Movie Reviews
The Painter (2024).

The Painter: A Muddled Canvas of Clichés and Missed Opportunities

Director Kimani Ray Smith‘s The Painter, penned by Brian Buccellato, attempts to weave a web of espionage, action, and intrigue but ultimately gets entangled in its own predictable narrative and lackluster execution. Despite a promising premise, the film falls short in delivering an engaging and original experience, relying heavily on worn-out tropes and failing to capitalize on the potential of its talented cast.

The Good:

Charlie Weber leads the cast as Peter, an ex-CIA operative pulled back into the treacherous world he sought to leave behind when a mysterious figure from his past, played by Marie Avgeropoulos as Piasecki, reemerges. However, the plotline lacks depth and fails to offer any significant deviation from the well-trodden path of similar espionage thrillers. Weber’s portrayal of a skilled agent feels wooden and unconvincing, leaving the audience disconnected from his character’s plight.

Jon Voight‘s inclusion as Byrne, an enigmatic figure, brings a semblance of gravitas to the film, but even his seasoned presence can’t salvage the disjointed storyline. Madison Bailey as Sophia, though promising, is unfortunately underutilized, serving merely as a narrative device to propel Peter’s arc rather than a fully realized character in her own right.

The Bad:

The film’s pacing struggles to find a consistent rhythm, lurching between sluggish exposition and hurried action sequences. Moments intended to build tension often fall flat due to predictable twists and a lack of suspenseful buildup. The action scenes, while adequately choreographed, feel routine and fail to evoke the adrenaline rush expected from a thriller of this nature. There’s a distinct absence of innovative direction or unique visual flair that could have injected vitality into the film’s more mundane aspects.

The script, burdened by clichés and formulaic dialogue, offers little in terms of originality. It relies heavily on tired tropes, such as the haunted past of the protagonist and the inevitable betrayal by someone close. Any attempts at character development feel superficial and fail to resonate, leaving the audience indifferent to the fate of the characters.

Furthermore, the film’s antagonist, a relentless killer and a rogue black ops program, lacks depth and comes across as a generic threat without any compelling motivation or backstory. This lack of nuance in the antagonist’s portrayal diminishes the stakes and undermines the impact of the central conflict, resulting in a less gripping narrative.

Visually, The Painter struggles to leave a lasting impression. While the cinematography occasionally captures picturesque landscapes and intense action moments, it lacks a distinct visual identity. The production design and special effects, though serviceable, don’t offer anything innovative or memorable to elevate the film beyond its generic framework.


The Painter, directed by Kimani Ray Smith, is a forgettable addition to the action thriller genre. Despite a talented cast, the film fails to break free from the shackles of clichés and uninspired storytelling. Lacking originality, depth of character, and a compelling antagonist, it becomes a paint-by-numbers affair that leaves audiences wanting more substance and originality. With a muddled plot and unconvincing performances, it struggles to leave a lasting impression in a genre filled with more captivating and inventive offerings.

The Painter: A Muddled Canvas of Clichés and Missed Opportunities
  • Acting - 6.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 5.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 4/10
  • Setting/Theme - 4/10
  • Watchability - 5/10
  • Rewatchability - 3/10
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