Exploring “Dusk for a Hitman”: A Film Review Introduction


In this article, we delve into the intricate details of the crime drama film “Dusk for a Hitman,” directed by Raymond St-Jean. We’ll explore the strengths and weaknesses of the movie, examining its characters, plot, and overall cinematic experience.

1. A Glimpse into the Plot

The film introduces us to Donald Lavoie (played by Éric Bruneau), a Montreal fixer navigating the dangerous world of contract killings. Set in the Fall of 1979, the story revolves around Lavoie’s chilling efficiency in executing hits and his strained relationships within a dark, crime-ridden environment.

1.1. The Central Character: Donald Lavoie

Lavoie emerges as a central figure, portrayed with emotional depth by Bruneau. His character, though based on real-life inspiration, embodies a fictional narrative that brims with cold efficiency and loyalty negotiations.

1.2. The World of Contract Killings

The narrative showcases the stark reality of Lavoie’s profession, depicting the ease with which he and his partner carry out their deadly tasks.

2. Character Study: Strengths and Limitations

Despite its gripping premise, “Dusk for a Hitman” falls short in exploring Lavoie’s inner turmoil and family dynamics.

2.1. Thematic Depth vs. Serviceability

The film’s primary flaw lies in its reluctance to delve deeper into Lavoie’s psyche, rendering the character study merely serviceable rather than profound.

2.2. Family Dynamics

Lavoie’s family life is portrayed with a sense of detachment, highlighting his prioritization of a criminal lifestyle over familial connections.

2.3. Character Development

The narrative’s hollow portrayal of Lavoie’s motivations and relationships detracts from the overall impact of the story.

3. The Acting Brilliance of Éric Bruneau

Bruneau’s portrayal of Lavoie adds a layer of complexity to an otherwise straightforward narrative.

3.1. Expressive Acting

Bruneau’s ability to convey Lavoie’s emotional range elevates the film, offering glimpses into the character’s hidden vulnerabilities.

3.2. Interactions and Rivalries

The dynamic between Lavoie and Detective Burns is a testament to Bruneau’s talent in breathing life into complex relationships.

4. Missed Opportunities and Unexplored Themes

The film’s potential remains largely untapped due to its reluctance to fully explore critical themes and relationships.

4.1. Thinly Developed Relationships

Lavoie’s interactions with family and colleagues lack depth, leaving significant narrative threads unresolved.

4.2. Emotional Resonance

The film’s emotional impact is diminished by its cursory treatment of pivotal plot elements.


In conclusion, “Dusk for a Hitman” is a commendable crime drama that falls short of its potential. While boasting strong performances, particularly from Éric Bruneau, the film’s narrative limitations hinder its ability to deliver a truly immersive experience.


1. What makes “Dusk for a Hitman” unique among crime dramas?

The film’s strength lies in its central character‘s portrayal and the chilling authenticity of its crime world depiction.

2. How does the film handle Lavoie’s family dynamics?

Lavoie’s family is depicted with a sense of detachment, reflecting his immersion in a criminal lifestyle.

3. What role does Éric Bruneau play in elevating the film?

Bruneau’s nuanced performance adds depth and emotional resonance to the character of Lavoie.

4. What are the primary criticisms of the film?

The film’s shortcomings lie in its underdeveloped plot elements and unexplored thematic potential.

5. Would you recommend “Dusk for a Hitman” to viewers?

While not without its merits, the film may appeal more to genre enthusiasts than those seeking profound character-driven narratives.