A Walk Among the Tombstones tells a pretty basic detective story. It doesn't necessarily offer us anything new, and that truly is the case here: it's just another episode of a private detective. Even with all of the twisted scenarios, there isn't anything else big or even daring to the picture. While some might be bothered with its lack of innovation, fans of these types of mystery films would still have the pleasure. It has been kind of rare to have such crime thrillers like this in cinemas today, and by its simplicity in storytelling, it sure does deliver things right. What matters to the experience in the end is it's a finely crafted piece of noir that nearly glosses over to the fact that it's just a relic, but a pretty decent one.
The film follows the classic roots of the genre, you won't find any sort of uniqueness around the storyline, but how it constructed each of its sequences still manage to be charming at the beginning and gripping along the way. It just lets the detective walk from one place to another to find clues and unfold questions. But it never lacks the tension, the film places its coldness to buildup an atmosphere that brings uncertainty to the fate of the investigation. The best thing about it is it's simple. It doesn't bother adding some mind-blowing or ridiculous twists, it just digs within a world where some evil can be found in any street. Settling with the characters is as well one of its finest moments, they may not have the most original arcs, but it is undeniably entertaining when it lingers to them.
The direction is predictably slick, and it totally benefits by it for making every scene of bleakness and violence emotionally effective. People shouldn't take for granted its decent camera-work that sharply displays its vital points. It gets even better when explores around its main man: Liam Neeson is now commonly used as an action hero, but here the film rather uses the better side of that reputation which is keeping the audience feel that he is a dangerous man to deal with, even without revealing much of the fists and gunpoint, it's still a totally compelling depiction of his character's cold, brooding personality.
My personal enjoyment to the film is how refreshing to see a mystery film this straightforward and unpretentiously dark in modern cinema. I mean I might as well seen one in any crime television series running today, but it's a lot fascinating to witness it in this form, plus a tone this gritty, a style so clever, and a performance from its main star that makes it more interesting. Again, you won't find anything groundbreaking to the film, but leaving that thought behind would make you realize that it is still a terrifically put together, unpredictably told crime thriller. And I bet that's already enough for this sort of entertainment.