Review: A SCORE TO SETTLE Is A Fun But Generic Revenge Thriller


If you enjoy wacky Nicolas Cage B-movies, A Score to Settle is for you, no matter how ridiculous the twists and turns may be.
Technical Merit

A Score to Settle, written by John Newman and directed by Shawn Ku, has a plot like pretty much any other B-movie starring Nicolas Cage. However, unlike most of the other films in which he appears nowadays, this is actually somewhat enjoyable, and not a brooding and dark dirge.

The movie follows a former mob enforcer who, recently released from prison for a crime he did not commit, seeks revenge against the people who put him there. Although this story is nothing new, and the film does very little to differentiate itself from any other movie of the type, it is still surprisingly enjoyable to watch.

Although the film is entirely predictable (down to the absolutely bonkers and unintentionally hilarious twist), it manages to move along at a really good pace. The first half of the movie is much more lighthearted than you would expect, showing the protagonist as he attempts to re-adjust to society outside of prison, and then the second half pivots into a more gritty revenge thriller.

Of course, the main reason why this film is so enjoyable to watch is Nicolas Cage. As in pretty much any other movie he does, Cage goes all in on the performance, delivering his lines with a wacky and fun over-the-top manner. Granted, it is the exact same performance he gives in pretty much every movie, but it works quite well in this scenario.

a score to settle bar
Nicolas Cage as Frank in RLJE Films’ action/thriller “A SCORE TO SETTLE”. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films.

Additionally, the character development in the movie is surprisingly strong. Early in the film, we are introduced to Cage’s character as a flawed person who has made mistakes but has worked to redeem himself. The way in which his relationship with his son develops over the course of the movie also helps make him even more sympathetic and likable.

Emotionally, the film hits most of its intended beats, even if it is in a way that feels forced and a tad manipulative. The protagonist’s insomnia, for example, is something that helps us connect with the character and makes the story feel more resonant. We feel pity and sadness for his situation, and therefore some of his actions feel more justifiable to us.

On a technical level, the movie is definitely quite messy. Admittedly, you would expect nothing else from a B-movie like this, but this film is even more all-over-the-place than the rest of Cage’s recent movies like this. The visuals switch constantly from oversaturated to overly stylized. Had the filmmakers chose one or the other, the film could have been much better.

A Score to Settle is a ton of fun for what it is. If you come in expecting a masterpiece, you will surely be disappointed. However, if you want a schlocky action movie featuring the always entertaining Nicolas Cage, this movie is definitely worth the rental fee.

A Score to Settle hits theaters and VOD on August 2.


The Outsider: Analyzing Holly Gibney Featurette | HBO

Stephen King and members of the cast and crew share what viewers can expect from The Outsider. Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, watch The Outsider on Sundays at 9pm on HBO. #HBO #TheOutsiderHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: The 10-episode series follows police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn), as he sets…

Supernatural | Season 15 Episode 10 | The Heroes’ Journey Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Supernatural Fridays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About SUPERNATURAL: The thrilling and terrifying journey of the Winchester brothers continues as SUPERNATURAL enters its thirteenth season. Sam and Dean have spent their lives on the road, battling supernatural threats that include everything from the demon that killed their…

Official Cast Recap of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina | Parts 1 & 2 | Netflix

It's almost time. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 premieres January 24, and to get you ready, CAOS cast Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Gavin Leatherwood, Chance Perdomo andTati Gabrielle tell you everything that happened on the show so far, in an epic recap of parts 1 and 2. Watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Only on…

Batwoman | Season 1 Episode 11 | An Un-birthday Present Promo | The CW

Watch new episodes on Sunday and stream Batwoman from the beginning, free only on The CW app: SUBSCRIBE: About BATWOMAN: Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, she must first overcome her own…

The New Pope: My Time Has Come (Episode 1 Clip) | HBO

Cardinal Voiello makes a compelling case for the papacy. #HBO #TheNewPope #TheNewPopeHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino returns with The New Pope, his second original series set in the world of the modern papacy. Written by Sorrenttino with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Bises, the nine-episode original series features Jude…

Next In Fashion Competition Series | Official Trailer | Netflix

Designers team up to create visionary looks that work for everyone in this new fashion competition series hosted by style icons Tan France and Alexa Chung. The winner will receive a $250,000 prize and the opportunity to debut their collection with fashion retailer Net-a-Porter. All 10 episodes of Next In Fashion launch on Netflix January…

Wrong Man Season 2 Official Trailer | STARZ

The true crime phenomenon continues. Joe Berlinger’s Wrong Man returns February 9th on STARZ. #WrongMan #STARZ Subscribe to the STARZ YouTube Channel for more documentaries: Get your free trial of the STARZ app: Like STARZ on Facebook: Follow STARZ on Twitter: Follow STARZ on Instagram: Visit STARZ on YouTube:

Bad Boys for Life | Movie Review

Ashley reviews Bad Boys for Life. The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life. Directed by: Adil El Abri, Bilall Fallah Written by: Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Paola Nunez,…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here