It's difficult to knock Liam Neeson and the transformation for his career. He wasn't Matthew McConaughey. He wasn't being typecast, particularly. He wasn't getting bogged down with romantic-comedies, or throwaway thrillers. 

Liam NeesonLiam Neeson in 'A Walk Among Tombstones'

Stellar turns in Les Miserables, Michael Collins, The Endurance and Gangs of New York led to an incredible Oscar-nominated in performance in Kinsey. And then a formulaic, French produced action movie came along, Taken. Based on a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, the movie starred Neeson as a retired CIA operative from their elite Special Activities Division who sets off to track down his teenage daughter after she is kidnapped. It made almost $200 million more than its production budget and proved Neeson still had the on-screen presence to delight as a Hollywood leading man.  

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A string of starring roles in family action flicks followed, including Clash of the Titans, The A-Team, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Unknown, Battleship, Taken 2 and the excellent The Grey. Neeson had found his range and even turned down the role of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's epic biopic, which led to the casting of Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis. Now, after the success of terrorist drama Non-Stop, Neeson is continuing his strong association with action-dramas with A Walk Among Tombstones.

Liam NeesonLiam Neeson has found his niche

The Irish actor plays Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who works as an unlicensed private investigator operating "just" outside the law. Sound familiar? When Scudden agrees to help a heroin trafficker hunt down the man who kidnapped and murdered his wife, he learns that this isn't the first time the men have committed this sort of crime. 

"Like a good butcher's cleaver, it's weighty, solid and sharp - an effective matching of director and star in what is hopefully the first of a new film series," said Dan Jolin of Empire magazine.

"Nobody can call this Taken In A Graveyard. Matt Scudder is Neeson's most intriguing role in years," said Any Lea of the Daily Star.

"Exciting, in places, though a stranger to subtlety, it ticks all the genre boxes, but there's something about its knowing noirisms that feels superficial rather than soaked-in," said Matt Glasby of Total Film.

"All of Scott Frank's thematic concerns are little more than window dressing for a run-of-the-mill detective story in line with '90s thrillers like The Bone Collector," warned Chris Cabin of Slant magazine. 

A Walk Among Tombstones hits cinemas in the UK on September 19, 2014. 

Watch the trailer for 'A Walk Among Tombstones':