The Channel (2023) Review



The Channel is one of William Kaufman’s best films as everything just comes together perfectly; it has a great cast, explosive action scenes and it’s one of the fastest 95 minutes of the year. Big studio pictures take note – your movies don’t need to be over 2 hours long to tell a good story.

Plot: After their bank heist goes wrong, a desperate criminal, his out-of-control brother, and their motley crew of ex-marines must escape New Orleans and the determined FBI agent who pursues them.

Review: The Channel has been one of my most anticipated films of the year because when it comes to action William Kaufman never disappoints; as expected The Channel is one of the best action movies of the year with great characters, rapid fire pacing and near constant action.  There are so many action highlights here but I have to mention the opening shoot-out which nearly rivals Heat for sheer intensity; it needs to be watched with the volume way up as the gunfire is deafening with incredible sound design.

I think I connected with this movie so much as it’s about the relationship between two brothers and as I have two brothers myself who I love more than anything then I was engaged from the start. I even teared up a little at the end but they were tears of manliness, so it’s acceptable.

Clayne Crawford and Max Martini are perfectly cast as the very different siblings who have their own ways of dealing with problems where Martini’s character is mostly psychotic waking up each morning and choosing violence. Crawford plays the more sane brother who has his own reasons for being involved with the heist which I won’t go into here to avoid spoilers.

It’s nice to see Mike Lobo Daniels and like I always say he deserves his own prequel spin-off as he makes every movie better just by being there. Gary Cairns also shines in a brief but pivotal scene proving how even in a limited role he still shines.

The music score is haunting with its ethereal female vocals and it just works perfectly for this kind of story. The script also has some nice moments and my favourite line has to be “I don’t have the time nor the crayons to explain this to you”.

At an hour and 35 minutes The Channel doesn’t waste a moment of screen time with regular action scenes, some disturbing moments of violence (some involving acid…) but most importantly good characters. Even the FBI agent gets a decent arc so everyone feels like a believable human rather than just good/bad guys.

Overall, The Channel is one of the year’s best action movies with memorable characters, explosive action scenes and brisk pacing that never lets up. My only problem is that I wish it was released in theatres as I imagine it would be spectacular. William Kaufman one again proves you don’t need a budget of a hundred million to make a cracking action movie and he should be proud of this one as it’s one of his best to date.