Starring Forest Whitaker, Harvey Keitel and Brenda Blethen, 2014's "Two Men in Town" features a convict who converts to the Muslim faith while in prison and begins a new life in a small town in New Mexico. Knowing the man's criminal past, a sheriff and an old pal from the underworld decide to make his life miserable.
Directed by Rachid Bouchareb, who is well-known in France for the film “Indigènes,” "Two Men in Town" is loosely based on a 1973 French crime drama. To modernize the movie, the setting was altered to New Mexico and the convict joining Islam.
After serving time for killing a deputy, main character Garnett leaves prison three years early. Having been commended by his spiritual adviser for learning to manage his anger, Garnett leisurely explores the town on his motorcycle. Meanwhile, town sheriff Agati stews and plots to drive Garnett out of the area while a previous criminal associate tries to sway him back into a life of crime.
Cultural conflicts play out with tremendous tension due to the differences inherent in the environment and character personalities. For example, when Garnett tells his parole officer of an impending date, she strongly advises him to tell the date of his criminal past. While he eventually does this, the sheriff continues to badger him, leaving him to withdraw into himself with disastrous consequences.