SXSW Film Review: Manglehorn

Posted in Film, Reviews, SXSW
By Sam Bathe on 15 Mar 2015

David Gordon Green’s career takes another strange step with Al Pacino exploration piece, Manglehorn.

About an angry small-town locksmith, Manglehorn (Pacino) is so stuck in his ways that when the chance of companionship reveals itself, he risks throwing it all away to avoid opening up.

From first-time writer Paul Logan and director David Gordon Green, Pacino gives a nuanced performance but the plot moves in such broadstrokes, he isn’t given much room to add his own spin.

There’s little development in the story until the final act, so for much of the film you’re just spending time Manglehorn, and he’s terrible company. The film simply doesn’t do enough to entertain. The dialogue is conversational, in a good way, but it’s equally uninspiring.

Holly Hunter is the one bright light, her relationship with Pacino is the best thing about the film, and her honest, vulnerable portrayal deserves great credit.

Manglehorn is an intriguing film, or at least it should have been. David Gordon Green’s latest is unfortunatel y passive, there might be depths to explore on a second or third watch, but I struggled to make it through the first. Hopefully Green finds what keeps going missing on his next film.


FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

We’ve been featured on the front page of Reddit and produced off-shoot club night Friday Night Fist Fight, launched a Creative Agency and events column The London List.

FAN THE FIRE is edited by founder, Creative Director and Editor-in-Chief, Sam Bathe. Site by FAN THE FIRE Creative.

You can contact us on:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Dribbble, Instagram and RSS.