Among the grimmer and grittier potboilers of Liam Neeson’s resurgent career as a thriller/action hero, this slow-burn neo-noir can be a hard sit. The villains are twisted, the good guys are flawed, and it’s blatantly misogynistic. But it’s extremely well crafted and not without its rewards.

Neeson plays an ex-cop unlicensed PI and recovering alcoholic. (Yes, I know. Again. But no one does world-weary better.) He’s asked to find and foil a sadistic serial kidnapper/killer targeting the wives of drug traffickers, who are unlikely to go to the police. It’s all fairly creepy. Call it the anti-Taken. Japanese title: Yūkai no Okite. (113 min)