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Richard Kulinski was a contract killer for the New York mafia for over 40 years.  His immense physical size, 6’5″ and 300lbs, was daunting enough.   But his notorious actions and methods of killing brought him a boogeyman presence, where he was known for having no mercy and showing no remorse to his victims.   The government ran an investigation on him for a year to charge him with two (2) murders.   Little did they know the person they would arrest would take credit for almost two hundred and fifty (250) contract killings.

Michael Shannon plays Kulinski with an extreme brooding intensity.  He plays the character as the calmest boiling pot I have ever seen.   I was on edge wondering when he would explode.  When he was arrested, the people he knew described him as a loving husband and a doting, caring father.   In fact, Kulinski’s family was shocked to learn what he did for a living.   Everyone who knew the “regular” guy was shocked.   He was just a magician at separating his work life from his family life.

Winona Ryder really is a great addition and the long suffering wife.  Kulinski is cold emotion when dealing with his family.  So Ryder provides the film’s emotional center, which is very unusual when film is not about her character.  She plays the wife of a sociopath very well.

2.5 stars – A Hitting a Mark recommendation