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First-time screenwriter Eddie Richey and director Danny Cannon (I Still Know What You Did Last Summer) serve up the moody story about Harry Collins (Ray Liotta), a good cop with a bad habit of gambling, his sophomoric squad buddies, and how their robbery of a local loan shark goes awry. Phoenix is a nicely gritty tale of betrayal told with vigor and seamless performances (although Anjelica Huston, as the love interest, looks far too elegant for the likes of Harry). Its only drawback: When Richey peppers the dialogue with oh-so-arch references to King Kong and Dostoyevsky, you’ll want to get medieval on his ass. B

Phoenix
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