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A longhaired, glassy-eyed Billy Bob Thornton plays Manuel, out of jail after twenty-two years for killing a store clerk. To make amends, he helps out at a community center run by a fishy pastor (Morgan Freeman, way off his game), offers healing advice to a druggie teen (a wasted Kirsten Dunst) and seduces the sister (Holly Hunter in strident mode) of the man he killed, without telling her who he is. Is writer Ed Solomon (Charlie’s Angels, Men in Black) seeking absolution for his box-office instincts by making his directing debut with a dreary film that’s damn near torture to sit through? Looks like.

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