Review: L.A. lawyer finds redemption in ‘Texas Heart’

“Texas Heart”
Erik Fellows stars in the movie “Texas Heart.”
(Indie Rights)

Despite an often jury-rigged narrative saddled with a few too many clichés, the redemption drama “Texas Heart,” shot and directed by Mark David from a script by Daniel Blake Smith and Nick Feild, is an involving, largely likable film with a sincere emotional core. 

Erik Fellows brings movie-star charisma to his role as Peter, an opportunistic lawyer who runs afoul of a ruthless crime boss (a scenery-chewing Lin Shaye). Fearing for his life, he escapes Los Angeles and lands in an unlikely hideaway: the tiny backwoods burg of Juniper, Texas.

The Gucci-shoed, fish-out-of-water Peter raises eyebrows as he moves into a dumpy rental and pretends to be a wandering novelist named Frank. Small towns being what they are, there’s plenty of soap opera to be had, including tales of murder-suicide, desperate single parents, antsy teens, football heroes, drug and alcohol issues and loose-lipped locals.

As Peter/Frank maintains his low profile, he befriends Tiger (Cam Dabrowski) a mentally challenged young man who, in a less-than-convincing turn, is accused of killing a missing homecoming queen (Daniela Bobadilla). Ready to do some good, Peter defends Tiger in court, even if it means attracting the attention of the mobsters who still want Peter dead.


The various story strands come crashing together in ways that are both beyond belief and strangely satisfying. A collection of down-home types, including a grizzled John Savage, effectively portray the Juniper denizens, despite being stuck spouting their share of “over yonders” and “I reckons.” 


‘Texas Heart’

Not rated


Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood