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3.2 out of 5 stars42
3.2 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2015
I might be overrating this a little but I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I might. It's a good, solid, suitably gritty serial killer flick.

Inspired by actual events (apparently) it follows John Cusack as Buffalo detective Mike Fletcher, on the trail of an elusive serial killer, preying on the cities street walkers. One crazy coincidence later and Mikes own daughter is in trouble and the hunt takes on a whole new urgency.

It's not a whodunit as such, we're introduced to the killer very early in proceedings although the plot does take the odd twist and turn as things unfold, including a latter game changer you may or may not see coming. Cusack brings a touch of class as he often does, Mae Whitman puts in a little firecracker of a performance as the daughter and the rest of the acting is good enough. It has a stylish feel to it, aided largely by the snow laden Buffalo streets, and they manage to build a fair bit of tension for the closing stages.

It's similar in some ways to the likes of Kiss the Girls, Frozen Ground and Misery amongst others and overall I thought it was a better than average effort at this type of thing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The always excellent and charismatic John Cusack plays Detective Mike Fletcher, a forty-something cop working the streets of Buffalo, NY. His partner on the beat is Kelsey Walker, played by Jennifer Carpenter, who's best known as a serial killer's sister in the hugely successful and addictive TV show Dexter - Dexter: Complete Seasons 1-8 [DVD].
The two cops are on the trail of a Yorkshire Ripper style serial killer, Gray, an unprepossessing thirty-something guy who preys on hookers, kidnapping and impregnating them, or butchering them when the mood takes him. As Mike and Kelsey slowly close in on the elusive maniac, Mike's teenage daughter Abby, who manages to look even more like a call girl than the women who are going missing, suddenly disappears, leaving the distraught father to go on an intensified and desperate hunt for the madman...
The film is largely shot on the snowbound streets of Buffalo, which adds to the atmospheric and chilly feel of the movie. It's a slick and glossy thriller, but although I'm a big fan of John Cusack and Jennifer Carpenter, both of them give slightly subdued performances in this film - the slightly sleazy kidnapped daughter very much steals the show. The serial killer is a perhaps a little bit lacklustre and not especially scary, hardly in the same league as Buffalo Bill or Hannibal Lecter (The Silence Of The Lambs), or Carl Stargher (The Cell) - The Hannibal Lecter Trilogy [DVD], Cell [Blu-ray] [2000] [Region A] [US Import]. The movie has a sedate pace, and action sequences are used sparingly, but overall it maintains a decent level of tension and suspense. However, the scenes where the killer comes into close contact with the detectives are kept relatively brief, which was just a little frustrating.
All in all, this is a competent and watchable 3.5 star crime thriller, but which lacks a key ingredient of inspiration and originality. If you want to see a truly mesmerising serial killer thriller, and subtitles don't put you off, The Chaser and I Saw The Devil are about as good as it gets - The Chaser (2008) [DVD], I Saw The Devil [Blu-ray].
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2015
Well acted, well written, well filmed but the nasty little twist at the end lost it a couple of stars. A who-dunnit where the 'who' is revealed fairly early on and it's then a question of whether the clues can be strung together to catch the criminal. If you're looking for a happy ending where the good guys win then skip this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2015
Not the worst Movie I have ever seen, but by no means did it ever show any potential of effectively crowbaring it's way it any best of list. John is always great even when he ops for signing up for some questionable films considering his calibre. I suggest you watch and form your own opinion as I've found that taste is ever so subjective. It won't be apparent how you truly feel till the end, so stay objective till then. Either you will say that's brilliant! Or some expletives will rapidly fire out like a semi - automatic curse gun. "Personally I choose "what the **** that **** makes no ******* sense! " Enjoy, I double dare you! 😂
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on 29 November 2015
Can't believe this hasn't got a higher star rating. A real little gem of a film.
It is not a whodunit, because we know all along who is behind the kidnapping of the missing prostitutes, and eventually the policeman's daughter. The cop in charge of the case is unwilling to let the case go, like his bosses want. When his own daughter goes missing, he quickly works out that this crazy man has her too, and his partner backs him up all the way, standing by him when others would have walked away.
It is well written, and you are really rooting for the police partners, and his missing daughter. You see what this sicko is doing with the kidnapped girls, and the cops daughter is very clever in how she tries to placate the kidnapper eventually, and at plotting her escape. The actress who plays her did an outstanding job for a young actress.
The big twist I did not see coming, and I am terrible for knowing what is coming next in films, to the point I find many boring. This is one twist I did not see coming at all l, and when it shows you the full story you do sit there thinking OMG!
Even better than the twist in the original SAW movie.
Very glad I watched this, and I almost passed it over because it doesn't have that great a write up, and the reviews are very mixed.
If you want a film that will leave you with your chin hitting the floor, then do yourself a favour and watch this!
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on 23 July 2015
I enjoyed this. Although I spent some time googling some of the actors because I recognised them from other shows! The serial Killer was the guy who was in The Walking Dead (Milton) And there was also an actress from Lost and one from Dexter. I do get a bit distracted trying to work out where I have seen actors from before! Ha Ha. Anyway, bit of a weird serial killer in what he liked to do. Not giving anything away but really? You really didn't have to concentrate too much watching this which was perfect really. Didn't see the twist coming and I usually do! Pleasant way to pass an evening!
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on 29 September 2015
This film had its moments - John Cusack and Mae Whitman for a start - but it started unnecessarily violent and ended up unnecessarily ridiculous and unbelievable. Add in the fact that the scenes between Whitman and the bad guy were practically whispered most of the time and everything else was as loud as it could get and I spent the whole time with finger on the volume control. At least I watched to the end, which is better than some things I've seen lately, hence the second star. Just.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2013
Gary (Dallas Roberts) has a hobby. He kidnaps prostitutes and impregnates them. He also kills a "pre-op transgender prostitute." (The best surprise is no surprise.) Mike Fletcher (John Cusack) and Kelsey Walker (Jennifer Carpenter) are two Buffalo detectives assigned to find the missing girls. This is not a who-dun-it. We see the culprit. The first part of the film establishes character and dysfunctional relationships. When Abby (Mae Whitman), Mike's prostitute looking daughter, becomes the latest missing victim, Mike crosses the line to find her.

First off, I love John Cusack, but he is no Liam Neeson. This doesn't have the action level or intensity of "Taken", or even "Taken 2." We watch as Mike tries to locate his daughter as well as we see his daughter being "cared for," so there is no feel of urgency for the audience as there is for Mike who is trying to piece things together. There is also a flashback sequence that pops up from time to time. This ties to a twist which made the film er, um...silly.

The movie is a "B" grade crime/drama/thriller. Might work as a rental. Soundtrack played "Shuffle off to Buffalo" for no apparent reason other than the fact it has the word "Buffalo" in it. Fairly lame.

Parental Guide: F-bombs, sex?, no nudity.
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on 22 October 2015
Not my usual type of film; watched it for the two leads. Mae Whitman is one to watch too I think as she played feisty and intelligent very effectively. Would have got 4 stars had it not been for the ludicrous ending. Atmospheric certainly and mainly well plotted and paced save for the major flaw referred to earlier. Worth a watch certainly but could have been so much better with a little script redrafting.
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on 13 October 2015
Not bad at all. The film moves at a decent triller pace. The plot twist (as most films feel the need to have) was quite a surprise, albeit on the Saw outside edge. John Cusack puts in a good performance and the villain played by Dallas Roberts is believably creepy without being from a comic book.
Give it a go, I'm hard to please and I liked it.
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