Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Robert De Niro
Sigourney Weaver
Cillian Murphy
Toby Jones
Joely Richardson
Elizabeth Olsen
Craig Roberts.
Directors
Rodrigo Cortés.
Screenwriters
Rodrigo Cortés.
Running Time
119 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
4 Star Empire Rating
Cupcakes
3 Star Empire Rating
You & Me Forever
4 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Light: Jane Brown
3 Star Empire Rating
Informant, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
5 Star Empire Rating

Red Lights
American Psychic


submit to reddit


Plot
Paranormal investigators Tom Buckley (Murphy) and Margaret Matheson (Weaver) cannot resist applying their rigorous scientific methods to the showy antics of blind spoon-bender Simon Silver (De Niro), who comes out of retirement for one last series of shows 30 years after a performance in which a member of the audience — his own harshest critic — was killed.


Review
Red Lights
Browse more images »
Having spent his last film, Buried, in the company of a single actor in a wooden box, Rodrigo Cortés assembles an impressive cast for his second feature, with the headliners joined by Toby Jones, Elizabeth Olsen, Joely Richardson and Submarine’s Craig Roberts. But they have their work cut out selling this overwrought thriller which, in its best moments, combines Hitchcockian intricacy with the cinematic sleight-of-hand of Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, but more often feels like a shabby X-Files episode with 50 times the budget but a fraction of the wit.

After swiftly debunking a traditional séance, Tom (Cillian Murphy) and Margaret (Sigourney Weaver) show a class of rapt students — presumably studying Parapsychology 101 — how to spot the telltale signs, or ‘red lights’, of a con artist. Their skills are given more of a workout exposing the cheap chicanery of self-styled psychic Leonardo Palladino (Leonardo Sbaraglia). This they achieve by tuning their radio equipment (which they’ve somehow smuggled into the theatre) to the frequency of a tiny receiver whispering into Palladino’s ear. So far, so fun — but the ludicrous sight of him being dragged from the stage by angry cops is a red flag that Cortés may not be entirely in command of his material.

And so it proves. When Robert De Niro is wheeled out as a blind, Uri Geller-type mesmerist, setting the stage for a face-off between the showman and the debunkers, Red Lights starts to falter, forcing Cortés to fall back on thriller conventions. With a final, fatal flourish, the director reveals what’s been up his sleeve all along: an ending so ridiculous it requires the audience not only to suspend disbelief, but hang it by the neck until it is dead.


Verdict
Even with flashes of invention and the game cast, it would take a wilier showman than Cortés to truly impress with this shabby bag of tricks.


Reviewed by David Hughes

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Red Lights
Empire Star Rating

RE: Red Lights

Psychologist Margaret Matheson and physicist Tom Buckley go on expeditions to debunk fake mediums and psychics. Margaret is increasingly dissatisfied and even bored from being unable to come across a real challenge while Tom is getting more and more keen. Tom begins to get interested in Simon Silver, a world famous, blind psychic and want to prove him as a fraud, but Margaret seems strangely reluctant to investigate him. Then a student of Tom’s Sally Owen, who also teaches people to in clas... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 08:22, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)