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Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)?

This crime comedy directed by John Slattery ends up being much more about the chemistry between Jon Hamm and Tina Fey than the murder investigation the plot is built around

Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)?

Release Date: July 4, 2023
Runtime: 01:39
Synopsis:
Police Chief Sanders investigates the bizarre murders of two women with the same name and unravels a web of small-town lies. He meets and quickly falls for Rita, a nosy neighbor who is eager to help solve the mystery.

A small-town sheriff investigates the murders of two women with the same name in Jordan Sanders () is a small-town police chief investigating the murder of a woman named Maggie Moore (Louisa Krause), whose burnt remains were found in her car. Accompanied by his always-joking Deputy Reddy (), Jordan tries to investigate if there is a connection between Maggie's death and the failing submarine shop run by her estranged husband Jay (). During the investigation, Jordan begins to fall for Jay's nosy neighbour Rita Grace (), who assists with the investigation. However, the case suddenly takes a strange turn when a second woman named Maggie Moore also turns up dead.

Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)? Synopsis

Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)? is a crime comedy and the sophomore directorial feature from actor-turned-filmmaker John Slattery (Mad Men). The film stars Slattery's Mad Men co-star Jon Hamm as recently widowed police chief Jordon Sanders, who is having trouble getting back on the saddle after the death of his wife a year prior. Hamm is joined by Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso) as Jordon's Deputy Reddy, who is a habit of cracking jokes at inappropriate times. Amid an increasingly strange murder investigation, Jordon begins to get to know Rita Grace, a divorced woman and neighbour to the victim.

The murder in question comes about in desperation from Jay Moore, whose wife Maggie found “filthy” photos Jay acquired for his sex offender food supplier Tommy T (Derek Basco). Not wanting to take the fall for the photos, Jay hires a hitman named Kosco () to scare Maggie, though the latter ends up killing her. Soon the body count begins to rise as Jay sends Kosco after a second Maggie Moore, to throw the police off the scent.

My Thoughts on Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)?

With Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)? director John Slattery and screenwriter Paul Bernbaum (Next, Hollywoodland) present a very Coen Brothers-esque crime comedy in the vein and Fargo and Burn After Reading. In fact, the set-up of the film ends up being quite similar to Fargo, as a very desperate Joy Moore sends a criminal after his wife Maggie with the intent to scare her, but she ends up being murdered, with more deaths to follow in an elaborate attempt of a cover-up.

As there is no real whodunnit aspect of the plot, Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)? ends up being much more of a character study. It can be argued that the murder investigation is a distraction for Jordon Sanders, who still hasn't gotten over the death of his wife. While he ends up connecting with Rita Grace, he is reluctant to take things to the next step.

Arguably, I would say that the chemistry between Jon Hamm and Tina Fey is probably the best aspect of Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)? The murder investigation is ultimately only a way to bring Jordon and Rita together and the increased desperation of Jay Moore, leading to an increasing body count, is not as engaging to watch, since he is immediately established as a not that-particularly likeable person, who is already taking shortcuts to keep his sandwich shop alive. While ultimately a comedy, Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)? does continue its similarities to Fargo by going in a surprisingly dark and violent direction in the climax.

Trailer for Who Killed Maggie Moore(s)?

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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