Taking Lives (2004)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA/Australia/Canada, 2004.  Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures.  Screen story and Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Fresh and full of fun surprises, this involving thriller begins in rural Quebec in the seventies when a teenager causes another boy to die in an accident and makes it seem as if the death was his own. Flash forward to present day Montreal where a recently murdered body is found and the local head of police () brings in a top-notch homicide profiler () from the American FBI to help solve the case.  A gung-ho detective () on the Montreal force objects to the interference of an outsider, but eventually this team must band together to catch a serial killer who may have been appropriating people’s lives for almost thirty years. It’s a crackpot case made complicated by a frightened witness () who saw one of the crimes being committed and now gains emotional involvement from our heroine. Although it features some cherry-red herrings and loose plot tangents (‘ character is dissatisfyingly involved), this chiller has genuinely jumpy moments and delicious twists that, while not always unpredictable, are well-plotted and thorough.  Jolie is confident and impressive in the lead, a mini-Jane Tennison who has a fair share of vulnerability but will never let you down.  co-stars as the object of the investigation’s hunt and provides terrific support as Martinez’s partner.

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