Monday, March 11, 2019

Movie Monday: Secret in Their Eyes

It's been a very long time since I've written a Movie Monday post, so the list of movies I've watched but not yet reviewed keeps growing! It's really tough to fit an extra blog post into Monday, since it is already busy with my It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post, plus visiting Monday posts on other blogs, plus setting up goals for the week. But Movie Monday has such nice alliteration...

My husband and I were away this weekend, and the hotel WiFi on my husband's Kindle Fire didn't allow us to connect to our cable network or any of the TV station websites, so instead of catching up on our usual TV shows, we watched a movie on Netflix, Secret in Their Eyes, a unique and intriguing suspense drama with an excellent cast (and in a hilarious twist, I mixed up my bedtime and dinner meds while traveling and could hardly keep my eyes open! But I still enjoyed the movie).

The movie moves back and forth between 2002 and 2015. Just after 9/11, Jessica Cobb, played by Julia Roberts, and Ray Kasten, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, were working together as part of a counter-terrorism team that combined the FBI and the local Los Angeles District Attorney's office. Claire Sloane, played by Nicole Kidman, was brought in as the new Assistant DA, and Ray immediately developed a crush on her. The team was keeping an eye on a local mosque that was said to include members of a terrorist cell when they got called to the scene of a crime. A body had been found in a dumpster next to the mosque. The team rushed to the scene, only to find a horrifying surprise: the murdered person in the dumpster was Jess' beloved daughter. Thirteen years later, we see that Ray is still obsessed with the crime, staying up late every night to comb through mug shots looking for a potential suspect identified years ago. Claire is now the DA, and Jessica still works as an investigator for the DA, though she looks haggard and haunted. Ray had moved to NYC after the incident thirteen years ago, so this is the first time they've all been together since then. The action moves back and forth between the team investigating the crime originally - and meeting with obstacles - and the present, with Ray telling Claire and Jess he's found the suspect they lost so many years earlier.

This is a dark movie with plenty of suspense and unanswered questions (until the end). As you can probably guess from that cast list, the acting is top-notch, and we were quickly drawn into the lives of the characters. There's not a lot of action (which is fine with me!); it's more of a quiet psychological thriller. The tension builds as it moves from the present to the past and back to the present, and the viewer learns more, bit by bit, about the case and the investigation, with a side plot about the romantic feelings Ray has for Claire. We both enjoyed it. I read that it was based on an earlier Argentinian film by the same name that was even better (in case you speak Spanish), but we thought this American remake was well-done, thoughtful, and engaging.

Secret in Their Eyes was released in theaters in 2015. We watched it on Netflix. It's also available to rent on Amazon for $3.99.



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