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Kiss the Girls
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Sufficient Mainstream Psychological Cop Thriller with Particularly Good Lead Performances

Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States
19 May 2010

In this modest enough psycho-thriller, once more Freeman plays a policeman on the path of a perverse serial killer, and again the shade is bottomless and the antagonist is ingenious and the atrocities are intended to convey some sort of perverted meanings. Though as commercial and formula-driven as it is, the movie's not a rehash but a fertile piece, based on a Patterson book about a criminal who, the Freeman character perceives, is not killing his quarries, but accumulating them. Often said by moviegoers to be the actor whose presence has the most authority of any of his generation, Freeman has an exceptional bearing on the screen, a particular determination that we believe. He never looks or sound like he's pretending. He never gives a superficial, obvious or distracted impression, and even in movies that aren't that good, he's not guilty by association: You feel he's genuine even as a film may capsize around him.

Freeman plays Patterson's pet character Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist with the Washington, D.C., police, who becomes entrenched in a chain of kidnappings in North Carolina. When his own niece is taken, he flies there and calls on the police department, where he's kept waiting for hours until he ultimately barges into the office of the chief. The victims are being taken by a man who inscribes himself "Casanova," and one of his victims is found dead tied to a tree and "left for the critters to find." Cross questions why there aren't more bodies, and speculates that Casanova is a collector who kills only when he believes he needs to. His niece and her fellow captives must still be alive somewhere. His hypothesis is certified by what comes of extraordinarily sexy local doctor Ashley Judd, who also gives the sometimes humdrum drama a helping of forceful energy.

And what Freeman brings to all of his scenes is a really specific thoughtfulness. He doesn't just listen, he appears to cogitate what he is told, to gauge it. That masterful attribute begets a funny outcome, when other actors will tell him something and then stop to see if he trusts it. And Judd shows us such a boldly defined personality, which makes their dialogue scenes, after she's been developed for awhile, engrossing.

Kiss the Girls was directed by Gary Fleder, whose first feature, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, boasted skill but too much artifice. Here he's more careful and restrained, with a story where the shades and details are as chilling as anything else. Here as in Seven, we get a steady feeling of not being able to see everything we believe we want to, as in a chase through the woods which Fleder makes effectively tense through its efficient use of space, never revealing the distance between victim and pursuer.

When the film is over and we know all of its enigmas, there's one we'd like to know more about: What precisely are particulars of the histrionics between the two most nefarious characters? But being left with such a wringer is much more fulfilling in a way than being given the explanation in the conventional fast-sketch Freudian description. What we're also left with is the genuine feeling of having met two authentically defined people in the leads. Freeman and Judd are so good, you almost wish they'd chosen not to make a thriller at all, had just discovered a way to create a drama really sinking their teeth into their characterizations. All things considered, I would've preferred that movie.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Predictable, but it has its moments

Author: jason_13 from Bulgaria
8 July 2006

So there is a psycho who calls himself "Casanova". He doesn't kill his victims. He keeps them in some kind of a basement and torches all the girls, he has brought out there. Morgan Freeman's character is the main character. A smart detective who is ready to kick some ass. His character is some kind of a Se7en clone which is not good. It's a step down for Freeman. Ashley Judd plays a girl who has gotten away from the killer and things get better for all the detective trying to catch "Casanova". That's basically all about the plot.

The performances could've been better. The character study try fails, but after all, I enjoyed Casanova's way of torture. I enjoyed the music and the modern thriller atmosphere. Also the dialog is often impressive for just "another thriller". It's probably better than Along Came a Spider. That's personal opinion. And as I have already mentioned, Kiss the Girls is kinda predictable. Forget the "twist". I'm talking about the whole story development. It's just too contemporary.

Overall, it's not a skip, it's not strongly recommended, but you could watch it if you're looking for a simple killer-detective-girl story.


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Hunting Down A Killer Casanova

Author: seymourblack-1 from United Kingdom
21 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on James Patterson's best selling novel of the same name, "Kiss The Girls" is a profoundly disturbing story about an investigation into a series of kidnappings. The villain is a creepy psychopath, a serial rapist and a killer who kidnaps young women and is then deluded enough to think that he can win their affection. An eerie atmosphere prevails throughout and some interesting characters, tense moments and unexpected developments ensure that the action remains thoroughly engrossing right through to the movie's gripping climax.

Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) is a Washington D.C. police detective and forensic psychologist who travels to Durham, North Carolina when his niece, Naomi (Gina Ravera), becomes the latest in a series of young women who have recently disappeared. He soon discovers that the missing women have all been kidnapped by a man who calls himself Casanova and one of his captives has been killed and left in a forest tied up to a tree. Cross is relieved to discover that the murder victim isn't his niece but very soon after, a local young doctor called Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) is also kidnapped from her home.

Cross is a cool and methodical character who, after studying the available information, comes to the conclusion that Casanova is actually a collector rather than a serial killer and is probably only murdering the women who persist in disobeying his orders.

Kate McTiernan is a feisty person whose pastimes include kick-boxing. She's initially kept in a drugged state by her captor and when she recovers consciousness, finds herself in an underground cell where she can hear the voices of the other unseen captives. Shortly after, she manages to make her escape when she bravely jumps from a very high cliff and has to be rescued from the river below before having to spend some time recuperating in hospital. When her recovery is complete, Kate and Cross decide to work together to hunt down Casanova. Despite the useful information that Kate is able to contribute to the investigation, their task becomes more complicated when some new clues unexpectedly point them in the direction of Los Angeles.

"Kiss The Girls" is well-made, visually impressive and has a consistent sense of impending danger. The dialogue is good and occasionally amusing, for example when the unhelpful Durham Police Chief tells Cross to "make yourself at home but don't mess around in the kitchen". It also has a very talented cast and two lead performances which are excellent both individually and in the way that they complement each other. Morgan Freeman is faultless as the intelligent investigator and Ashley Judd conveys her character's combination of courage and vulnerability very convincingly. Freeman and Judd interact naturally and the scenes in which Kate is abducted and later escapes from her captor's hideout, provide some of the movie's best moments.

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Owes quite a lot to the Hannibal trilogy

Author: Lawrence Griffin from United States
16 June 2007

(written September 2006)

A demented psychopath is kidnapping beautiful young women, and it's up to detective Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) and the only woman ever to escape the 'collector', Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd), to track him down and save the other women, among whom is Cross's niece Naomi. A furious chase ensues, and many dark secrets are revealed.

This was certainly an interesting movie, no doubt. It looked a bit like the movie Se7en (1995) when I first heard of it, but when I got into took a very large amount of interest from the movie Silence of the Lambs (1991), and the entire Hannibal Lector trilogy for that matter. Almost to the point of being a ripoff, sadly. The plot structure is the same, very reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs and Manhunter throughout the movie, and the idea of a sick psychopath kidnapping young girls seems to be loosely tied to the excellent Silence of the Lambs. OK, so you get the idea...this movie is a lot like the Hannibal Lector trilogy, but more...restrained. Not as dark, psychotic, or grisly as Silence of the Lambs and lacking the brutality and, thankfully, the idiocy, of Hannibal, this one seems almost like a leftover script from the writers/directors of the Hannibal trilogy.

Not to say it sucks, though, it's the opposite. This movie is very intelligent and sickening at some points (though not to the levels of the Hannibal trilogy, of course). It's got a solid plot and is actually very frightening at times. The characters are good and the acting is especially well-preformed by all of our lead cast members. It drags on for a long time (2 hours), but that's a good thing here...see, I didn't want it to end, it had me glued to my seat for most of it's duration. The plot twist at the end was very good and I did not see it coming. Too bad the ending was a ripoff of the ending of Hannibal or Manhunter; perhaps an amalgamation of the two. Bleh.

Overall this is definitely worth a rental. It's a solid movie with a good cast and a thoroughly interesting plot. the Hannibal trilogy first.

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Where's nana?

Author: johnff1960 from United Kingdom
24 February 2007

I enjoyed the film and believe that it did the story some kind of justice, even if it was inferior to the feeling i got from reading Patterson's novel. I was disappointed that some of the relationships within the original story that make the book such a good read are sadly neglected in the movie. I refer to Cross's relationships with Nana, with his children, and most of all with his cop partner John Sampson. All of these help build Cross into a three dimensional character in Patterson's novels, as well as introducing us to these three dimensional characters themselves. The characters are nothing more than peripheral in the movie, and I think this was an opportunity missed to give the film more depth. Morgan Freeman, being Morgan Freeman, did a predictably awesome job in carrying the movie in his usual understated authoritative manner, but it was a shame other characters (and actors) weren't given more opportunity to share the workload. Other than that, a pretty good job and easily watchable.

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Pretty good thriller

Author: ElmStreetsLastBrat from Georgia
19 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kiss the Girls is a pretty good thriller. I was kept on the edge of my seat and kept interested in finding out who the killer was. There were a couple of times where I felt the scene could move a little faster but I wasn't bored. Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd were great in this film but they never disappoint. I'm a Cary Elwes fan and he was pretty good in this film, but I don't know what was up with that "accent" of his. It is never a good thing when a Londoner tries to speak with a southern accent. It's not a good combination. But that didn't distract me from the film or make me want to turn it off. I kept watching! But the most entertaining film in the scene was the climax. It was interesting how Morgan Freeman realized who the kidnapper was and then I was so enthralled with finding out how he was going to get to Ashley Judd before something bad happened to her. I was a little disappointed that Jeremy Piven, who played Henry Castillo, LAPD, had such a little role. He is such a great actor and he doesn't show up until halfway through the film and he's in, like, three scenes and then his character is killed. That makes me wonder why he was even in this film but he was good nonetheless. He never disappoints. This film was gripping and interesting and never boring. It won't win any awards or make any kind of difference in any of the actor's careers but it was a good film. I enjoyed it and I'm glad I have it in my collection. Thanks for reading my review! ~LaTissa~

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Author: jamiecostelo58 from United Kingdom
12 December 2006

This is probably another of my favourite movies after Se7en. Kiss The Girls has that fast-paced and edge-of-your-seat suspense that keeps you hooked to the end, with a powerful performance from Morgan Freeman as Dr. Alex Cross.

We see into the disturbing mind of a ruthless killer and kidnapper, taking innocent lives so he can watch them suffer for his own gratification. It's a gruesome world; one that I, and many other people, would not want to be a part of.

With Cross' niece being one of these victims, you can't help but feel compassion and sympathy for him. But at least one got away...

A equally strong minded Ashley Judd performs well, and the cat-and-mouse game we witness in their attempts to nail this beast is compelling viewing.

A strong twist in the tale brings a satisfactory ending that certainly had me surprised. It proves that even the most unlikely of people can be a suspect...

A thrilling movie from start to finish, mixed with powerful performances and smart direction, Kiss The Girls is a great adaptation of the James Patterson novel, and is a film that should not disappoint.

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A Thriller with a twist....sounds good!!!!

Author: trackstartrox from United States
23 March 2006

Kiss the Girls is about a detective played by Morgan Freeman, who was asked to help investigators with a serious of missing persons cases and two died victims. However, when one woman name Kate played by Ashley Judd somehow escapes the killers hiding spot. However, she doesn't know where she came from and helps out with the case. Their is a lot of finger pointing, but who's the killer?

Kiss the Girls is a tightly made thriller with a very good twist, but it could have been somewhat better in terms of frights and suspense. The performances from Freeman, and Judd were well done, and the directing was also good. This is an excellent late-night flick if your looking for some suspense.


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Author: Ersal from Canada
5 April 2005

I really thought this was an excellent movie. However it was very much overshadowed by the movie Se7en. Don't get my wrong Se7en was a good movie but I think that Kiss The Girls was a better movie and had a bigger shocker at the end. Whenever people talk about these psychological thrillers and big endings Se7en is the movie that comes up over and over again. I think that Kiss The Girls should be the movie that is mentioned as well. One of my favourite psychological thrillers of all time is this movie and It always upsets me when people constantly talk about Se7en even though I didn't see the big deal about it, the ending wasn't that much of a shocker when in Kiss The Girls you think the movie is over... but it isn't.

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Dark, well-filmed thriller

Author: jasonpb from United States
9 April 2002

This was my first Gary Fleder film, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was dark, and at times scary, and I thought the music added a lot to the script. The soundtrack was gloomy at night, which really added to the mood. Morgan Freeman was excellent (as always), and Ashley Judd was strong as well. She was quite believable as a strong-willed Southern girl. Fleder seems to know quite well what he wants to accomplish, and does so admirably. The cinematography was commendable as well. The ending is a little surprising, following the pattern of the entire film. If there is one downfall to this movie, I think the ending was drawn out a little too long; it did not end when I expected it to. Other than that, this is a good, entertaining movie that is definitely worth a watch, especially if you liked High Crimes, which just came out starring Freeman and Judd. Solid 6/10 (closer to 7)

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