The Son of No One (2011)

Poor Channing. The guy can’t even look tough as a Queens police officer with a mustache.

Channing Tatum stars as Johnathan, a young cop assigned to patrol his old Queens, N.Y., neighborhood that takes off with the discovery of a long-dead secret, which includes his childhood memories with Detective Charles Stanford (Al Pacino).

To be quite honest, I was actually looking forward to seeing this way back when it first debuted at Sundance. I enjoy Dito Montiel as a writer/director, the premise seems old-school but good, and the cast looked awesome. Oh how it sucks to be disappointed.

The problem that this film runs into is the fact that it has a weak premise that can’t really go anywhere because it’s script is just weak. Nothing really happens here and the film as a whole, is just a downer with there barely being anything that totally glued me in. I had a feeling that something, whatever it was, was at stake but throughout the whole film we are just moving along at this boring pace of where we really don’t have a total clue as to what happens next, and even better, we don’t care either.

There are also plenty of highly laughable moments with Johnathan’s childhood being shown and the way the kid acts and the way everything happens, just seems way too over-dramatic and unrealistic that it was really hard for me to become glued into this story since Montiel’s direction goes back-and-forth between the present and past. What I also never understood was why didn’t he just say that these murders that he commits were part of self-defense because that’s honestly what they were. I also never understood why a news reporter (or anyone for that matter) would ever take time out of their day to bring up an unsolved murder of two asshole junkies that happened 16 years before. It never made sense why it just all of a sudden came up now, and most of all, why anybody would waste their time.

Dito Monitel still does bring some well-deserved tension and bleakness to this film, which I thought was a good attribute but I think he needed to rely less on the melodrama and more on the characters and actual story. I got a feel of the paranoia Johnathan was going through, but I never understood him as a character which is why I can’t say anything bad about Channing Tatum‘s performance as him. He’s good but he isn’t given much to do and more screen-time is dedicated to kid Johnathan and that actor sucks.

Katie Holmes is wildly miscast as his wife, and brings out a lot unintentional laughter; Juliette Binoche is also miscast as the news journalist but surprisingly holds her own; and Tracy Morgan plays Vinnie, Johnathan’s mentally-challenged friend, and does a better job than I actually imagined with his dramatic chops, which he does in a way that doesn’t feel forced. The biggest type of type-casting is Al Pacino and Ray Liotta as two old-school cops, which isn’t so bad but they don’t do anything really new and are just there to add more to the cast.

Consensus: Dito Montiel and the cast try their hardest, but in the end, The Son of No One just ends up being an unbelievable, poorly written, and boring cop melodrama that doesn’t do much other than bring out unintentional laughs with everything these characters say.



  1. The film was troubled once it came out to Sundance to a barrage of bad reviews. I didn’t see A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints while I didn’t care for Fighting. I don’t know what is the big deal about Channing Tatum. A good looking guy that can dance but certainly mumbles his lines and tries so hard to be dramatic. Give me a fucking break!

    • I don’t know what it is either but I do think he has what it takes to be very good. That’s if he chooses better roles though. Thanks for the point you bring up Steve!

  2. I cannot stand Tatum, so I actually had no intent to watch this short of laughin at him and that ridiculous moustache.

    2/10 seems to be a bit high IMO. but I know that is 1 pt for the director and 1 pt for Tracy Morgan, right? ha! Thanks for the good write up Dan!!

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