Now available on demand from several sources, the neo-noir The Quarry is never dull, but it never really grabs you, either.
Shot in Louisiana, the film tells the story of a drifter (Shea Whigam) who kills a preacher who is en route to his new job in a small town. The drifter assumes the preacher's identity, and he slowly begins to grow into his role as a spiritual guide for the town's poverty-stricken residents. Meanwhile, the local sheriff (Michael Shannon) is suspicious.
Whigham and Shannon do good work, but the script, co-written by director Scott Teems, doesn't give us enough of a glimpse into the drifter's mind to make us really feel his transformation. A person transitioning from pretending to be one thing to actually being that thing has been the basis for a number of excellent films (A History of Violence, Donnie Brasco), but The Quarry lacks the emotional punch to be on the same level as those films. The plotting is also almost too simple for its own good. It never takes even a slightly unexpected turn.