The Mortician (2011) Poster

(I) (2011)

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Decent enough downbeat story but not great
Red-Barracuda12 February 2012
A mortician's life is changed when one day the dead body of a young woman is brought to him; one whose body is decorated with an elaborate tattoo of Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus. This all connects together with a young street boy who continually tries to get access to the morgue, the mortician's assistant who harasses the boy and a local thug who seeks him.

This downbeat film utilises flashbacks to tell its story. It's well acted and has a decent atmosphere. However, I can't say it felt like anything special. The plot line didn't feel especially original and overall I can't say the film made much of an impact. It's a decent movie though, just not a great one.
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Not your typical Method Man flick
Seth_Rogue_One2 November 2016
If there ever was a time for Method Man to credit himself by his real name: Clifford Smith I feel this was the one to do it.

Now don't get me wrong I think Method Man doing his thing is great (one of the better rappers turned actors for me) but with this one he truly did commit to do something different. And that's a big reason why I like this movie.

He plays a lone-wolf mortician, a bit of an "social reject" if you will who unwillingly becomes dragged into a messy situation involving the local gang-members.

The poster makes it look to me like more of a horror movie (which it's definitely not) and the synopsis is not really accurate (although I will try to update it so hopefully that will change).

What it is is more of a drama and a character study of the mortician with moments of suspense and even though it has some flaws regarding the script and Method Man's everchanging beard the good most definitely outweighs the bad for me.
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Pointless melodrama which drains the very life from you
cjmccracken6 May 2012
Bathing in urban squalour and decay, this Method Man starring feature may not be what you might expect. Meth (as fans of the Wu Tang Clan affectionately refer to him) plays an awkward, ambling outsider who as the title suggests, works at the city morgue. He shuffles two and from work with his head hanging low. A man of few words, his hours away from the corpses are spent practicing his taxidermy skills and cuddling a friendly prostitute.

Continually harassed by some of the most unconvincing hoodlums that have ever been committed to celluloid (there are literally millions of people out there who could fit the role of 'Thug #4', so why filmmakers feel the consistent need to draw incredibly fake tattoos on supporting actors is beyond me). These rough kids from the wrong side of the street make his life miserable (in a pretty non-threatening way, truth be told) and we can see that he's a man who may soon crack.

This is where the trouble begins, primarily and most significantly, Method Man is wholly unsuitable for this part. Method Man is wholly unsuitable for most parts in which he is required to do anything other than be Method Man. He is not a good actor and in this, his lack of ability is accentuated tenfold. The film was shot in 3D for reasons which are far beyond my comprehension, for it is a melodrama. The last time I checked, melodramas were not top of the list on 3D. Shall I await the extended reboot of Ulee's Gold 3D? On Golden Pond 3D? The Erotic Adventures of Harold & Maude 3D? Anyway, I digress. Meth is a wonderful personality; an entertainer and (occasionally) a great rapper. None of these skills, however, are required or suitable for the role of a bookish, bullied, meek individual. Every time the camera zooms in on him, the viewer gets the impression that he's thinking; 'this is my acting face'.

It's not just the acting that's at fault here, the sets are well utilized and do give a strong sense of deterioration within a working class environment, which is a theme which could have been explored in greater depth within the film. Meth's old time dress sense is a nice touch, but his outfits look so pristine that they are clearly taken from the set dresser's rail. He looks like a man who has been dressed for a role and this only makes him more awkward in his appearance, and not in the manner of which he desires. The shrugs and stooped gait are not enough for the character to become real to us. He also keeps walking around a lot and looking at things. This happens in most films, but the problem with this is that for the first 30 minutes, this is about all you get.

You get drawn into his facial expressions so much because there's so little else to focus on.

Then something happens (which I won't go into for now) and the appearance of Edward Furlong (looking so tired and haggard that my viewing companion thought it was Rob Schneider) and Wendell Peirce (The Wire, Treme) brings a short lived bout of excitement (but they are both gone again as soon as they appear, not to be heard from again at all really). Peirce's use of the word 'laddybuck' remains the film's highlight for me.

The main antagonist starts to turn the heat up on Meth as he drives around listening to the same Method Man song on his car stereo. He is listening to the same song in every scene that he has in the car and it becomes both somewhat irritating and unnecessary.

By the time something does happen, the filmmakers have clearly decided that we need to be informed of this (as most will have fallen asleep) and so they blast some of the worst 'suspense' music I've heard used in a long time. There are also extended sax solos at some of the depressing scenes which can only help to lighten the mood. I love sax solos, especially when they are used to highlight the severity of a situation or the revelation of a chilling back-story. The film gets bonus points for this.

You spend so much time for Meth to revert to gangsta mode and start busting heads. I will let you find out for yourself how, when and if this actually happens at all. The levels of melodrama in this range from the acceptable to the soap opera and so it's hard to be overly enthusiastic about this film. It would have made a good short, or an episode of a TV show, but as a feature length, it becomes a chore to get through. It's fine, but as we all speed towards our own tenure on the mortician's slab, we should probably aim for better than 'fine'.

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A beautifully crafted example of emotionally powerful cinema.
ritualistic-230-1725004 December 2011
The Mortician, written and directed by Gareth Maxwell Roberts is a beautifully crafted example of emotionally powerful cinema. The film stars Method Man as a reclusive mortician. Who's life becomes turned upside down after a chain of events starting with receiving a new porter in the form of an ex-convict named Noah played by E.J. Bonilla. Soon after the body of a young woman with a tattoo of Venus arrives at the morgue and a young boy played by Cruz Santiago starts to repeatedly try to gain access to the building. Meanwhile a local gang leader played by Dash Mihok begins hassling the mortician each day asking if he has seen the young boy around setting the pieces into place to send the soft spoken mortician on a life changing journey that will ultimately force him to face a inner demon that has haunted him since childhood, forcing him out of his defensive shell created out of pain and loneliness.

The first twenty minutes of this film are spent almost solely on character development of the mortician; we are given small glimpses into his day-to-day routines and personality. Quickly you forget its even Method Man on screen and only see the character himself due to his immensely believable performance. A lot of this development is done without dialog due to the reclusive nature of Method Man's character and instead portrayed through very visually descriptive scenes, often supported by excellent use of music that is relevant to the story, as well as ambient sounds to perfectly create the mood of each scene.

After getting to know the mortician, the movie creeps into the main plot as each of the previously mentioned events start to connect in a very fluent fashion. Watching the mortician grow as the movie progresses from an almost emotionless robot into a big hearted kind human being is nothing shy of breath taking. This film really shines when it comes to invoking a response in the viewer, I found myself continuously becoming genuinely moved by the story that was unfolding in front of me.

The writing is unbelievable in terms of high quality, the relationships between each of the main characters come together so perfectly, and authentic feeling that it is nearly impossible to not feel for their situation. This is especially true when it comes to the relationship between the mortician and Noah, at first, he can only see Noah as a criminal, and in return, Noah only sees the mortician as another person who does not care or understand who he really is or about his situation. The age-old message of never judge a book by its cover is one of many messages one could walk away with after viewing the movie. Each of the plot twists is pulled off flawlessly and the use of subtle hints through out the films build up form the perfect set up for the ending causing me to walk away completely rocked by the power of the films message.

I briefly mentioned the use of music relevant to the story earlier, this is a aspect that continues through out the film and ends up creating one of the best movie soundtracks I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. This is one of those rare movies where the music does not feel like its just there for the sake of being there but instead honestly ads to the overall telling of the story.

While the movie does feature a fair amount of imagery that some may find disturbing it falls more into the category of a gritty drama over any of the other genres it splashes over into. I think many horror fans will also be able to appreciate the macabre and somber tone the film takes on, a very interesting way to tell a story of redemption that is both unique and engaging. - The Liberal Dead
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"The plot of The Mortician has breadth and depth" "a well told story that will draw you in emotionally, pique your interest and impress upon you the power of redemption"
luis-24-31531110 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I recently attended a private screening of the film The Mortician in 3D directed by Gareth Roberts of Full Circle Films, a UK company. It stars Method Man in the lead role of the nameless Mortician, an introvert. The Mortician made its public debut at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 12, 2011, although not to rave reviews if you are a reader of Variety and Obsessed With Film, an obscure website. Both disliked the film, yet both reviews lacked any literary analysis concerning plot, theme, structure and the use of techniques such as flashback that assist the plot in creating and resolving the Mortician's internal and external conflicts.

The plot of The Mortician has breadth and depth. Gareth introduces the Mortician through a series of chance meetings, meticulous work habits and a decaying city allowing Method Man to display his interpretation of the introverted Mortician. Method's performance is convincing as he dons a full beard, over-sized glasses and a bowler hat to assist his acting skills in physically depicting the meek Mortician. His facial expressions, soft spoken tone, and demure carriage were well placed throughout. The sequence of events changes tempo when the corpse of a young woman, Jenny, played by Judy Marte, is brought to the Mortician's morgue. As the Mortician cleans her body in preparation for the autopsy he notices a tattoo of Botticelli's Birth of Venus, which begins the rising action - a series of flashbacks hearkening the Mortician to his upbringing with a single mother, who unbeknownst to him as a child was a prostitute. The use of the flashback technique was masterful (compare it with Bordertown) as it becomes the catalyst through which the internal conflict is developed and is ultimately resolved through and with the external conflict.

The external conflict centers around Kane, a young boy played by Cruz Santiago. Kane is trying to gain access to the morgue but is turned away by the Mortician. The Mortician notices that Kane is living on the street and being manhandled by the Mortician's assistant, Noah, played by EJ Bonilla and is also being hunted by the local gang leader Carver, played by Dash Mihok. Despite knowing the dangers Kane faces, the Mortician is unable and unwilling to intervene as he goes about his predictable introverted routine seeking interaction only with his regular prostitute, Ava, played by Dana Fuchs. The irony here is that the Mortician's relationship with Ava represents goodness and light amongst the decaying and violent city. Moreover, Gareth's choice of tastefully depicting this relationship reinforces this paradox.

The Mortician's flashbacks coupled with his awareness of Kane's plight ultimately propel him to intercede on Kane's behalf and introduces us to the film's main theme - redemption. The redemptive power of reconciliation, forgiveness, and understanding are underscored through the Mortician's metamorphosis from an apathetic android to a caring human bringing us to the climax of the film, which has several interesting twists and turns.

It is likely the 3D aspect probably boosted the funding of the film, but its value will probably be lost on a generation whose only association with 3D has been animation or action films, not drama. While The Mortician does have some significant action scenes, it is not enough to appease the expectation of 3D audiences. With that said, however, the use of 3D in this film did work quite well in bringing the setting to life and in the emotional close ups of the characters. The Mortician is a well told story that will draw you in emotionally, pique your interest and impress upon you the power of redemption.
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Frankly, not impressed....
hutchinson-kyle26 November 2011
First, please forgive me for sounding rather bitter about this movie, however there are some disclosures I must first make about my relationship to the film and its subject mater. I have previously worked as a mortician, having multiple professional qualifications in the field of funeral service, restorative art, and embalming. In the course of my work as a funeral director, embalmer, and mortician, I can say that the "Mortician" character this movie was not a member of any of the aforementioned professions. This would be no different than titling a movie "The Banker" when, in fact, it is about an attorney. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to title the movie,"The Autopsy Technician", "The Morgue Attendant" or something else. The only thing that a mortician and the above mentioned professions have in common is the fact that we work with dead bodies...Very little else. I can also mention that a city morgue in any sizable metropolitan area would be a much larger operation with other skilled technicians and professions, including most importantly, a forensic pathologist to actually perform the autopsy. Everything involving the treatment of human remains, from the removal from the scene of death to the forensic processing is grossly inaccurate, and considering the tone of the movie, I find it quite a disappointment.

The acting is respectable, commendable at times. The over-all production quality is quite fine, and story is interesting, but I would expect a considerably higher level of research to have been done before the script was produced.
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Gripping and macabre
mikewhite991 November 2011
Gritty and compelling film which slowly builds the main characters as it develops. The first 20 minutes really sets the mood. Right from the very start, the scenes are earthy and dark with some gruesome footage - this ain't no rom com. Although the lead character is a well known and successful rap artist ,this style of music is only reflected in various passages throughout the movie. A film such as this demands compelling and moving mood music and this is certainly the case. In conclusion , it kept me interested all the way through and with a surprising ending which ,although maybe unlikely, still seems to work with the overall theme presented.Thoroughly recommended.
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Beautiful, gritty, not what was expected!
booboolinx8 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Totally not what was expected. Much better than i could have predicted! I would have given this movie a 10, but i sat down thinking i was going to be watching a horror movie and to me this was not a horror movie. There was lots of grit and excitement! By the end of the movie, i found myself crying, but thoroughly enjoying the film! Very touching and heartwarming. All the characters were believable. Method man was superb! I would definitely recommend this movie and i will watch it again in the near future!
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cmmescalona25 April 2012
It is not too often to witness something credible, emotional and rational at the same time in American cinema. Sadly, Hollywood has been in a steep decline since who knows when. We have to go and grab European or Asian or Mexican or South American flicks if we really want to get some "meat" for the heart.

This time, in a setting long forgotten, we're confronted with a witty story in, of all places, the still recovering New Orleans. That, all by itself is a bonus. But when you add to it the magic of a master cinematographer, a superb script and a wonderful cast... you have OffHollywood. And, let me tell you: this guys know what they're doing!

The story is bleak. The character of the Mortician (awkwardly and silently played by Method Man -if you can believe his actual name) is definitely played methodically. His role is perplexing, uncomfortable and highly distressing. But that's his job. The rest of the characters are as strange, out of the norm, as the mortician himself.

But what really got my attention and made me jump directly into writing this was the uncanny weight and darkness that are pervasive throughout the film. Everything has a smack of doom, and it certainly delivers in this department.

Not only is the story gripping and deeply moving. The acting is on par with the craftsmanship of the whole film. Cinematography, taking advantage of the RED 3D is ultra hi-def and has some unforgettably lit scenes, especially in some of the flashbacks. And if this wasn't enough, the score and the songs used throughout the film only add to underline the roller coaster of emotions we're presented with.

The turns and zips and flips of the story are an integral part of keeping you hooked without blinking. The colour timing is awesome, conveying exactly every mood scenes needed to exploit their powerful emotional content.

I'm really proud of this film being American. It departs completely from stereotypes and boring scripts. It's a slow film. A film portraying a complex drama that unfolds in many directions. Maybe they went too far in explaining why everything happened, but it doesn't feel patronising or as if it was needed for the stupid -it will work, anyway.

All in all, it's a film that should be seen to be believed. Chapeau to Method Man (again, unbelievable name!) and to all the crew that made possible this small jewel of new OffHollywood Americana,
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The Mortician
CMLK-9612516 April 2019
Although it was a bit chunky, you knew the story line was waiting around the corner, and it was. I thought the actors were great although the capture of the young boy was maybe too mushy for real life. The music was a great addition since it set the mood at each segment. Since I hadn't seen Method Man or the other actors before...I was pleasantly surprised.
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I like creepy, and well done. 6/10
dbilyewzip4 November 2018
Movie is a story, about the title, the Mortician. It claims nothing else. It is a story. I repeat this, so if you're expecting fast-paced action, this is not it. Yes, it moves slowly, expounding on the present and past of the lead character. Method Man performance relates the extremes and depths of his character.

I watched this at Halloween, because I enjoy creepy. I also notice, as a fan of CSI investigation, this movie deserves comparison. Other reviews seem to discount this movie as predictable, but I did not find it so. It was a break from the ghost and haunted-house theme, and a welcome relief from overdone vampires and zombies.

The ending is well worth living for a bit in the storyline. I like creepy, and I love a good haunting story. Give it a chance, if you do, too.
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A great all round movie- a must see
richard-admiraal1 November 2011
See it and you'll see what I mean!This film conjures up all the atmospheric nature of New Orleans as a City. It continues the recent great 3D movies which I for one hope continue to dominate action films.

The story line is strong & believable and castings has been inspired with The Method Man being an inspired choice. the complexity of the screen play is matched by the visuals which are breath taking at times. New Orleans is one of my favourite cities so this added to the enjoyment for me.

Save up your pennies and get your glad rags on to see a bravura performance.
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babinefertiti23 September 2018
I wish I could give it a negative 10!! Worst movie ever didn't make any sense at all. Bad acting even worse storyline! Need I say more!! Save an hr and a half of your life and pass this film by! I warned you!!
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The Mortician
a_baron11 September 2019
How to describe "The Mortician" - subdued, dull, dark, a modern film noire? The main character is given a reluctant apprentice, reluctant on both their counts, he is a gang member who has been given an unusual punishment, the courts being clearly intent on teaching him this is where he will end up unless he mends his ways, even though we all end up there later.

A young boy is also hanging around the mortuary, and a local thug is taking an interest in the mortician. Why both? Well, the kid's mother has been murdered. There is not much more to it than that, except to say that his encounter with this kid reminds him of his own youth, and a big unresolved issue that he confronts at the end.
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The Mortician is Deadsville
nogodnomasters9 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The Mortician (Method Man) is a shy dysfunctional man. His social life consists of a prostitute he visits for off screen sex. He speaks as little as possible. He has a second job/hobby as a taxidermist. In spite of what seems as two incomes, he lives in a run down place where he walks to work past buildings that look like they are in a war zone. I don't think the name of the city is mentioned. I suspect Memphis as he travels to Almaville, Tn.

Our Mortician has flashbacks to his youth which intensify when they bring in a dead woman with an elaborate tattoo of Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus, a painting which hung in his home as a child.

Meanwhile he has a "porter" (E.J. Bonilla) who is on parole and acts like a thug. There is a young boy who has witnessed a murder and is a person of interest to the killer.

The film goes on with very little action until one scene...and then it is about over. The movie was dull. The small boy's life is supposed to mirror the mortician's life as a child. That was not enough to make for an entertaining movie. The editing was poor.

N-word, F-bomb, brief sex, no nudity. Deals with prostitution.
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