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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Halle Berry
Bruce Willis
Gary Dourdan
Giovanni Ribisi
Nicki Aycox.
Directors
James Foley.
Screenwriters
Todd Komarnicki.
Running Time
109 minutes

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Perfect Stranger
'Perfect' is not the first word we'd use...


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Plot
A woman (Berry) who goes undercover online to investigate a friend’s murder.


Review
Perfect Stranger

It’s been claimed director  James Foley shot three endings for this glossy and, he would like you to think, ‘steamy’ thriller, each revealing a different killer. Having seen the finished product, that’s easy to believe. There’s little storytelling craft in evidence and scant regard for the planting of subtle clues. Instead, we trudge down the occasional blind alley, chewing joylessly on a scrap or two of past-its-sell-by-date red herring before we stumble over the point in the script where it says “[insert twist here]”. That said twist is inserted with all the finesse of a square peg bludgeoned hurriedly into a round hole only adds insult to injury.
 
And when will studio execs learn that the internet never makes good cinema? Even if it’s someone as gorgeous as Halle Berry perched in front of her Vaio (this is a Sony movie), her pensive expression bathed in cold monitor-light blue, her mouth moving as she repeats aloud every word she’s reading and typing… Hang on, who does that? Either Foley realised that having Berry type silently would just be too boring, or he thinks his audience is really so imbecilic that it can’t read the words he clearly shows her inputting. Boring or stupid? What a choice. But somehow this film is both.
 
Berry does her utmost to maintain poise while treading around the mess. God knows she’s had practice, and she at least imbues Rowena with enough vivacity to maintain a smidgen of interest in her investigation.Even so, you can’t help thinking she’s perhaps hoping that we won’t realise it’s really her. Maybe that explains the woolly grey cap she keeps pulling down over her eyes…
 
The only headwear Bruce Willis has to rely on is the latest in a long line of dodgy  wigs. But the rug is more convincing than Bruce himself, whose weary, weathered features just don’t fit the designer threads of a sleazy, high-flying media exec — not that he tries. Did he phone his performance in? Come on, this is the digital age. Why phone it in when he can use email?


Verdict
A twist-burdened techno-thriller that would be by-the-numbers if it could count.


Reviewed by Dan Jolin

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Perfect Stranger
Empire Star Rating

RE: Aren't you all forgetting someone?

Giovanni Ribisi's 'performance'?  What, really?  He was the worst thing in it and that's really saying something; this was one of the worst films I have seen in a long, long time with no redeeming features whatsover.  Ribisi's performance a saving grace? Christ, that's funnier than the film itself. ... More

Posted by mackey at 23:40, 10 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Aren't you all forgetting someone?

L: Monkeymouse The only thing worthy of mentioning about this film is Giovanni Ribisi's performance - it was only him that made it bearable to watch! sp; Agreed.   What a load of rubbish.  Ok so there was a twist, but that was the best thing to write about it. ... More

Posted by Newander at 16:14, 08 August 2007 | Report This Post


Aren't you all forgetting someone?

The only thing worthy of mentioning about this film is Giovanni Ribisi's performance - it was only him that made it bearable to watch! By the way, I didn't want to give any stars - empire, can't you change your rating system to allow 'Nil Points' if reviewers choose so? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Monkeymouse at 13:39, 29 April 2007 | Report This Post


Give it a chance

You are all being rather harsh to this film, although this is by no means a masterpiece it s an enjoyable piece of nensense. Once you get over the first 2o minutes or so of Halle Berry fitting in to her role and Bruce Willis starts to appear then this film start to get entertaining. Bruce Willis is actually very good in this role, something that I wasn't expecting, and there are a few nice bits of on screen chemistry between him and Halle. There is also a nice little twist at the end that reall... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stephendowie at 12:51, 20 April 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Perfect Stranger

Absolute piffle. A grotesque exercise in product placement, and what is worse is that it is smugly actly and incredibly dull. It tells you a lot about a film when it has a recap flashback only five minutes in.   Avoid. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joemanji at 20:49, 14 April 2007 | Report This Post


Has all the sex appeal of a peanut!

What happened to Halle Berry? A few years back she was the new thing, an actress with an Oscar, done a great supporting role in a Bond movie, had some other pretty credible roles, and starred in the blockbuster X-Men and X-Men 2. And then she went off to star in Catwoman. Why she signed on to star in that loathsome little movie is still beyond me, but she clearly learnt here lesson as she collected her Razzie for the movie in person. But after her little performance in this pathetic little Basic... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by 02PARSIM at 19:47, 13 April 2007 | Report This Post



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