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The Dinner

Writer-director Oren Moverman, who crafted the tautly paced dramas The Messenger and Rampart, makes a rare misstep with this plodding and unsatisfying morality tale, which begs and pleads with us to put ourselves in the place of the conflicted characters. Dashing US senator Stan Lohman (Richard Gere) arrives at a fancy restaurant with his glamorous wife Katelyn (Rebecca Hall) for an urgent summit over dinner with his scholarly brother Paul (Steve Coogan) and sister-in-law Claire (Laura Linney). It transpires that Stan's adopted son Rick (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) and Paul's son Michael (Charlie Plummer) have committed a horrific and violent crime, and evidence of their wrongdoing has been captured on CCTV. It is only a matter of time before the teenagers are exposed and Stan will have to weather a political storm. As the respective parents angrily debate the best course of action over a five-course meal, Stan's trusty personal assistant Nina (Adepero Oduye) repeatedly interrupts proceeding with urgent telephone calls and the maitre d' Dylan (Michael Chernus) goes out of his way to diffuse a potentially explosive situation in his dining room.