Ethan Hawke invites old buddies Robert Sean Leonard and Uma Thurman over to his motel room for 90 minutes of chat. And that's it. Dull talkie drama, right? Wrong. As a dark secret emerges from the past, Stephen Belber's script begins to writhe with a gripping unpredictability, mutating small talk into cross-examination and sending the balance of power bouncing off the walls. Armed with DV, director Richard Linklater turns the single setting into a high-tension corker. And while Hawke flickers with brilliant spontaneity, it's Thurman who steals it, walking through the door to spike proceedings in a scintillating final third.

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