With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, here are some reasons why A Walk Among The Tombstones didn’t work at the global box office:
Kenny Kristo (Dan Stevens) hires Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson) to find the people who kidnapped his wife, but he is not going to get his wife back because she is already dead. Any victory achieved is a hollow one, because the client–not the protagonist–is looking for revenge.
Kristo is a drug trafficker so he isn’t the most sympathetic of characters. Also, even though they take their time getting to this point in the movie, we know from the trailer itself that Scudder stopped being a cop because he killed an innocent during his pursuit of three armed guys. This doesn’t make Scudder’s journey towards redemption all that appealing either.
While it is proven that the two kidnapper-killers (David Harbour and Adam David Thompson) are sickos with a serious bloodlust, this information is conclusively delivered pretty late in the film. And then it isn’t dealt with in a manner that offers any genuine satisfaction to viewers.
As a writer Scott Frank–also the director of this movie–has been involved with films like Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Minority Report, and The Wolverine, so one would imagine he has a sense of how to structure a spectacle – or at least a satisfying movie. This is definitely not in evidence on A Walk Among The Tombstones.
Final Analysis: The slack pace of the film is another detriment to either truly getting into the film or deriving any entertainment from the proceedings.
My Advice: Skip it, unless you have precious little else to do with your time on a particular day.