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"Murder of a Cat": In Which, Yes, a Cat Is Murdered, and Investigated 

Tuesday, Dec 2 2014

Cat harshness alert: The title of Gillian Greene's comedy is not metaphorical. It is indeed about a cat's murder, and we see quite a lot of the deceased feline. The cat's owner is a twentysomething nerd named Clinton (Fran Kranz) who still lives in his mother's basement, creating action figures and seldom changing out of his bathrobe. When he finds his cat impaled with a crossbow on the street, Clinton sets out to find the culprit, an investigation involving a local hairstylist named Greta (Nikki Reed), a big-box store owner named Ford (Greg Kinnear), and the town's sheriff (J.K. Simmons), whom Clinton really wishes wasn't quite so into Clinton's mom (Blythe Danner). Murder of a Cat is occasionally reminiscent of Quentin Duplex's Wrong, also a suburban mystery spurred on by foul play involving a pet (though in Wrong it was a stolen dog rather than a murdered cat, because you can't kill dogs in movies). But where that film was overwhelmed by its self-conscious absurdism, Murder almost doesn't go far enough: The picture could use more laughs, and perhaps a little less attention paid to how Greta helps Clinton learn to be a man. Still, if nothing else, Murder of a Cat is a good example of why cats should be kept indoors.


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Sherilyn Connelly


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