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Review: Lo-fi crime drama ‘Counterfeiters’ stumbles with points for style

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Bryce Hirschberg in the movie “The Counterfeiters.”
(David Klassen)

Bryce Hirschberg writes, directs and stars in “Counterfeiters,” a DIY dude-brah SoCal noir, about a young man who dabbles in the copying cash game and finds himself in over his head.

Bridger (Hirschberg) has pure motivations but takes to a life of crime a little too easily. When his mother informs him that her cancer has returned, he vows to save her life. GoFundMe? Nope. Bridger starts printing twenties on a yacht parked in a local marina. He’s got a lot to juggle, including a demanding girlfriend and his posse of preppy counterfeiters. Thanks to a few small missteps, it all starts to crumble, almost as soon as it gets started. Things escalate dramatically, in ways they never could have expected.

Hirschberg has a knack for the kind of realistic low-key dialogue that feels natural among this crew of lo-fi low-lifes, but the overall structure and plot of the film is bizarrely anti-dramatic. Extreme events happen rapidly, with little fanfare or suspense, while rambling conversations are given prominence.

“Counterfeiters” is an amateurish first film, with inexperienced actors, clunky writing and a homemade ambiance. But the ambition and moments of inspired style are be lauded.

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‘Counterfeiters’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 16 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood

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