“Small Engine Repair” (2021) starring Jon Bernthal, Shea Whigham, John Pollono, Ciara Bravo & Spencer House / Z-View

Small Engine Repair (2021)

Director: John Pollono

Screenplay: John Pollono

Stars: Jon Bernthal, Shea Whigham, Jordana Spiro, John Pollono, Ciara Bravo, Spencer House, Josh Helman, James Badge Dale and James Ransone 

Tagline:  None.

The Plot…

Frank (J. Pollono), Terrence (Bernthal) and Packie (Whigham) have been best friends since high school.  When Frank’s marriage broke up, he kept custody of his daughter, Crystal (Bravo).  Thankfully, the guys stepped in to help raise her.  When Frank had to do some time in prison because of his temper, the guys took custody of Crystal until Frank got out.  Now Crystal is about to go to college and the guys can breathe a little easier…

When Frank asks Terrence and Packie to meet him one night at his small engine repair shop, they have no idea what’s up.  When they learn that it involves something that happened to Crystal, there is no line that they won’t cross to make things right.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

I’m surprised that more people aren’t talking about Small Engine Repair.  It is one of the most under-rated movies I’ve seen this year.  John Pollono adapted his play for the screen, directed and also stars.  He’s joined by Jon Bernthal, Shea Whigham (both are always great), Ciara Bravo and Spencer House (who more than hold their own).

Small Engine Repair reminded me of Slingblade in that it’s a small budget film, focused on working class folks with a powerful story that was written and directed by the star of the film.  Small Engine Repair takes time to set everything up and covers a lot of ground.  Then we get to the last act and the tension mounts as we learn what Frank has planned.  Once all cards are on the table there is no turning back… or is there?

I loved Small Engine Repair and hope that more people get a chance to see it.

Small Engine Repair earns 5 of 5 stars.