We gave it a C-
Released without fanfare in theaters last spring, this gnarly little thriller never did find the audience it deserved. Maybe people were put off by its moral maze of a plot, featuring a number of characters who are not quite what they seem. Still, the movie does have a hero, and he even wears a white hat. He’s Ray Dolezal (Willem Dafoe), a small-town New Mexico deputy who traces a dead man’s money-stuffed briefcase straight into a viper’s nest of illegal arms traders and double-dealing feds. The who’s-screwing-whom screenplay keeps us guessing right along with Ray; it’s an intriguingly cryptic mystery that continues to deliver surprises up until its striking desert-dunes finale. Even scaled down on video, White Sands are a sight to behold.