** (out of four)
Apparently nobody in “The Son of No One” has heard of self-defense and accidents. Otherwise, rookie cop Jonathan (Channing Tatum) wouldn’t be freaking out over the reporter (Juliette Binoche) who follows anonymous letters about two unsolved murders that Jonathan committed as a scared kid in 1986 Queens. (Clearly whoever’s texting Jonathan messages like “We know what you did” is an “I Know What You Did Last Summer” fan.) Writer-director Dito Montiel (“A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” “Fighting”) captures the anxiety of children living in danger and works well with casting that could have gone wrong. Consequently, Tatum, Al Pacino (as the ex-partner of Jonathan’s dead father), Ray Liotta (as Pacino’s successor on the force), Katie Holmes (as Jonathan’s alienated wife) and, yes, Tracy Morgan (as the troubled, grown-up version of Will’s best childhood friend) provide credibility to a messy story that constantly loses it.
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7:30 a.m. on WCIU, the Umpais@tribune.com. @mattpais