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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Movie Review - Secret in Their Eyes

Secret in Their Eyes (2015)
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Dean Norris, Alfred Molina, Michael Kelly, Joe Cole, and Zoe Graham
Directed by Billy Ray

In 2002 in the months following the September 11 attacks, a group of Los Angeles investigators find themselves keeping a close eye on a mosque for any signs of terrorist activity.  One afternoon, they are called to a parking garage adjacent to the mosque to investigate a girl's body found in a dumpster.  Upon arrival, Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) discovers that dead girl is Carolyn (Zoe Graham), the daughter of Jess (Julia Roberts), a fellow investigator in his office.  Devastated, Ray sets out to find out who committed this heinous act, but he's met with resistance within his office as his prime suspect - Marzin, a young Russian man (Joe Cole) - is a mole within the mosque.  With his boss (Alfred Molina) and the new district attorney Claire (Nicole Kidman), Ray seeks out justice on his own, but unfortunately doesn't succeed.  Thirteen years later, Ray, now an independent investigator, has never stopped looking for Marzin, whom he believes is Carolyn's murderer, and he may have discovered his current location.

Thus is the story of Secret in Their Eyes, a remake of a well-regarded Argentinean film from 2009.  Spanning more than a decade and told in two parallel-running time frames, director-writer Billy Ray's film doesn't achieve the emotional resonance that a revenge-driven story should innately contain.  The heaviness accompanying the piece is understandable - I mean, we're dealing with the murder of a teenager - but the film never converts the hefty drama to palpable emotional connections with the characters.  We're given three talented actors in Ejiofor, Kidman, and Roberts, yet their scenes together lack oomph.  Something just doesn't quite click here which is unfortunate because this is the kind of movie - steeped in tones of film noir - that I'm inherently drawn to appreciate.  Perhaps I should watch the original...but I'll wait a few years to get the memory of this disappointing flick out of my mind.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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