|Universal Pictures | Release Date: September 15, 2006||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
The production certainly looks sumptuous, and certifies Mr. Hartnett as a mainstream movie star. But the script is frequently impenetrable, the pacing is ponderous, and the film noir style can't conceal a crucial piece of misconceived casting.
Looks and flows great, dripping with the 1940s crime-thriller atmosphere that James Ellroy described in his 1987 novel. On other levels -- plot (overstuffed), suspense (muted), acting (Hilary Swank as a femme fatale? Please!), posing (Scarlett Johansson plays dress-up as a mini Lana Turner), sex (it's all before and after) -- the movie is a bust. Read full review
Doesn't provoke bittersweet inquiries regarding one poor actress' grisly fate. Nor does it stir up much provocation on the matter of why, as a popular audience, we're still taken with this lurid symbol of sex and dread and desire. Rather, the movie raises a much simpler question: Huh? Read full review
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