EIFF 2015: Cop Car

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 19 Jun 2015
Film title: Cop Car
Director: Jon Watts
Starring: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim

Jon Watts’ lean Cop Car has a simple title and a simple premise. Needless complications aren’t piled onto proceedings and the film’s all the better for it. It sees a cat-and-mouse chase ensue between a shady small town sheriff (Bacon) and two kid runaways (Freedson-Jackson and Wellford) who’ve taken his police car for a joyride after finding it seemingly abandoned in a field; the cop was in fact burying a body down the road.

Cop Car’s a B-movie more in the mode of minimalist slow-burners like Red Rock West. It remains thrilling throughout thanks to a successful balance of intense dread (the kids might end up killing themselves through naïve recklessness before Bacon gets them) and spot-on humour regarding the way most young boys might actually act in this situation (deducing they can drive a car because they’ve played Mario Kart, and asking people not to tell on them). Rather than ending with an efficient bang, the final scene just sort of trails off, but this is otherwise a nicely scuzzy delight.

More from EIFF 2015:

Our film editor's top ten picks from this year's Festival

All our latest reviews from EIFF 2015

Cop Car has its international premiere at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival:

19 Jun, 8.35pm, Cineworld; 24 Jun, 6.20pm, Cineworld