Billy Bob Thornton, with long hair and a deeply entrenched stare, stars as a convicted store-clerk killer who is released from prison after serving more than 20 years of a life sentence. His subsequent quest for redemption takes him back to the scene of his crime. He begins working at a community center run by an eccentric, nurturing pastor (Morgan Freeman), befriends a troubled teen (Kirsten Dunst) and inserts himself into the life of the sister (Holly Hunter) of the young man he killed, without exposing his true identity. Director Ed Solomon, who wrote Charlie’s Angels
and Men in Black
, allows his excellent cast to gnaw on a brooding but sometimes static rumination on atonement and the passing of a good-Samaritan torch among our walking wounded.