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Levity (2003) Having banked success as a comedy screenwriter, Ed Solomon ("Men in Black") eschews all that useless hilarity in his directing debut. Levity , from his… 2003-04-04 R PT100M Drama Kirsten Dunst Morgan Freeman Holly Hunter Billy Bob Thornton Dorian Harewood Sony Pictures Classics
Review

Levity (2003)

MPAA Rating: R

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Levity, Billy Bob Thornton | TRESSED OUT Ex-con Thornton seeks redemption in ''Levity''
Image credit: Levity: Jonathan Wenk
TRESSED OUT Ex-con Thornton seeks redemption in ''Levity''
EW's GRADE
D+

Details Limited Release: Apr 04, 2003; Rated: R; Length: 100 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Kirsten Dunst, Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter and Billy Bob Thornton; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Having banked success as a comedy screenwriter, Ed Solomon (''Men in Black'') eschews all that useless hilarity in his directing debut. Levity, from his own script, is gray, depressive, and intimacy-averse. And so are the lank, shoulder-length hairdo and zombie demeanor affected by Billy Bob Thornton as Manuel Jordan, a man released from prison some two decades after killing a convenience-store clerk in a botched robbery.

Desperate for redemption but convinced he doesn't deserve it (so very ''Monster's Ball Redux''), Manuel returns to the scene of the crime, establishing a relationship with various other hurting souls in the area, among them Holly Hunter as his victim's sad sister, Morgan Freeman as a tormented preacher, and Kirsten Dunst as a self-destructive club kid. One could, I suppose, read mysteries of atonement into this stern tale. But for what sin? Surely not for cowriting ''Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.''

Originally posted Apr 18, 2003 Published in issue #705 Apr 18, 2003 Order article reprints