I have always stepped in to bat for Kevin Smith. He's made great movies and he's made crap movies... but I like his style. Not only his film style but also his relationship with fans and his opinions of the industry. The biggest criticism about him is that he's a one trick pony, which has been more or less true. He made a tiny little indie flick nearly 20 years ago and was instantly projected to stardom. He then made a string of films with bigger budgets that all related to that original flick. And then he decided to break free from that mold and was struck down by his critics. His response to that was to cower and return to his usual schtick... and so he made a few more. CUT TO Red State. WOW. This is a belter. Leaving the stoner comedies behind him he has delivered a fast paced, violent and bold thriller. Red State is about a small religious cult who murder "sinners" (mostly gays) and they find themselves under siege with the FBI. It's quite simple but its made so well. It looks great and plays out uniquely. I was constantly surprised with the directions the film kept taking and it (imo) is finally Smith's proof that he's a real film maker. Michael Parkes is awesome as the sect leader and Melissa Leo is great as a fanatical worshipper. Red State is a welcome change of direction for Kevin Smith and I am looking forward to whats to come. It's worth checking out the production and marketing details of Red State because its really unique and courageous and possibly pioneering. Especially check out Smith's speech at the Sundance Film Festival.... and see Red State. Very cool.