Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 2002. Warner Bros., Castle Rock Entertainment, Schroeder Hoffman Productions. Screenplay by Tony Gayton. Cinematography by Luciano Tovoli. Produced by Richard Crystal, Susan Hoffman, Barbet Schroeder. Music by Clint Mansell. Production Design by Stuart Wurtzel. Costume Design by Carol Oditz. Film Editing by Lee Percy.
Two high-school students, one rich and popular (Ryan Gosling), the other a sullen outcast (Michael Pitt), plot the perfect murder and expect perfect results (i.e. never getting caught), but they have a top-ace homicide detective (Sandra Bullock) on the case, and she smells trouble when clues lead away from the two misfits and towards an innocent janitor (Chris Penn). This tricky little thriller boasts an interesting and intricate plot set-up, but with Barbet Schroeder’s lackluster direction guiding it there’s not much else to recommend it. Bullock is good at her savvy-cop scenes but otherwise her work falls flat (and it doesn’t help that the character isn’t all that three-dimensional either). The subplot involving her relationship with her new partner (Ben Chaplin) is an especially dry one in a film that is already far too slow for its subject matter.