Review: THE 11TH GREEN

Head-scratching low-key paranoid thriller

“The 11th Green” is a subtly subversive take on alternative history. The film will resonate with conspiracy theorists who believe that the government is hiding the truth about extraterrestrials.

In crafting his odd narrative, writer/director Christopher Munch approaches the material like a television docudrama featured on History (formerly The History Channel). He uses an investigative journalist named Jeremy Rudd (Campbell Scott) as a way into the twisty world of government coverup.

Some of the film’s characters, like President Dwight Eisenhower, are taken from real life, but other details like those concerning alien technology are speculation. The skill involved in crafting this low budget affair should cause some viewers to ask questions and do a little research into the UFO phenomenon. “The 11th Green” isn’t nearly as exciting as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” but both films share provocative common ground.

To shut down his father’s estate, respected journalist Jeremy Rudd travels to an isolated desert town outside a military base. Estranged from his secretive, retired general dad, Rudd’s career as a muckraking broadcaster didn’t help things. As a boy, growing up in Hawaii, he was close friends with a young man who went on to become the nation’s first African American president.

But since taking office, that commander in chief, played by Leith M. Burke doing his best President Obama impression, has stopped calling. Rudd’s constant focus on conspiracies and coverups has left him eternally suspicious and unable to form trusting relationships. Still, when he meets his father’s personal secretary, Laurie Larkspur (Agnes Bruckner), there are sparks between them.

Interrupting that potential romance is the discovery of some revealing materials that were safeguarded by his father. If Rudd shares this information with the world, will he be killed? Will anyone even believe him? While the action quotient is dialed way down, potential danger hangs over everything in this film.

Read the rest of Jonathan’s review online and in print each week in the Times-Herald:

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