DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

SECRET IN THEIR EYES (director/writer: Billy Ray; screenwriter: based on the film “The Secret in Their Eyes” written by Juan Jose Campanella, Eduardo Sacheri; cinematographer: Danny Moder; editor: Jim Page; music: Emilio Kauderer; cast:  Julia Roberts (Jess Cobb), Chiwitel Ejiofor (Ray Kasten), Nicole Kidman (Claire Sloan ), Dean Norris (Bumpy Willis), Michael Kelly (Reg Siefert), Joe Cole (Marzin / Beckwith), Zoe Graham (Carolyn Cobb), Alfred Molina (Martin Morales); Runtime: 111; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Mark Johnson, Matt Jackson; STX Entertainment; 2015-Spain-USA)

"Its main problem is that it fails to generate suspense, excitement or the right mood despite its A-lister cast."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Not as good as Juan Jose Campanella's Argentine original version in 2009. Billy Ray ("Shattered Glass"/"Breach") directs this Americanized version from a script by himself and Eduardo Sacheri by dumbing things down from the superior foreign film.

Julia Roberts is the LA-based FBI agent Jess Cobb, working
in a post-9/11 counter-terrorism team. Jess's teenage daughter Carolyn is raped and murdered, and her body is found in a dumpster behind a mosque. Her partner Ray Kasten (Chiwitel Ejiofor) ID's the body, but is not put on the case. The investigation goes nowhere as institutional corruption means the suspect (Joe Cole) will never be charged because he's a vital snitch in a terrorism investigation.

The story veers between flashbacks from the past and the present. Ray returns 13 years later to LA with new evidence to open the cold case and he's secretly helped by the ambitious icy DA
Claire Sloan (Nicole Kidman), who was once part of his team and was his love interest.

Its main problem is that it fails to generate suspense, excitement, or the right mood despite its A-lister cast. Furthermore, lead actor
Ejiofor is too stiff for this demanding thriller.

Incidentally, the cinematographer
Danny Moder is the husband of Julia Roberts.

REVIEWED ON 3/23/2017       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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