Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2003. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Original Film, Monarch Pictures. Screenplay by David Collard. Cinematography by Theo van de Sande. Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Jesse Beaton. Music by Graeme Revell. Production Design by Paul Peters. Costume Design by Sharen Davis. Film Editing by Carole Kravetz Aykanian. Toronto International Film Festival 2003.
Denzel Washington is excellent as a tired, unmotivated Florida Keys police chief who is divorcing his detective wife (Eva Mendes) and having an affair with a woman (Sanaa Lathan) who is married to an abusive paramedic (Dean Cain). When Lathan turns out to be dying of cancer and is in an advanced stage, Washington decides to steal money acquired during a drug-bust from his station’s safe and give it to her so she can afford to visit a specialist in Switzerland. A day after Washington gives her the money, both Lathan and Cain turn up dead in a house fire, the money is missing, and the Feds are on their way to pick it up as evidence for another case they’re looking to close, spinning our hero’s previously lethargic life into a terrifying frenzy. The screws tighten quite beautifully in a plot-driven mystery with rich characters that descends into silly sentimentality in its closing scenes but is otherwise flawless.