Review: Secret in Their Eyes

secret 1adam reviewSecret in Their Eyes.

This movie kind of flew under the radar for me. Great cast but minimal marketing and a somewhat depressing-looking film, which is a hard sell.

The gist.

13 years ago, Jess (Julia Roberts) lost her daughter. The man who supposedly killed her got away. Since then, Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) has been searching for him and he’s finally found a match. He takes this evidence to Claire (Nicole Kidman) who was also part of the original case, in the hope that she might help. The movie jumps from the current 2015 story and the story as it unfolded in 2002.

We also have Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Michael Kelly (House of Cards), and Joe Cole as the murderer in question.

What works?

With this sort of cast, you expect amazing performances and you definitely get them. There’s some real raw emotion on display here, most notably by Roberts and Ejiofor. Nicole Kidman gets a few standout scenes as well. Top notch stuff here. Even relative newcomer Joe Cole gives off this toxicity as the man who might’ve killed this poor girl. Great performances all around.

Unfortunately, it’s time to jump to the next section.

secret 2

What doesn’t work?

Above I mentioned that the structure hops back and forth between present and past. This unfortunately doesn’t always work. A few flashbacks, sure. It causes more headaches than it’s worth though, as it’s not always clear what time we’re in. Chiwetel looks the same, aside from a few gray hairs. This structure didn’t really work and caused me to become disengaged with the movie.

The movement through time also undercut some of the tension in the past, knowing how the future turns out. It removes the threat of harm and answers questions that the characters in the past are still looking for.

Aside from this, nothing else was abnormally bad, but it wasn’t spectacular either. That’s a problem though, when a cast like this is assembled. Missed opportunities.

Also, this is a horrible title for a movie.


Great talent can’t save a weirdly structured film. They deliver stellar performances but there’s no tension in the story, aside from a few standout scenes. It’s about to be Oscar season, which means tons of quality movies are about to (hopefully) hit theaters, so I doubt this one will last in theaters more than a few weeks. I’d recommend you wait to rent it, if you’re at all interested.

Rating 3 star


About adamryen

Entertainment. Gaming. Dreaming.
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