The Bone Collector

Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33

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Critic Reviews

  1. A tribute to old-fashioned craftsmanship and skill both on and off the screen, it's as crisp and efficient as its law enforcement protagonists, able to make the best of its traditional genre elements.
  2. TNT RoughCut
    Reviewed by: Matt Kelsey
    70
    Both leads perform admirably.
  3. A skeleton-thin thriller wrapped in glamorous production values.
  4. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Gary Thompson
    63
    Weaknesses are confirmed in the movie's laughable climax.
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    Washington and Jolie earn their stripes here, but more texture would have resulted, I think, in more terror.
  6. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    63
    Entertaining but terminally dopey.
User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Jan 25, 2013
    6
    I love the actors/actress in this movie, especially Denzel Washington, but the movie itself, the story is terrible. I guess this is supposedI love the actors/actress in this movie, especially Denzel Washington, but the movie itself, the story is terrible. I guess this is supposed to be a thriller, but when I watched it, it felt more like comedy, so bad and so unrealistic that it's funny, there were times when I couldn't stop laughing, add some good acting and this movie is definitely watchable Full Review »
  2. Jun 15, 2016
    4
    The Bone Collector refuses to create fun, thus makes bone collecting in general look insanely boring and I can tell you that any boneThe Bone Collector refuses to create fun, thus makes bone collecting in general look insanely boring and I can tell you that any bone collector would never say that. Full Review »
  3. Apr 4, 2016
    5
    'Bone Collector': A Taxi Ride to Torture Provokes a Chase!

    Since movies keep pushing the envelope of the acceptably gruesome, even the
    'Bone Collector': A Taxi Ride to Torture Provokes a Chase!

    Since movies keep pushing the envelope of the acceptably gruesome, even the nastiest sights glimpsed in Phillip Noyce's preposterous thriller "Bone Collector" should strike jaded moviegoers (those who relished "Seven," for instance) as ho-hum shocks.

    A woman found shackled in the bowels of New York and cooked alive by scalding steam resembles a giant oozing radish. A young man, also held underground in shackles, is discovered covered with squirming rats that, when dispersed by a gunshot, reveal his greedily picked-over body.

    Near the end of the film, during a life-and-death tussle, one character sinks his teeth into the jugular of his attacker and emerges looking like a vampire with unusually sloppy table manners.

    These unsettling moments have become par for the course in a modern horror thriller. And "The Bone Collector," which stars Denzel Washington as a brilliant forensic detective tracking down a serial killer who leaves elaborate clues near his victims' bodies, is an efficient purveyor of such stock genre jolts.

    In addition to corpses and gushing veins, those jolts include the usual false alarms: harsh musical clangs, slowly turning doorknobs and menacing shadows. There is even one glowering, character whom the movie blatantly manipulates us into assuming is the culprit.

    The killer meets his victims in a way that should tap into a paranoid New Yorker's worst nightmares. He picks them up in a taxi, at the airport or Grand Central Terminal, locks them in his car and speeds off into the middle of nowhere.

    Most find themselves strung up in deserted turn-of-the-century slaughterhouses and abandoned subway stations that resemble medieval torture chambers.

    Although there is nothing remotely believable about this drawn-out cat-and-mouse game of a movie crossed with a whodunit, that's almost the point. "The Bone Collector," adapted from a novel by Jeffery Deaver, is a cinematic game that might be called Urban Creep Show, New York-style, and its rules are comfortably predetermined.

    We can be pretty sure that the hero, Lincoln Rhyme (Washington), a detective who has been a quadriplegic for four years and suffers from seizures, any of which could reduce him to a vegetative state, will outwit the demon killer.

    The gimmick is that Lincoln can solve the case without budging from bed. Using a computer and an illuminated viewing screen to pore over the evidence, he is able to make impossible, lightning-quick determinations about where the next victim is likely to found.

    Communicating by cell phone with Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), a beautiful young police officer (and former model) whom he has drafted as his assistant, he instructs her on what to look for at the crime scene and how to handle the evidence.

    The role of Lincoln is a piece of cake for Washington, who departs from his customary Boy Scout mode to display matching streaks of imperiousness and cunning. The film revels in close-ups of Washington's handsome face, whose glinting eyes and dazzling teeth do a seductive duet.

    The camera is even more enamored of Ms. Jolie, with her impossibly sensual lips and eyes that brim with a soft melting fire. In sheer smoldering screen charisma, Ms. Jolie has every other young Hollywood actress beat hands down. Whether she can really act remains to be seen.

    Because Lincoln is a quadriplegic, the film suggests that there is little hope of a sexual relationship between him and Amelia. But in the same way that it delivers jarring false alarms, the movie suggests an unacknowledged erotic heat between its stars. Unlike so many other screen couples nowadays, these two have chemistry.
    Full Review »