A psychological thriller, Taking Lives is the story of an FBI agent who becomes involved with her key witness while tracking a prolific serial killer who assumes the lives and identities of the people he kills. She finds h... more »erself surrounded by numerous suspects and no one to trust.DVD Features:
Documentaries:Four probing documentaries with the Cast and Crew. * The Art of Collaboration: How the filmmaking team came together * Profiling a Director: Inside D.J. Caruso's Mind * Bodies of Evidence: Stars confess their secrets of working on an ultra-intense thriller * Puzzle Within The Puzzle: The teamwork of Caruso and veteran editor Anne V. Coates
C.B. K. from RIO RANCHO, NM Reviewed on 9/14/2009...
FBI Special Agent Iliana Scott (Jolie) finds herself on a twisted and terrifying journey, surrounded by suspects in a case that has become chillingly personal. Although critics did not like this film, viewers have been more positive (Metacritic rating, based on 21 votes, is 6.9 out of 10.) This is well worth your time if you enjoy thrillers.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Potentially Good Film Ruined By A Lousy Ending!
Jana L. Perskie | New York, NY USA | 10/04/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Taking Lives" stars Angelina Jolie as FBI profiler Illeana Scott who is assigned to Montreal, and the case of a particularly vicious serial murderer. The killer has been taking lives for 20 years, since his teens, assuming his victims' identities with each crime. There's a line in the movie to the effect that he's "like a hermit crab - when he grows out of his shell, (home), he moves on." OK! So it's not brilliant dialogue, but until we reach the film's halfway mark it is forgivable. After the 1st hour, or so, this scary, chiller-thriller loses its edge in a serious way. The last scenes are really contrived - just not believable by any stretch of the imagination.
Jolie is her usual sexy self as the loner, fast-track agent from Washington, DC. She is welcomed by her old friend and colleague, Captain Hugo Leclair, (Tchécky Karyo), of the Montreal Sûreté, but is resented by macho detective Paquette, (Olivier Martinez), who is handsome in a surly kinda way. Illeana's approach to crime solving is extremely intuitive and unconventional, to say the least - but her unorthodox methods get results, and this case is no different. She quickly comes up with some leads that her Canadian counterparts have missed. Then art gallery owner James Costa, (Ethan Hawke), an actual murder witness, steps in to help the detectives. Costa, who has some artistic talent, is able to sketch the suspect. The hunt picks up speed, and the plot begins to twist, turn and occasionally surprise. I had at least one major scare! There's a decent car chase, a steamy love scene, (super steamy in the Director's Cut), and an unusual take on Illeana's character - all pluses.
The cast is excellent. Ms. Jolie is good here and she develops her character well. If you're an Angelina Jolie fan, you will enjoy her performance. Kiefer Sutherland, Gena Rowlands and Ethan Hawke also bring some bright moments to the screen. I just wonder why all these talented artists agreed to make this film. Director D.J. Caruso made some really wrong turns, which is sad because he had such a great cast to work with, a potentially good plot, and the wonderful scenery of French Canada to assist him toward success.
I was entertained by much of the movie for reasons mentioned above, but the poor resolution soured me on "Taking Lives." JANA"
A future "Lifestyle TV for Women movie" ?
M. A Spitzer | Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA | 08/22/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Angelina Jole is an attractive lady, so sexy nude scenes of her are always welcome... BUT...I question why she would be willing to show flesh in a lame movie such as this.
Predictabilty is the first problem with this film. No question por mystery who the killer is after the first 15 minutes.
Poor acting by Ethan Hawke.
A short cameo by Keifer Sutherland that was not needed and very, very brief.
All in all this looked and felt like a "Made for TV" movie except for the nudity and occasional graphic crime scene shots. I am sure with some editing you will see this movie on LIFESTYLE: TELEVISION FOR WOMEN because it rapidly drops from being a "find the serial killer" movie into a romantic twist film..... seemed forced and unnatural.
The worst complaint......... THE SOUND MAN FOR THIS MOVIE SHOULD BE SHOT !!!!
I can't remember the last time I had to roller-coaster my volume control up and down non-stop thru the entire movie. Dialogue scenes could barely be heard and action scenes overloaded the sound system..... I had to watch the movie with the TV volume remote in my hand and readjust volume from scene to scene.
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 08/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Angelina Jolie is to be commended for taking on so many different kinds of characters from her Oscar winning turn in GIRL INTERRUPTED, to the athletic Lara Croft in those two movies, to this suspenseful, if predictable, serial killer thriller. She plays an FBI agent/profiler called in to help the Montreal police in trapping a serial killer. This particular nasty has been killing for over 20 years, and we find out early in the film who he is when he's a youngster, but what about now? Who has he metamorphosized in to? Director D. J. Caruso gives us a probable suspect, but it's really a red herring, and the true identity should be detected early on. That doesn't spoil the movie, though; it actually makes you feel like a detective because you figured it out. Along with Jolie's competent performance, Ethan Hawke does well as artist James Costa; Gena Rowlands gives a good performance as Mrs. Asher; and Kiefer Sutherland, looking a little older and heavier, does a usually good turn as a mysterious neighbor of Hawke's. There's a couple of jump out of your seat scares and overall, despite the predictability, TAKING LIVES is a good entry in the ever growing serial killer genre."
Derivative Serial Killer Film...
gork57 | Aurora, CO USA | 08/24/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Angelina Jolie seems to be falling into the same hole as other actresses who have won Oscars recently; Mira Sorvino and Halle Berry come to mind. The roles/films she has chosen have simply not been very good, and 'Taking Lives' is a prime example. It is a gory, derivative mess of a film.
The plot is essentially 'a young man grows to adulthood murdering other men to adopt their lives'. He (Ethan Hawke) finds men who are serial wanderers (no pun intended) who conveniently have no friends or family - really - then murders them in a most vicious fashion. He then 'assumes' their identity until he fancies someone else. Apparently the Montreal, Quebec police are too incompetent to figure this out, so they need Jolie's FBI agent to essentially perform the investigation for them. The Jolie character then proceeds to fall in love with the 'witness' to one of the murders - another instance where the woman cannot be in a film without falling in love with someone. This blew the movie out of the water for me.
The story is a direct derivation of two films: 'Silence of the Lambs' (female FBI agent), and 'Seven' (dark, ugly sets, gore, and general feeling of depression), both of which were done far better than this film. It's not that hard to figure out that the Ethan Hawke character is the culprit within the first hour of the film, even though the scriptwriters try to throw curves at the viewer to heighten the 'suspense'.
The gore is extreme. There are faces smashed in with rocks, stabbings, beatings and decapitations, all depicted in graphic detail. There is also the obligatory morgue/autopsy scene (again clearly lifted from 'Lambs').
I cannot recommend this film; it is simply too derivative and stereotypical. It disrepects Angelina Jolie's FBI agent character by having her get romantically involved with a witness in a murder case (another cliche that already been done elsewhere). The extra feature sections then proceed to behave as if the film is a marvelously original creation. It is indeed unfortunate that such good actors as Ethan Hawke, Tcheky Karyo and Kiefer Sutherland are wasted in such a film..."
Predictable, but effective
J R Zullo | São Paulo, Brazil | 04/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've heard people trying to compare "Taking lives" to "Silence of the lambs" This is unfair to both movies, as they are very different. "Silence of the lambs" is one of the best psychological thrillers of recent years, a very well-made movie, one of the rare exceptions where the screenplay is better than the original book. "Taking lives" `s proposal is not of a psychological thriller, but rather a sort of an action movie, blended with a whodunnit, and it was written mostly for Angelina Jolie's mesmerizing looks. In fact, the thrilling parts are effective. Caruso, the director, knows how to built tension in certain scenes, making the viewer jump when he wants it. But this movie clearly lacks a better plot development. Before twenty minutes, you already know who the culprit is. What I want to say is that "Taking lives" is very predictable, from beginning to end (really, to the last minute). Even then, the story is interesting and the movie is enjoyable. It could be more so, but Ethan Hawke's acting is very lame, nothing like what he accomplished in "Training day". This is an effective thriller, but could be better in many aspects. Anyway, if you like to watch Angelina Jolie, this is your movie. I've never seen her so beautiful before. Grade 7.5/10"