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Tim Roth Stars in ‘Tin Star’
September 28, 2017  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

Amazon Prime’s police/crime thriller Tin Star never lets viewers get too comfortable.

That’s a good thing, dramatically, and it makes Tin Star a solid candidate for a binge when its 10 episodes are released Friday on the streaming service.

Tim Roth (top) stars as Jim Worth, a former London police detective who is now chief of police in Little Big Bear, a small, cold town in an isolated area of the Canadian Rockies.

If that sounds like a step down, just talk to his teenage daughter Anna (Abigail Lawrie). She’s perhaps marginally less sullen than most teenage girl characters on TV shows, but she makes it clear that her goals in life go beyond selling jam at the Little Big Bear fair.

Jim is okay with that. He admires that, in fact, and given his druthers, the Worths would still be in the somewhat more happening town of London.

Unfortunately, his druthers were outvoted by his drinking, which created problems that aren’t specified immediately, but were serious enough to get him a one-way ticket to Little Big Bear.

When he arrives, he seems to accept that his biggest problem will be shooing the occasional recalcitrant moose off the road.

Soon, however, things get more complicated. North Stream Oil, your basic swaggering megacorporation that purrs about good environmental citizenship while quietly planning to maximize its profits, announces it wants to build a big old facility right there in Little Big Bear.

North Stream’s local representative is Elizabeth Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks, right), vice president of stakeholder relations and the public face of North Stream.

She’s good at the game. While some local residents fear what this 800-kilo gorilla would do to the town, Bradshaw skillfully plays to other residents who see only good things from an influx of jobs and money.

While Jim Worth doesn’t like anything about the North Stream plan, he has no voice, particularly since he just flew in 10 minutes ago.

So he becomes collateral damage once things get rolling. More people and more money means more crime and more serious crime, and Worth soon finds himself in a couple of situations that come to a tragic flashpoint.

In crises like those, it turns out, he still occasionally turns to his good friend Demon Rum, and when that happens, he becomes a different person. Literally.

Genevieve O’Reilly plays his wife Angela, who is trying to cope with the move, with Jim’s drinking, with two dislocated kids and with a life far removed from what she’d known. When we meet her she’s unsettled, and we understand why because we feel the same.

Parts of Tin Star play like familiar police drama. Worth and Bradshaw hide some of the show’s most interesting secrets, though, so there’s always a vague sense that something else is going on.

That’s good, though it’s not always feel-good, and by the end, Tin Star has earned a solid silver.

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George Ashur
I love it when Big Oil is the villain. Very original.
Oct 1, 2017   |  Reply
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