Jericho Ridge (2024)

Now in Select Theaters and on VOD.

If you’re looking for a tightly packed and well-constructed classic siege action thriller than “Jericho Ridge” might be the cure that ails you. I was frankly very surprised with how well Will Gilbey was able to compose such a tense and well-crafted picture on what looks like a pretty small budget. The flaws reveal themselves in small increments, but they thankfully never hinder what is a movie so worthy of experiencing. “Jericho Ridge” owes a lot to “Assault on Precinct 13” where Gilbey pits one lone Sheriff against a skilled group of criminals, all of whom are trying to infiltrate her only strong hold.

North Washington county sheriff Tabby finds herself alone in the sheriff’s office one night while her colleagues are out on patrol, but she soon finds out they’ve been set up by a murderous drug cartel while she herself comes under siege at the office, where she must battle desperately to save herself and her son.

Director-Writer Gilbey sets up the stakes very well, not giving our heroine Sheriff Tabby much of a chance to survive against these impossible odds. She’s hobbled from a broken ankle, she’s dealing with a very rebellious son as a single mother, and she’s confronted with these faceless individuals that will do anything to get to her. Star Nikki Amuka-Bird is more than up to the task to play Sheriff Tabby, a very noble and courageous woman who does everything she can to play the situation to her favor. She relies so much on her quick wits and ability to be a convincing warrior that often times she gets by on the skin of her teeth.

One moment involving a standoff is particularly tense as she has nothing but a wing and a prayer, and some really crafty mental manipulation to overcome the odds. Kudos go to star Amika-Bird, as she carries the film big time with such a relentlessly emotional and determined delivery. Despite this being Gilbey’s film debut, “Jericho Ridge” is tense and well composed to where we’re given so many point of views as to what’s unfolding. Tabby is forced to attend to the security monitors, and doors, and windows altogether, all while hoping her back up arrives before it’s all over.

All things said, the ultimate resolution and explanation for the siege in the final minutes does border on being much too convoluted to catch up with. But that thankfully doesn’t hinder the overall experience and very strong performances from the collective cast. “Jericho Ridge” is very much an exciting, classic survival thriller that would have been a top tier “movie night” rental in the video store heydays.