Don Mckay is an indie film that was only shown in seven theaters nationwide, but it's actually a good watch on DVD. What sets this film apart from other low-budget projects is that it features a great cast of veteran actors.
The movie starts off as a thriller with a slow fuse, with the film evolving into a black comedy in the final half hour. While Don Mckay isn't as well-written or interesting as a Coen Brothers film, it scores points for throwing the audience curveballs. I thought the story was obvious and predictable, until the conclusion approached. There's simply no way that you can predict how the story will unfold or conclude.
The best part of Don Mckay is the cast. Elisabeth Shue is gorgeous as Sonny, Don Mckay's old girlfriend who conveniently wears seductive sleepwear for most of the movie (I'm not complaining). Keith David (the Imam in Pitch Black) gives a nice performance as Mckay's buddy Otis Kent, though he unfortunately doesn't get much screen time. The movie is also rounded out with performances by veteran actors Pruitt Taylor Vince, M. Emmet Walsh, and James Rebhorn. The standout performance in the movie is by Melissa Leo (Frozen River), who is spectacular as Marie, Sonny's caregiver. I was a bit disappointed by Thomas Haden Church's performance in the lead role. It may have been intentional for Mckay to be a shell of a man, but Church has the same expression on his face for almost the entire movie. Also, the cinematography by first-time director Jake Goldberger is decent, and I enjoyed the film score by Steven Bramson.
While Don Mckay is basically a straight-to-video movie, it's much better than your typical Redbox rental. It won't have you on the edge of your seat the whole time, but it still offers a great cast and an unpredictable ending.