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4.0 out of 5 stars80
4.0 out of 5 stars
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Just finished watching this film and I'm unsure what mark to give it: 3 or 4 stars.

The film starts really well. Delivering a shock that makes you sit up and take watch right from the start. But that might have been an exception for me, as I had no idea about what type of film this was, or what it was about; because I was watching this back off the V+ harddrive. I'd recorded it over Christmas and have only just got around to watching it. Anyway, after the initial shock the credits start to role and I saw name after name pop up - Jolie, Sutherland, Hawke - excellent, I thought.

The film all in all is OK. Jolie - of course is stunning to look at and (at the risk of alienating female readers of my review) theres a small sex scene which should keep the averga fellow happy too. But other than this there's not much of note in this run-of-the-mill serial killer thriller.

The twist are fairly obvious, the story OK but still mediocre and the characters felt a little disjointed - namely the Canadian detective and another key figure, who shall remain namless for fear of spoiling things for you.

The film delivers a few good jumps, but in the end you're left with a few lose ends - nothing too serious - but they're there. In the end Taking lives was a good choice to record off the TV, had I watched it at the time, I'd have been quite chuffed as it's a good film to watch on TV; anythings better than the endless repeats and the films that seemed to get aired again, and again, and again. But I'm not sure it's really worth buying.

I haven't seen the extended version, or director's cut, or whatever it is advertised here - but overall I think I'll give this 3 stars. It came close to getting 4, but in the end - other than Angelina Jolie - it lacks that WOW! factor.

If this review was helpful to you at all please give it the thumbs up. Thanks :-)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 August 2015
By no means a great serial killer movie, the stylishly shot 'Taking Lives' (2004) starts off reasonably well with atmospheric scenes, and although I saw it through to the end, the quality drops, things began to become increasingly predictable and over-the-top, and although there's a twist at the end, I didn't care for the ending.

Set in Canada, an elusive serial killer is on the loose, a man who is ruthlessly murdering each victim, and then sets out assuming their identities. An FBI profiler (Angelina Jolie) is called in by French Canadian police to catch the villain, and a game of cat-and-mouse follows. It all sounded promising, and the potential was there, but I was left feeling a little disappointed.

'Taking Lives' is ultimately more forgettable than it is memorial, and unless you're a Angelina Jolie super fan, I don't think it deserves repeated viewings. Despite receiving star (third) billing, the great Kiefer Sutherland is reduced to nothing more than a cameo, appearing only towards the end of the movie as a creepy suspect. There are a few 'jumpy' moments throughout, but the film, though not terrible, has very little to write home about. If only it had stuck to the story, remained believable, and not tried to complicate things, it would have been a much better watch.

Special features on the disc include a documentary, footage which wasn't seen in UK cinemas, and a gag reel.
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on 12 May 2009
This was a follow up to the movie The Bone Collector, only in the sense however that her character has developed from being a cop to detective mainly dealing with murders. The plot to this movie is she is asked to go to go Canada and help solve a number of murders that appear at first not to be connected.

From reading previous comments on amazon i was abit wary of how good this movie was going to be as people had not rated it highly. However i thought it was a great moive, with plenty of twists and turns that left you shocked at the out come. Maybe im just more into thrillers or maybe im easily pleased when it comes to movies.

I would definately recommend this.
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on 27 June 2007
taking lives is a 2004 film that bombed on its release,while its easy to see why in parts,in other parts its better than alot of films that gain mass success.

The film is about a man who is fed up with his own identity and steals that of others along the way and assumes their identity and their life,a FBI profiler played by angelie jolie is sent up to montreal to find out what she can when the local police start to find bodies with the help of a man who has seen the killer played by ethan hawke.

The film starts well and has the odd jumpy moment that is stylish and certainly this film borrows from the classic movie 'seven' at times,alot of dark settings and eerie moments follow,there is a solid middle to the film as well so all is rolling along nicely and a decent if not totally surprising twist as well,but then for the last 30 minutes or so the film starts to fall on its face alot with a very drawn out ending with cliche lines and all that jazz,plus i find it strange that keifer sutherland is third on the films credits when he is hardly in it,my theory is that he did his parts while in montreal on a lunch break from filming his show '24',well thats my theory anyway,all in all this is a decent movie,worth a watch but beware of a sloppy and tiring ending that takes away from the films strengths considerably.
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on 4 January 2016
I haven't seen many films with Angelina Jolie, but if you were trying to make a case that she is a poor actress I imagine that you would be citing her performance in this.
Pouting and simpering throughout the film she overdoes the quirkiness of her character and delivers her dialogue as if off an Autocue.
Other actors fare better in my opinion, but when all's said and done this is just an average killer thriller with no surprises.
Very run of the mill effort with few redeeming features and barely worthy of the 3 stars.
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on 13 November 2015
Violent and disturbing; this film is a crime thriller with a twist. A chameleon style serial killer spanning over 2 decades killing his victims and taking on their identities; kept me glued and on the edge of my seat, I enjoyed this and I am sure from the classy production and casting the author of the book would have been very pleased. Although it was violent it was within context and not gratuitous. Very enjoyable and not what I expected at all. Only downside was that it had to end.
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This film is what it is - a by the numbers serial killer movie, that in its heart seems to think it is cleverer and more stylish than it actually is.
However, the location and the offbeat casting do make it worth watching, with some occasional successful stylistic flourishes, and at least one genuinely jump out of your set moment.
Angelina Jolie is in one of her weakest roles here - the FBI profiler with a secret past, a loner who has her own unusual methods of immersing herself into each case. This is never truly explored more than that two dimensional outline however, and Jolie seems to try very little to flesh that out.
The 'Unrated' aspect involves one sex scene which for once does actually integrate into the plot, but does seem a somewhat gratuitous use of Angelinas well known attributes.
Ethan Hawke is fine but not outstanding in an initially ambiguous role, and Kiefer Sutherland is barely there in a few scenes, so dont be fooled by his front cover billing. In fact the scenes with him make for some of the few highlights of the movie. Olivier Martinez and the other French actors fill out thankless roles adequately.
Enjoy it, its not a bad movie, but dont expect surprises or any sense of enjoyment in the process of filmmaking from anyone involved.
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on 24 September 2015
I Have watched a lot of Angelina Jolie Films, This one is the most Brilliant viewing for us who like her.
I Was on the edge of my seat, Thrilling, Nervous, Fantastic Story. Iv,e give is 5 stars, I Would give it 50 if i could.
Have not seen should a great movie since Silence of the lambs. This is not a Scary Film. Well Worth Watching.
(A GREAT THRILLER)
Kitt
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2005
Artfully done movies that go poof thanks to juvenile plots are so much more tragic than outright silly films. Taking Lives must've been among the most stunning productions of 2004, no doubt, yet it shall remain relegated to oblivion because it sets up a textured plot only to falter before the credits roll. It's almost as if the team was so busy finessing the product they ran out of time and shipped it before it was fully done.
Angelina Jolie plays a psychological profiler from the FBI called upon to solve seemingly connected murders in French-speaking Montreal. She works alongside a couple of cardboard cops -- one a tightly wound incompetent, the other a doting ex-colleague -- to come up with desperately needed leads. Enter Ethan Hawke, an art dealer, a witness to one of the murders. An actor clearly in full command of his art, he is fascinating in long monologues. As this happens, Keifer Sutherland lurks in the shadows on street corners. He has remarkable screen presence, I'm increasingly impressed with the man and hope he bags roles with more meat in the future, but his bit here is sadly inadequate, more of a twist than a role really.
On a positive note, the film unfurls with hypnotic rhythm. The acid-jazzy score lends richly to the overall elegance. You may want to postpone your dinner though, the murders are gruesome and the director doesn't wince in showing open cadavers.
I thought this was needless, as was an utterly skippable intimate interlude between Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke, tossed in for no imaginable reason other than to add on some precious minutes, because soon after it we have an ending that feels almost like a different film. It's cramped into less than 10 minutes, killing the delicate cadence of the movie that preceded it. And it's as idiotic a finale as you've seen in recent memory.
For all but the last ten minutes of its length Taking Lives smacks of topnotch production values, but as they say: give them a strong last impression and you have a hit, goof it up and you're dead as disco. Taking Lives, for all its charm, trips and does the latter.
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on 9 December 2014
Hadn't heard of the movie before watching it; and it turned out to be a good watch.

Plenty of twists,good scenes, though predictable in parts, I thought the ending was worth watching the movie for. Really felt for Angie's character at times..

I can definitely recommend this movie.
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