Measure of Revenge

Tagline : Justice will be served.

Runtime : 92 mins

Genre : Thriller Drama

Vote Rating : 3.4/10

Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : Theater actress Lillian Cooper's son dies mysteriously. When the investigating officer rules the cause of death an accidental overdose, Lillian conducts her own investigation which leads her to an unlikely alliance with her son's former drug dealer. On her quest for answers, Lillian hallucinates some of the iconic characters she's played on stage which serve as her inner voice, urging her to avenge her son's death.

Cast Members

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Movies like this one never fail to remind me of Cameron Diaz’s "crazy bitch mother" character in My Sister’s Keeper. The difference is that we weren’t really meant to sympathize with Diaz until he eventually relented and stopped being such a bitch. Here, however, Melissa Leo achieves the seemingly impossible feat of making Bella Thorne comparatively likable. The plot is your standard Roaring Rampage of Revenge disguised as a Shakespearean pastiche. Actress Lillian Cooper’s (Leo) son Curtis’s (Jake Weary) death parallels that of King Hamlet (down to one of his alleged assassins being called Claude, which is just a little too on the nose, if you ask me), and Lillian is as crazy as Ophelia — well, almost. Curtis dies from an apparent accidental overdose, but Lillian immediately suspects murder most foul — even though her son was a pseudo-rockstar with a history of substance abuse. She recruits Curtis’s dealer/photographer Taz (Thorne) to be the Horatio to her Hamlet (when they first meet, Lillian pulls a knife on Taz, and Taz obliquely threatens Lillian with a gun; needless to say, it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship). Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice are also invoked, though to what end I haven’t the foggiest. There is also a reference to Poe’s The Imp of the Perverse that manages to be both plot-relevant and completely out of fucking nowhere; if you’re going to do Shakespeare, then do Shakespeare — or, better yet, don’t. I liked how Lillian uses a production of Hamlet she directs and acts in as an alibi, which in turn means she goes about the Revenge Business (some of it, at least) in the guise of the Ghost of Hamlet’s father; then again, as cool as that is, it of course makes zero fucking sense. All things considered, there was no reason to drag the Bard’s name into this incoherent mess. I must admit I’m not at all sure what exactly is it that happens in this movie, or if it even happens, but I think that’s more the filmmakers’ fault than mine. If Curtis’s death was indeed accidental, that leaves all of Lillian’s obvious mental issues unadressed. On the other hand, if he was in fact murdered, that would mean Lillian is crazy like a fox (as opposed to just plain crazy), but what about motive? Sure, "Curtis is going to be a bigger star now than ever before," but why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs? What we have here is ultimately all madness and no method. I don’t mind ambiguity, but this film is not ambiguous so much as it is contradictory. Pray tell, why on Earth is a movie titled Measure of Revenge that ends with the words "Justice will be served"?