Philip Bulcock in "Crossroad." (New Day Entertainment )
The faith-based ensemble drama "Crossroad" builds considerable power as it weaves its pensive tale of life, death and destiny.
Although writer-director Shervin Youssefian might have considered one more script pass (there's some awkward dialogue and several thin characterizations here) and a stronger grip on his less proficient cast members, he has clearly worked hard to create a meaningful journey.
Set mostly in an L.A.-area diner, with flashbacks revealing the main characters' backstories, the movie brings together a dozen strangers whose lives unexpectedly overlap. This setup might seem more contrived than it already does if not for the story's convincing spiritual streak; there's a "bigger plan" at work.
At the center is Michael (Philip Bulcock), a man haunted by the deaths of his wife and daughter six years before at the hands of unstable fellow church attendee, Clef (Sean Galuszka). Under the guise of a job interview -- but with revenge in mind -- Michael sets a meeting at the diner with Clef, who's just been released from prison.
But, after Michael, as well as a cross-section of patrons (an unfaithful husband, a suicidal veteran, a devout ex-Army colonel, an orphaned teen and others) land at the eatery, two ski-masked armed robbers blow in, upending Michael's desperate plan.
What follows is an often tense, involving, ultimately touching tale of redemption and forgiveness.
"Crossroad." MPAA rating: PG-13 for violence and thematic elements. Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes. At Pacific's Glendale 18, Glendale; Pacific's Winnetka Stadium 21, Chatsworth.