Michael Keaton directs and plays Knox, a hitman losing his memory, putting him in a race against time to help his estranged son (James Marsden) cover up a messy crime.
Knox Goes Away
Michael Keaton returns to double duty, directing and acting in this crime drama about a hitman who is diagnosed with a fast-moving form of dementia, with one last task to take care of before he can fade away.
After a job goes horribly wrong, John Knox (Keaton) resigns himself to the knowledge that his contract killing days are over and starts gathering his assets to cash out. One night, though, his estranged son, Miles (James Marsden), shows up at his door. Covered in blood and barely able to speak, he begs his father for help covering up a violent crime. Knox sees only one way out, developing a tricky scheme with multiple steps that require precise execution. He enlists the confidence of his friend Xavier (Al Pacino) to keep him on track and begins a race against the clock — and his quickly deteriorating condition — as the police begin to close in with their investigation.
Keaton not only directs this smart script by Gregory Poirier (Rosewood) as a forlorn noir, but adds to his list of memorable performances, portraying Knox’s slow decline from the cold and calculating man who always has a plan, to the lost and confused father looking to make amends. Knox Goes Away makes its mark as a fresh entry into the genre, thanks to the compelling conceit of a man who’s not so eager to hold on to the memories of the things he’s done.
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Content advisory: violence, frightening scenes, coarse language