Victor Nunez is one of the treasures of American independent film. Year after year, he works Florida's Gulf Coast and Panhandle, giving us against-the-grain jewels like "Gal Young 'Un," "Ruby in Paradise" and "Ulee's Gold." It seems incredible that his 2002 "Coastlines" has had to wait this long for wide release. True, his nuanced, lyrical style is a hard sell to the American mainstream. But "Coastlines" is as close as he has come to a conventional narrative.

Essentially, it's a revenge movie, set in motion when Timothy Olyphant's Eddie returns home from three years in prison for drug-running, seeking $200,000 that William Forsythe's local druglord owes him. When the druglord torches Eddie's house, killing Eddie's father, Eddie vows payback. He also gets diverted dangerously when he rekindles a romance with Sara Wynter's nurse, now married to his best friend, sheriff's deputy Josh Brolin.

It's messy, but the wheels turn satisfyingly, avoiding cliches as loose cannon Eddie sets a course. The acting is filled with the character-defining grace notes that mark Nunez's films, and the actors feel at home in the Florida locale -- which Nunez sees as a place where healing energies are to be found, even in the case of increasing encroachment from community-threatening corporate land developers and drug cartels.

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