Too Late (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Too Late (2016)



Critic Consensus: Too Late pays homage to its genre inspirations affectionately enough to beg forgiveness for relying on them so heavily.

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Movie Info

Private investigator Mel Sampson (Academy Award nominee John Hawkes) is tasked with tracking down the whereabouts of a missing woman from his own past. With this familiar setup, TOO LATE takes the spine of the classic private eye genre and tears it to pieces, weaving it back together into a tapestry of southern California and the menagerie of eccentric personalities and lost souls who inhabit it. From the desolate, overgrown Radio Hill to the ritzy penthouse of The Beverly Hilton, the film presents a sprawling view of Los Angeles that ranges from the undiscovered to the iconic. Ultimately, TOO LATE tells the story of a missing woman, but paints the portrait of a lost man.

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John Hawkes
as Sampson, Mel Sampson
Crystal Reed
as Dorothy
Natalie Zea
as Mary Mahler
Robert Forster
as Gordy Lyons
Rider Strong
as Matthew
Vail Bloom
as Janet Lyons
Joanna Cassidy
as Eleanor Mahler
Sally Jaye
as as Herself
Helen Sadler
as Girl on Balcony
Christopher K. Johnson
as Dead Park Ranger
David Yow
as Arthur
Monica Olive
as Ticket Girl at Drive-In
Madison Morris
as Sampson's Imaginary Daughter
J.R. Starr
as Old Man at Drive-In
Gabriel Alec Whitney
as Hotel Bartender
Fil Krohnengold
as Sally Jaye's Band (Lead Guitar)
Shiben Bhattacharya
as Sally Jaye's Band (Upright Bass)
The Deacon
as Sally Jaye's Band (Drums)
Korey Simone
as Sally Jaye's Band (Violin)
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Critic Reviews for Too Late

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (13)

With "Too Late," Hauck confirms that he's a master of the film medium. What's less convincing is why this film matters.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

A stylized blend of classic film noir and New Hollywood pulp, this remarkable debut feature may grate on mainstream viewers with its affected drama and offbeat pacing, but cinephiles will be charmed.

April 21, 2016 | Full Review…

Almost any scene with Hawkes is alive and satisfyingly showy. You feel his absence when he isn't there, though Joanna Cassidy, Crystal Reed and Robert Forster all have their moments.

April 14, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The puzzle pieces of Hauck's brain-teaser don't always come together perfectly, but there's no denying it's infectious fun.

April 7, 2016 | Full Review…

While it can be frustrating to see some filmmakers dash off copies of other movies, it's deeply enjoyable to find one who so appreciates his inspirations.

March 31, 2016 | Full Review…

The hyperverbal screenplay quickly grows tiresome, from the sub-"Pulp Fiction" prattle of two drug dealers (Dash Mihok and Rider Strong) to one act after another in which desperate women are preyed upon or saved by the men around them.

March 31, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Too Late


This continously shot mystery is clever and a little too clever for its own good. The slow pace works for me, the film is very well acted and John Hawkes is incredible. The slow burning plot unfolds in pieces and when we learn the truth it has a strong gut punch moment that will linger after the credits roll. The camera technique is a gimmick that doesn't always work but it sets itself apart from films in the genre. I liked this quite like Brick many years before. The talent behind the film will move onto further projects and based on this impressive film, they will have a bright future.

Brendan O'Connor
Brendan O'Connor

Super Reviewer

I saw this at the Cleveland International Film Festival. It is perhaps the worst thing I have seen in the many years I've attended this festival and by far the worst thing I've seen screened at the Cleveland Cinematheque. This is Cleveland native Dennis Hauck first feature. He attempts to use the gimmick of five 20-minute uncut scenes to tell his story. He makes multiple references to cheap thrillers like Carnival of Souls from 1962. I was repeatedly reminded by the gratuitous nudity, drugs and violence, fundamentally gratuitous-Tarantino, that this feels like an over-inflated film-student film. The writing and way the actresses were forced to appear topless or obviously braless also reminded me of the trashy The Room by Tommy Wiseau and Fateful Findings by Neil Breen. The film does have John Hawkes as the private investigator in its favor (and probably one of the few reasons it got picked up by festivals). The non-linear plot used to cause disorientation, the at times sloppy camera work, and the mediocre to vapid supporting cast are not saved by some 35mm film purist bull.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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