A plodding and overly ambitious psychological thriller that's all build up and no pay-off. Bright and beautiful college senior Katie Burke (Katie Holmes), an economics major at a prestigious university, hides an ambitious streak and startlingly pragmatic view of human relationships beneath her quiet exterior. Her cool equation of people with investments wowed the recruiters for McKinsey and Company, the high-powered New York banking firm, and Katie's post-grad future seems a sure thing. But lately, the pressure has been getting to her: Katie can't sleep, she's having trouble finishing her thesis, and she's begun to suspect that her ex-boyfriend, temperamental composer Embry Larkin (Charlie Hunnam, in flashbacks), is stalking her. Two years earlier and three days before graduation, Embry stormed out of a performance of his "Trip Hop Inferno" and hasn't been heard from since. His wealthy family assumed he took off for an archaeological dig in Crete, but troubled cop Wade Handler (Benjamin Bratt), who was assigned to the missing-persons case, thinks there's a good chance Embry might be dead. Katie thinks Embry has returned to campus and is, for some reason, screwing with her mind, sneaking around the library stacks and slipping notes under her door. But has Embry really come back, or is he only a figment of the exhausted Katie's imagination? By the time the question is finally settled, you'll be way past caring. "Suggested" by Sean Desmond's novel Adam's Fall, this film marks the directing debut of TRAFFIC screenwriter Stephan Gaghan, who seems to have wanted to make a thriller in the M. Night Shyamalan mode: slow pacing, brooding dialogue, tortured characters the whole nine yards. But the story's rhythm is so bogged down in unnecessary characterization that the film can hardly breathe (that Handler is battling a substance abuse problem, for example, merely adds to the general gloom), and the "surprise" revelation is something you've probably suspected all along.
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- Released: 2002
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: A plodding and overly ambitious psychological thriller that's all build up and no pay-off. Bright and beautiful college senior Katie Burke (Katie Holmes), an economics major at a prestigious university, hides an ambitious streak and startlingly pragmatic v… (more)