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SECRET IN THEIR EYES: (2015) This movie is a remake of a 2009 Oscar-winning film from Argentina. Hollywood likes to do remakes, but the critics usually don’t appreciate them, especially when they are not as good as the originals. That was the case with this movie, but we think the critics were too hard on it. A group of police investigators are shocked when they discover that one their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered. Julia Roberts plays Jess, the bereaved mother, and Chiwetal Ejiofor is Ray, her partner. Nicole Kidman plays Claire, an assistant district attorney who works on the case. When they catch the killer but are unable to prosecute him for a convoluted national security issue, they are devastated. For the next 13 years, Ray makes it his life’s work to find the perpetrator even though he has left the police force. When he believes that he has located the man, he comes back into Jess and Claire’s life. The movie switches back and forth from the murder 13 years ago to the present time. The director does nothing to identify the time frame, but the hairdos of the two women and the slight gray in Ray’s beard make it easy to follow the switch. One problem with this remake is the sexual tension that is supposed to exist between Ray and Claire. Kidman’s cool demeanor does little to create any chemistry with Ejiofor. I do remember feeling that tension palpably in the Argentinian original. We had no quarrel with the acting: Roberts is touching in her grief and Ejiofor is always outstanding. Robert’s husband, Danny Modor, was in charge of photography, and he did a fine job. The movie is quite good, but not as impressive as the original. GRADE B
We first saw Chiwetal Ejiofor in the 2002 movie, Dirty Pretty Things and we so impressed we learned how to pronounce his name. You might want to check out that movie. You will be treated to a film in which all the characters are interesting and the mystery is tightly plotted. It is never predictable, always intriguing. Click on the poster for a clip.