Grind, or The Postman Only Rings Once, and the Doorbell’s Busted Anyway. In this umpteenth (and uncredited) reworking of the James M. Cain scenario that wouldn’t die, the good-looking drifter (Billy Crudup) happens to be the husband’s kid brother, so there’s sibling rivalry as well as sexual tension at play when No. 2 son takes a shine to his sister-in-law (an insufficiently seductive Adrienne Shelly). While the familial climax is gripping, events don’t build to it so much as slouch to it. Also effective is the refreshingly optimistic anti-noir denouement, hopeful without being hokey. Too bad getting there’s such a grind. C+
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