Erroll Babbage (Richard Gere) has spent his career tracking sex offenders and his unorthodox methods are nearly as brutal as the criminals he monitors. When he links one of his deranged parolees to the disappearance of a l... more »ocal girl, he and his new partner (Claire Danes) must scour the S&M underground to find her before it's too late.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 7/18/2015...
Above average movie with an excellent cast! Gere's character (Errol Babbage) is a burned out government worker who has tracked down the scum of the earth a few too many times and is about to be forced into retirement. He takes his job a bit too seriously and gets way too violent with some of his charges. Now his new partner (Claire Danes) has to learn how Babbage operates and she learns the hard way just how scary these sexual deviants can be and why Babbage's methods are often needed to tame these savage beasts.
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The Best Film of 2007
A. W. Hondros | DE | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie and really didn't expect much coming in. But Richard Gere delivered his best performance to date and Claire Danes supported him very well. This is probably one of the most if not the most suspenseful movie I have ever seen. While it is a little stomach wrenching at parts I started to gag, it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Richard Gere deserves an Oscar for his role in this movie, and the cinematography is second to none. I highly suggest this movie."
"The Abyss Gazes Also into You...": "The Flock" Thriller fro
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 08/22/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The following review refers to "The Flock" (105 minutes) released in Japan where I saw it in theater.
The story of "The Flock" centers around the case of a missing girl. Or girls perhaps, and some disturbing photos. The thriller has an undertone of "The Silence of the Lambs," but in spite of its intriguing protagonist played by cast-against-type Richard Gere, "The Flock" is short on thrills, and some parts require an enormous amount of suspension of disbelief.
The most unique aspect of the film is the central role Richard Gere plays with slovenly appearance with unkempt clothes. Gere plays Erroll Babbage, veteran officer of department of public safety, monitoring paroled sex offenders. After 18 years of his work of supervising the registered offenders, Erroll, firm believer of his own theories about offenders, is not content with just visiting them and doing routine question. He cannot arrest them, but he thinks he can do something with his method, which is not exactly legal sometimes. Even his co-workers stay away from him, including his supervisor Bobby Stiles (Ray Wise). So in 18 days Erroll is to quit, or "let go" from the job.
To Erroll is sent an understudy Allison Lowry (Claire Danes). Erroll takes Allison under his wing and grooms her for the career as officer who can see through the "public presentation" of people. While training Allison, Erroll confides to her that he is convinced of one thing, believe him or not, that only he can know the truths behind the case of a young girl who suddenly disappeared.
As I said before, "The Flock" needs more suspense. Not many details are given about the missing girl (who might have just run away from home). Though Richard Gere is convincing as the man who is obsessed with his work, not much is told about the background of Allison either and her flat character weakens the master-pupil relation between them.
The film anyway keeps telling its story, fast-paced and stylish, with Gere's strong performance as its real power. However, "The Flock" becomes less and less credible in the second half. As it has something to do with sex offenders and Megan's Law, "The Flock," it is obvious, has one very important topic in it, but the film's plot, which poses some intriguing questions about the law and morality, does not delve into them.
Director of "The Flock" is Andrew Lau from Hong Kong, known for his acclaimed "Infernal Affairs" (original of "The Departed"), but internet site IMDb says Niels Mueller did uncredited re-shoot. I don't know which director is responsible, but the film, especially the opening, is full of jump-cuts, fast-forwards, double-exposures and other visual gimmicks that only help lessen the suspense. This unnecessary editing is regrettable because the cinematography itself is fine with the bleak landscapes (shot in New Mexico).
As to the role of Avril Lavigne as a young woman, it is not a big one. It is more like a cameo, and it is hard to judge whether her acting is good or bad.
And it is hard for me to judge the film either. During most of the time I was not bored, but that is not because of the slickly told but implausible story, but because of Gere's fine acting and the stylishly grainy photography and sinister atmosphere that reflects his character's mind. At the same time, besides the lack of suspense, I felt something is wrong with the film, which attempts to tackle one of the most serious issues, but somehow stops in the middle of the process."
"Flock" a MUST see
Sherrie A., Norman | Montana | 03/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched "Flock" with surprise, as I hadn't even seen promo's for it. I LOVED IT!!! I don't need to tell you whats in the movie, everyone else has already done that. I was amazed by the movie. Richard Gere, can play ANYTHING and make it come out good. I believe he did better in this, than he did in "Internal Affairs" and I believe that's saying a lot. While the movie is some what slow at first, it has to be. It has to get the people watching it, into what's going on. I feel that's hard to do, with the subject at hand. Sexual predators is a very hard subject to do in a movie. It's a touchy subject. Anyone in "real life", who works with these people gets a feeling about them. I doubt that many of them act on it. That's what I love about this movie. I felt myself WANTING to do just what Gere's character did. I can't wait to get the movie for myself. I own ALL of Richard Gere's movies and I haven't be disappointed in any of them. I feel Gere should get an award for this movie, as it IS an out-of-cast character for him, and he plays it so well. I really don't understand the bad reviews that this movie got. I guess that some people expect too much. I just love to watch a movie just for what it is. Now I'm not saying, I haven't seen what I thought was a crappy movie. What "I" think is a bad movie. verses other people would probably start an argument. I guess one persons bad movie is another persons good movie. Isn't it great we all don't like the same things???"
The Wolf in the Fold
The JuRK | Our Vast, Cultural Desert | 06/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There are almost as many things to really like in this movie as much as there are things to be repulsed by and to dislike.
The best thing it has going for it is a terrific performance from Richard Gere. One of my guilty pleasures is THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, not because it's a great movie but I'm from that area and knew about the Mothman--and a really good performance from Richard Gere (for an off-the-wall supernatural movie that never quite gels, he gives a sincere depiction of grief and obsession that transcends the material).
In THE FLOCK, he's the burned-out monitor to his "flock," his workload of sex offenders he has to keep tabs on. He's done it for so long that he feels he can even sense when they're going to go "off the reservation" and commit more sex crimes. And if he thinks that, he doesn't mind stomping them into the dirt. Obviously, a very tightly-wound character who may or may not be someone to admire.
But that's the thing about this movie: I think a lot of people will be conflicted at one point or another.
Would anyone have a problem with Gere's character physically assaulting sex offenders for the entire movie? Is he a monster for abusing his power for keeping them "in line"? Are any of them truly rehabilitated? One genuinely evil character will leave wondering after the climax. This is a movie that gives you a glimpse into deviant sex...and leaves you to wonder if it turns you on.
I like all of these elements to a good sexual thriller.
But there were things that I wasn't so crazy about. I had a hard time believing that Claire Danes could take over his job. There were too many times that she appeared as a damsel in distress, especially in this line of work! The thriller structure was a little obvious toward the end but I'm not sure what else they could do with it.
All in all, THE FLOCK is worth seeing if you like movies like THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and SEVEN (successful) or 8MM (not-so-successful). Dark, thoughtful, interesting. Something that makes you look inside your own little tastes and kinks, if you have any.
Interesting movie, but disturbring
Duenwen Hsiao | Austin | 06/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Good movie thanks to the subject and Richard Gere - he really shines. Claire Danes is very low-key, which perhaps what the director meant for her to be, but the result is she projects no personality to speak of and thus forgetable. I just had to write this review, for the sake of stating that I could not DISAGREE more with amazon editorial review. That review claims there's sexual tension between Gere and Danes. If there's, I completely missed it. I was actually expecting for something sexual to develop between the two, but nope - the bond could not come off more asexual. Another mindboggling editorial statement is that the movie "condemns sexual deviance while depicting it in absurdly lurid and titillating ways (the scenes in a porn studio/fetish market are slathered with moral indignation but ooze with repressed lust)". What??? If I were that editor I would keep these revelations to myself. Certainly did not find anything in the movie titillating - just utterly disturbing and nauseating. In general, I found this movie great in a documentary/education sense. It's good to be aware of what kind of people lurk out there and what they are capable of."