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The wholesome, feel-good true crime of Hit Man

Image: Film at Lincoln Center

Gary Johnson has a particular set of skills. He talks to strangers about offing loved ones: family members, business partners, or anybody close to them that they want dead. In imaginative detail, he tells them how he’ll murder them. There’s a contract, money is exchanged, an agreement is made. But the thing about Gary is that he isn’t actually a killer; he’s working with the cops.

In director Richard Linklater’s Hit Man, that’s how the sting works. Someone admits they want a person killed and passes Gary the cash. That’s enough evidence for the police to make an arrest. And Gary (Glen Powell), the guy posing as the hard-boiled killer who’s going to fulfill those contracts? When he’s not acting, he’s as normcore as they come, a philosophy…

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