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January 19–25, 2018

Chicago Premiere

Small Town Crime

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Film still: Small Town Crime Film still: Small Town Crime


"Engagingly anchored by character actor John Hawkes, Small Town Crime is a satisfyingly quirky serving of frisky pulp fiction."
  —Los Angeles Times
"A satisfying, stale-beer crime flick"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"[The film has] cleared room for John Hawkes, one of those actors who are more often seen nibbling at the edges of a scene, leaving perfect little teeth marks that sometimes give a movie its primary texture"
  —New York Times
"[A] crisp and mordantly funny noir"
  —Film Journal International
"A hardboiled melodrama with a heart of tarnished gold"
  —Chicago Tribune

Struggling with alcoholism and seeking absolution for a guilty conscience about his late partner, ex-cop Mike Kendall (John Hawkes) finds a teenaged prostitute barely clinging to life at the side of a road. Determined to find her killer, Mike's unconventional detective style and single-minded determination will threaten the safety of his family as he is drawn into increasingly perilous intrigues in the dark world of thugs, pimps and assassins.

Featuring an outstanding cast, including Academy Award nominee John Hawkes (Winter's Bone, Too Late—Facets Cinémathèque 2016), who brings Mike Kendall to life in emphatic fashion, Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (The Help, Hidden Figures), and noted character actor Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), directors Eshom and Ian Nelms have created a clever and ultra-violent, yet oddly funny, multi-narrative crime film in the tradition of Tarantino and the Coen Brothers.

Small Town Crime is a lean, mean and expertly-made modern day film noir with a hard-edged private eye, femme fatales, and over-the-top gangsters that takes the story over the edge to be exceptional.

Directed by Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms, U.S.A., 2017, 91 mins.


  • Fri., Jan. 19 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Jan. 20 at 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Jan. 21 at 1, 3, 5, & 7 pm
  • Mon., Jan. 22 at 7:30 pm
  • Tues.–Thurs., Jan. 23–25 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation