May 14, 2010 at 1:00 am

Tom Long Film Review: 'The Square' -- GRADE: B+

Review: 'The Square' has all the right angles

Everything goes awry for David Roberts, left, with Kiernan Darcy-Smith in "The Square." (Blue-Tongue Films)

Things go from bad to worse to downright disastrous in the enthralling Australian import "The Square."

Directed by well-known stunt man Nash Edgerton, and co-written and co-starring his brother Joel, the film follows Ray (David Roberts), a married construction project manager who's having a heated affair with neighbor Carla (Claire van der Boom). The two want to run off together but that would take a load of money.

Carla just happens to find a load of money in her attic. Unfortunately it belongs to her low-level gangster husband, Greg (Anthony Hayes), and he would definitely come looking for it. So Carla and Ray decide to torch her and Greg's house after she steals the money, leaving Greg to believe the cash has gone up in smoke.

For the actual torching, Ray hires Billy (Joel Edgerton). But something goes awry when Billy burns down the house and suddenly Ray's life is pure chaos.

Writing with Matthew Dabner, Joel Edgerton's story manages to include arson, murder, robbery, blackmail, adultery, bribery, manslaughter, assault and a swimming dog, but somehow the Edgertons never lose control and the manic, pinball energy they deliver keeps your eyes pinned to the screen.

Comparisons to the American Coen brothers ("No Country for Old Men," "A Serious Man") are inevitable and appropriate, if a bit premature. Still, "The Square," which came out in Australia nearly two years ago, packs unexpected punch. Hit us again, boys.

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Claire van der Boom's Carla finds money, angst.