing narratives.

The innovative storytelling approach, with relatable characters, sets this film apart from typical crime/action films. The unusual alliances provide an exciting exploration of human relationships amidst chaos and turmoil. The chemistry between the characters is remarkable, enhancing the film's overall enjoyment.

In summary, ONE DAY AS A LION is an intriguing example that offers a unique blend of genres, making it a must-watch for any genre fans.


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[photo courtesy of LIONSGATE]

Chris Jones
Entertainment Editor

Chris Jones is the Mail Entertainment Editor covering Movies and Television topics. He is from Washington, Illinois, and is the owner, writer, and editor of Overly Honest Reviews.