Secret In Their Eyes

2016-01-08 09:09

What it's about:

A close knit team of FBI investigator's Ray (Ejiofor) and Jess (Roberts), and their District Attorney supervisor Claire (Kidman) friendship is shaken by the brutal and inexplicable murder of Jess's teenage daughter. Thirteen years later a new lead is discovered that could potentially resolve the case.

What we thought:

It’s really hard to go wrong when you have two Academy Award winners and a nominee star in a remake of an Oscar winning foreign film. 

The story revolves around three characters, a former FBI counterterrorism investigator Ray Karsten (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a district attorney's investigator Jess Cobb (Julia Roberts) and district attorney Claire Sloan (Nicole Kidman).

In 2002 while staking out a mosque linked to the 9/11 attacks Ray and Jess respond to a murder call. When they arrive at the crime scene Ray discovers that the victim is Jess’s daughter Carolyn (Zoe Graham). Sidenote: this is not a spoiler as the scene is given away in the trailer. 

Back in the present 13 years later Ray thinks that he has finally found the murderer. Armed with his information he returns to Los Angeles to convince Claire to reopen the case and to finally give Jess the closure she needs. His relationships with both female leads are filled with tension.

Ray and Claire have unresolved feelings as we learn about their love affair that never was. And his relationship with Jess is strained as he abandoned her at the time when she needed him the most. 

The film moves back and forth in time as we learn the details about the case that both connects and haunts the three main characters. The elaborate plot reveals the obstacles Ray faced including a cover up by other officials. It’s dark and bleak and at times hard to watch. It’s one of those crime stories where you think you have it figured out until the plot offers up a clever twist. 

Chiwetel is the glue that keeps this film together, after all it is his relationships with the female characters that are a key factor in telling the story. His depiction of Ray as a friend, and investigator is genuine and believable.

I have to mention Julia Roberts whose role was actually a gender swap. Stripped from her usual "glamour" she gives an emotional, raw performance of a mother who is grieving and in search of justice. 

A great cast and an intricate plot that will keep you guessing makes Secret In Their Eyes a thriller worth seeing. 

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