Don Shanahan reviews “The American Side” premiering at the Wilmette Theatre


There is a point where film noir can be too stylized for its own good.  Its traits of small-time crime, femme fatales, anti-heroes, and the underbelly style of all things that creep in the urban dark can be too fictitious and extreme.  There’s room for film noir that can inhabit real places and plausible people while still having all the necessary ingredients to make them as cool as the genre demands.  With a deep homage to noir coupled with a big dose of 1970’s-esque conspiracy thrillers, director Jenna Ricker, in her second feature film, presents “The American Side” starring her writing collaborator Greg Stuhr and a notable ensemble cast.  Using upstate New York, Ricker has created a living and breathing seedy side out a wholesome American city and tourist destination.  As a film, “The American Side” is satisfying and a constantly engaging throwback detective story that surpasses its glitzy and more expensive Hollywood peer “The Nice Guys.”

CLICK HERE to read Don’s review on or CLICK HERE for his published work on!

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