Julia Roberts

Reel Reviews: A secret worth knowing

Taylor and Howe say, Secret in Their Eyes is a "serious movie worth taking seriously.”

  • Dec. 13, 2015 3:00 p.m.

In 2002, a tight-knit team of counter-terrorism investigators stumbles upon something terrible and personal that changes their lives forever.

Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor), investigating a body found in a dumptser, is the first to find his co-worker’s daughter brutally murdered. Jess (Julia Roberts) is her mother, also on the scene.

The incident and subsequent investigation is so disturbing that the unit falls apart, going their separate ways. The case is left unsolved.

In 2015, having never given up the search for the murderer, Ray thinks he may have found him in Los Angeles. He convinces Jess and some more of the old team, including now assistant district attorney Claire (Nicole Kidman) to reopen the case. In the process they discover the secrets in this case go much deeper, into dark places.

We say, “Finally, a serious movie worth taking seriously.”

TAYLOR: Secret in their Eyes is a remake of El Secreto de sus Ojos, which hails from Argentina and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2009. In the original, Ray wrote a book about this unsolved case and his unrequited love for the Claire character.

This non-romance is in the remake as well, but it kind of takes a backseat to the investigation and how paranoid bureaucracy botched it. I haven’t seen the original, but I presume this remake has more chase scenes and punching.

HOWE: I have to say this is my favourite film genre, the whodunit.

Secret in their Eyes is a fine movie. It ticks all the boxes: the acting is great, the story keeps you guessing and the script is strong. It’s just that during the movie I kept wishing it would get on with it. It drags on a little too much. The other thing that I was disappointed with were the flashbacks. They became a little too messy for my liking, sometimes I couldn’t figure out if they were in the past or present.

TAYLOR: It was nice to just sit down, relax and know that there are still films out there that cater to adults. I don’t think it dragged. I liked the way the story was laid out, flashing back and forth as you said, although sometimes I too got lost, wondering if they were investigating now, or then. I decided it didn’t matter.

There were a couple plot points that could have been better nailed down. Still, I enjoyed this little whodunit. It’s artistically crafted and the performers were all very believable.

HOWE: Well what would you expect from a cast of Roberts, Kidman and Ejiofor? I thought all three of them played their roles perfectly. So if you want to see something other than movies featuring evil Christmas toys, secret agents or Hunger Games, then Secret in their Eyes could be for you.

– Taylor gives Secret in their Eyes 3.5 baseball games out of 5.

– Howe gives it 3 race horses out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest movies for The Morning Star Fridays and Sundays.

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