Shane Paul McGhie and Richard Jenkins serve up a quiet, philosophical slice of life in “The Last Shift.”
This is the kind of movie you probably think of when you hear the words “indie film.” It’s about an older guy who works at a fast-food restaurant and a younger guy with far different views who reluctantly becomes his colleague.
Stanley (Jenkins) has worked the same job for 38 years, happy with his $13-an-hour pay for his graveyard-shift duties.
He’s getting ready to head south to Miami, where he can help care for his mother. His life plods along as usual, and Stanley, who lives alone, has few complaints.
But then Jevon (McGhie, television’s “Greenleaf”) comes along to challenge Stanley’s perspective on just about everything. Jevon, just out of prison, is a new dad. He’s smart, analystical and needs the job because it’s required for his parole.
Stanley is supposed to train Jevon to take over once Stanley leaves. He is astonished that Stanley is satisfied with his pay after decades of work, and also that Stanley doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of white privilege, or how it has played out in his life.
Ed O’Neill is welcome as a Stanley’s friend – possibly his only one – from high school.
Director/screenwriter Andrew Cohn has a knack for showing how real people talk, and what they talk about. I really appreciate the dialogue in this dramedy.
It does have some comic moments, particularly when Stanley purchases a used car.
But these two men lead fairly serious lives, with a lot at stake, especially during a life-changing event that’s the result of their pasts.
You’ll enjoy getting to know them and watching ace performers inhabit these characters.
3.5 out of 4 stars
Rated: R for foul language and brief violence.
Running time: One hour and 30 minutes.