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Review: 'A Score to Settle' another Nic Cage blunder

The actor stars as a man seeking revenge in a movie he may or may not even remember making

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

Nicolas Cage definitely has a score to settle, and he should start with his agent. 

The actor has long been out to lunch, popping up in whatever would get him a paycheck, a true quantity-over-quality work philosophy. In the numbers game of his career, some of his projects in recent years have managed to land, mostly those whose title is also a person's name (see "Joe," "Mandy").

Nicolas Cage in "A Score to Settle."

Otherwise, it's films like "Rage," "Pay the Ghost," "Inconceivable" and "Between Worlds," cheap-o productions pumped out at a rate of several a year which fall well below the Oscar-winner's skill set. Perhaps it's a part of some grand art project that's still being written, but Cage's career has turned into one of the most baffling showbiz mysteries of our time.

And so here's "A Score to Settle," the latest project off the Nic Cage assembly line, and one of 10 films he currently has in some stage of production. He plays Frank, a former enforcer-type who's just gotten out of prison after two decades behind bars. Upon his release, he reconnects with his son, Joey (Noah Le Gros), who he hasn't seen in 19 years. 

Frank has some money stashed from a former job, and he collects it and takes his son on a garish spending spree: spiffy suits, fancy meals, a brand new sports car. But Frank's also got revenge on his mind, and tracks down his old cohorts who wronged him. (Frank is also dying, which may or may not be a commentary on Cage's career.) 

Director Shawn Ku manages to capture a few moments that will make the latest Nic Cage supercut of the actor's bizarre on-screen moments. Otherwise this tale barely treads water, and all but sinks with its ridiculous third act twist. A preferable third act twist would be seeing Nic Cage start to care again, but that's a whole 'nother score to settle.  

'A Score to Settle'


Not rated: language, violence, nudity, sexuality 

Running time: 104 minutes