Kiss the Girls (1997) Poster

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great acting from the lead, uninspired plot exposition
red_core20 April 2004
If you like serial killer films that like to tax your brain, you should probably give this movie a look (exactly the reasoning I was following when I picked this up at a video store). Chances are, you'll be entertained by what you see. Just don't expect this one to be a nailbiter like Silence of the Lambs or Se7en. This one comes across as more than a little forced, at times, something that can't be levelled against those two superior films.

The plot setup is as follows. A forensic psychologist (whom we get to see in action in an unrelated case, as an introduction), Dr. Alex Cross (played by Morgan Freeman), is placed in a personal position when his niece disappears, among 8 other women -- two of which are soon found dead in a forest, clearly brutally raped earlier. Cross, a clever guy, soon determines that the other six are probably alive out there somewhere, including his niece. Meanwhile, a young doctor named Kate (Ashley Judd) is herself captured by the rapist/murder/etc. (we see the events unfolding from her perspective). She, however, manages to escape. Dr. Cross and she then try to solve the case, so that Cross's niece may be rescued.

From here on, we get standard cop thriller fare -- and I'm not saying that as a bad thing, as such stories, when well crafted, are inherently interesting -- with a clear bond (not a romantic one) forming between Cross and Kate. Of course, plot twists abound (you get plenty of surprises about who the killer might be), until the inevitable (and a bit predictable) violent conclusion. Of course, the serial killer seems to be pretty kinky (an important element for a film like this); his depravity is, unfortunately (or fortunately?) never fully fleshed out.

Through it all, Morgan Freeman does an admirable job. You feel the weight of his intellect and emotion, as he goes about this personal case, even when the script doesn't project this weight itself. It's fascinating to see a professional transcend this material so easily. Freeman makes this film, 100% -- he's not only realistic but also heavily charismatic (without seeming forced, as Al Pacino on late-career-autopilot seems to be). Ashley Judd does a good job, as does the supporting cast (well... the serial killer isn't that great...), though a certain scene where she emotionally tells her story to Cross is way forced.

There are times, however, when great acting just can't make up for a mechanical script. It's not that the plot is bad itself, it's that it's exposed somewhat mundanely. It seems as though whenever a plot point is determined by the characters, they dwell on it for a bit, until it becomes uninteresting, and then the next plot point is delivered to us. The method of delivery never seems to flow out of the film's preceding movement, and often defies common sense (why would a psychologist be able to pick up a medical reference and easily pick out the drug used on a victim, when the actual medical doctors could not? it's possible but seems a bit too convenient).

The film's handling of the script is good. It looks good, and sounds good (in 5.1 surround). I still couldn't help but notice that all the tricks one normally sees that are supposed to increase tension and drama are used in this film, too, even when the script just doesn't provide the same tension and drama. (For instance, when Freeman makes a solemn pronouncement about some trait of the killer he randomly decided on, because he's so good.) When this happens, it feels like the movie is going through the motions (no matter how hard it tries, it's just not as hard-hitting or dark as, say, Se7en). Often enough, though, the cinematographer's and director's work fits the screenplay perfectly, especially during the action at the end. The experienced movie goer, however, will probably detect a moment of randomness (watch the camera work during the bar scene with the three detectives, after Jeremy Piven asks Ashley Judd to stay still) -- I'm probably nitpicking here.

Well, there you go. It's a good movie, but quite cliched, and too often it just doesn't feel right. But if you use it to admire Morgan Freeman's work, you will be entertained. 6/10
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Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd
NewEnglandPat11 August 2005
This suspense thriller is every bit as good as James Patterson's fine novel and has great chemistry between Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. The sole plot is Freeman's search for two serial kidnappers and killers who snatch beautiful and accomplished young women, including Freeman's niece. The two killers try to outdo each other as they seize and destroy their trophy captives. As with most mysteries, this one has the usual red herrings, false leads and dead ends. Freeman is excellent as Alex Cross and heroine Judd is a study in grit and survival and is very effective in a finely nuanced role. The supporting cast is also great in a movie that has a leisurely pace and several great action scenes as it peaks towards its conclusion. The North Carolina location lensing, music score and cinematography are all very good.
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Still better than average.
Boba_Fett113816 February 2008
This movie is not among the best but still has more to offer than the average thriller. This is mostly due to its cast and fine thriller concept, that however doesn't always gets handled well.

Not all plot-lines get handled and wrapped up properly and the movie leaves some loose ends. The movie also picks some not so likely approaches with each story sometimes, which goes at the expensive of the credibility- and therefore also the tension of the movie.

It's a movie that had the potential of becoming a real dark and eerie thriller, I mean the concept of the movie would definitely allow this but the movie gets somewhere stuck between its successful and not so successful thriller moments.

Guess Morgan Freeman wanted to make another "Se7en" like thriller. Well, it's not completely fair to compare this movie to "Se7en" but because Morgan Freeman is in it and it's from about the same period, it's easy and tempting to do so. Also with some imagination the plots and approaches of both movies show some similarities. But unfortunately "Kiss the Girls" is nowhere in the same league as "Se7en" but fans of the genre will still find plenty to enjoy in this movie.

The movie features all of the right required thriller ingredients. So a psychopath, a cop trying to solve the case and of course a couple of plot twists. It also has all the right looks for a thriller. The movie has the right sort of dark undertone and handles some of its moments effectively.

The movie truly benefits from its cast. Morgan Freeman is an experienced actor and always good in these sort of roles. The movie also among other features; Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes, Bill Nunn, Brian Cox and Jeremy Piven.

A better than average thriller.

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Thrilling mystery. Torrid and touching.
Michael O'Keefe8 October 2000
A serial killer is collecting strong and attractive young women. He is also attracted to their talents and wisdom. It may be that he is holding his living trophies in underground cells. It may be that he is stalking on both coasts; in South Carolina and in California. Does this diabolical deranged man have a partner in crime; or does he have a copy cat competing with him?

One of the victims manages to get away. The lovely Ashley Judd is a doctor that studies kick boxing for a hobby. She ends up helping Morgan Freeman, who plays a forensic psychologist and special criminal investigator. Judd and Morgan work very well together and make the sleuthing as tense as holding forty bumble bees in a soup can. The scenes in the woods brings anxiety to a boiling point.

If you liked BONE COLLECTOR or just a fan of chilling, action mysteries; this will not disappoint you. Also in the cast are: Cary Elwes, Roma Maffia and Alex McArthur.
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A One-Look Movie Not Up To Standards Of The Two Stars
ccthemovieman-121 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
With established stars that I like - Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd - and a different story angle (two killers operating in tandem, one on each coast) I keep thinking this thriller is better than what it is, and each time I watch I am disappointed. After three viewings, I've finally had enough. I should have quit while I was ahead.

I'm not particularly a proponent of "edgy" films but this needs more of an edge. It doesn't have it and it falls flat in too many spots. There also too many scenes that, if you analyze them, couldn't or simply wouldn't happen. These mount up after awhile and about 3/4ths of the way through this, you wonder why you're wasting two hours on a movie that SHOULD be better.

In all, it's a poor film for actors the quality of Freeman and Judd to be associated with, and a poor rendition from a fine, best-selling book. No wonder you get find this DVD for $5 at Wal-Mart. It is worth one look, but that's all.
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so-so thriller
HelloTexas113 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What 'Kiss The Girls' has going for it mainly is Morgan Freeman. What's the old saying? He would be interesting reciting the phone book. Freeman has the kind of screen presence that other actors only dream of possessing. He is calm, reassuring, magnetic... he is wise without acting like a know-it-all; maturity and decency seem to radiate from him. It's interesting to ponder whether Freeman is really that good of an actor, or if he simply possesses an overdose of charisma, like Errol Flynn. In any event, he's the best thing about 'Kiss The Girls', a standard-issue sicko-on-the-loose-kidnapping-beautiful-women thriller. It's basically a rehash of 'Silence of the Lambs' without the Hannibal Lecter character. And without the style. Much is hinted at and some of the dialogue is explicit, but that's as far as 'Kiss The Girls' goes. Visually, it's really pretty dull. Good thing it has Morgan Freeman to aim the camera at. Ashley Judd plays the one who gets away, a kidnap victim who escapes the psycho's dungeon. (And it is literally a dungeon. No basement or shed. A real dungeon.) She is also a brilliant doctor. See, this sick creep likes to kidnap INTELLIGENT and INDEPENDENT women. No airheads for him. Unfortunately, this little twist in the usual plot provides no new ideas or fresh situations, unless you count Freeman's daughter playing the violin. Judd is adequate in the not-very-believable role; she strikes me as a female Keanu Reeves, something sort of android-ish about her. And good old Cary Elwes (warning- spoiler coming) is- surprise!- the psychotic kidnapper. Like we were going to believe he was a sincere, good old boy policeman. Poor Cary Elwes- he is really typecast. But I can see why. He just has that kind of face. 'Kiss The Girls' seems a lot like your typical TV-movie of the week; it's what the critics call an 'agreeable time-filler'... but it DOES have Morgan Freeman in it.
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Plot is a load of rubbish
martin.selway4 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Lets start with the positive - Morgan Freeman did a great acting job, but that alone was not enough to save this film from the trash heap. There are so many unbelievable elements to this film, I just don't know where to start. Heres a few: Are we meant to believe that half a dozen women are being held captive and the local police are doing nothing to find them? The idea that Freeman and his buddy from Washington DC take on the enquiry all on their own and don't tell anyone they are staking out this suspect is daft. The real killer turns out to be a detective working on the case - just how did he spend all the time with the girls when he was also working full time on a murder enquiry? The murderer has distinctive writing and sent Freeman a note which is so easy to match up with the detective's handwriting it's just not believable!

Some tense moments in the film, but if you choose to watch this, be prepared to suspend disbelief!
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good story that doesn't fully deliver in the end
Special-K887 March 2007
Detective Alex Cross is an experienced, astute forensic psychologist. He's brought in to aid in the investigation of a slippery criminal mastermind with a track record for abducting young women who are both beautiful and talented. The case becomes personal for Cross when one of the women abducted is his niece, and he enlists the aid of local doctor and former victim Kate McTiernan (Judd) who escaped from the same perpetrator and is the only living person who can identify him. Stylish, atmospheric, well-crafted thriller has a story that holds your interest, with some effective twists and strong performances from Freeman and Judd, but it all builds to a climax that doesn't quite payoff. Still, a respectable showing for all those involved. **½
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psycho_15310 January 2000
Pretty good thriller. Lots of twists and turns to keep your attention. Great performances from Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. The story is Washington DC detective Dr. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) travels to North Carolina to investigate the apparent kidnapping of his niece (Gina Ravera). Aided by escaped kidnapee Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd), Cross hunts down the kidnapper, who operates under the pseudonym "Cassanova". Pretty good watch, nice performance by casanova all up a good movie.
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A bit gruesome and abusive, but Freeman is great, a routine but decent film
secondtake14 August 2010
Kiss the Girls (1997)

Not a bad film, "entertaining" in the sense of sitting back and watching an episode of Bones or CSI. It has more development and higher production values, I guess, than television, but really it is a routine film hardly worth thinking too hard about.

Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman have been together for three movies, and they work together well. I'm not sure I see any special chemistry there, and for my money, it's a Morgan Freeman film. He plays a Forensic Psychologist and is all business, not swayed by stupidity. Judd plays a victim at first, and then in an unlikely twist, joins the investigation. The plot is frankly a little predictable, and you keep thinking there will be this giant twist, but there isn't. You simply don't know exactly who the perp is.

Ah, well, it propels itself all the same, a fun distraction.
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good cast, not so hot script
lenfan9113 June 2007
Cary Elwes does an incredible job as Nick Ruskin. He acts with perfect emotion for every particular scene and brings a unique feel to the character portrayed in the book. Elwes does superb acting in this film, and really displays his range. After reading the novel, I was surprised by Freemans casting. He impressed me with his comittment to the character, however, during the film he seemed over-dramatic taking away from the realism of the story (what makes the film and novel so terrorizing). Ashley Judd played Kate McTieran well and portrayed Pattersons heroine with the courage and bravery expected. Where the movie falls short is in the script. The adaptation leaves out numerous key elements to the story. What makes the plot so riveting is the psychological trauma Cassanova and the Gentleman caller force onto their captives. With brief scenes portraying the womens captivity, they film takes away from the character development of the murderers and focuses too heavily on superfluous tidbits not necessary to the story. If you are seeking a true thriller, you may want to choose another movie. Although the film is entertaining and the acting decent, the novel is much better and the thriller genre is better utilized in other films.
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Hunting Down A Killer Casanova
seymourblack-121 March 2016
Warning: 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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Deliciously diabolical!
ChoiBaby28 January 1999
A devilish maniac is on the loose, kidnapping beautiful women left and right. Many of his unfortunate victims who do not comply to his sadistic demands end up being tortured...and killed. Dr. Jack Cross (Morgan Freeman) is an insightful psychologist working for the police department. He has been hired to investigate a peculiar pattern of apparently random abductions of young, nubile women. Cross fails to secure any leads until his battle with the infamous abductor turns personal. The detective's niece has recently became the latest victim to this psychotic's premeditated schemes...

Calling himself "Casanova," this misogynistic serial murderer is alluring, charming...and equally mentally destructive...

Cross's only assistant is a beautiful and intelligent doctor (Ashley Judd). Another police detective (Cary Elwes) is also chasing after the kidnapper. With no clue or leads for unmasking this elusive stalker, the police with the help from the doctor must find a clever way to unlocking his secrets. As time becomes of the essence and the night takes over, Cross and the doctor rush desperately to seek out the lost souls who are under duress into becoming the fiend's prisoners...

KISS THE GIRLS is a perversely provocative thriller with such stunning photography. The moody atmosphere truly enraptures the viewer into a dark nightmarish world. The lightning is sometimes incomprehensible for the picture, but this fault adds to the disturbing effect of the movie itself. KISS THE GIRLS is a great mystery, with the individual clues and seemingly isolated events carefully stitched together to create one whole puzzle that may just serve as the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks to a seductively morbid tone, the film keeps the viewer fascinated throughout the length of the flick. KISS THE GIRLS is a sophisticated horror show since the audience never knows who the real killer may be. Even so, there is always more to the background scenery then what the eyes are allowed to see. The viewer must always eavesdrop when the leads interact with each other on screen...

Deliciously diabolical! The performances from KISS THE GIRLS are first rate. Ashley Judd is riveting as a kick-boxing doctor whose strong willpower can make her an appropriate inspiration and role model for young females. Morgan Freeman establishes more integrity as a forensics psychologist, determined to track down his kidnapped niece. The main scoundrel, whoever his real name may be, is one of the most unique villains ever to embrace the screen. His characteristics were wisely shot in a series of bleak, unrelenting shots so that the moviegoer may get a glimpse of his cryptic face, yet, they can not spill the beans as to find out who he really is.

KISS THE GIRLS is a startling movie with an array of scares and plot twists to keep you interested plus a decent pace to keep the story-line moving.

RATING: **1/2 out of ****.
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Very good adaptation
xredgarnetx17 February 2008
GIRLS is a very good adaptation of a James Patterson novel about a collector of women. One of those kidnapped is D.C. sleuth Alex Cross' nieces, and Cross (played wonderfully by Morgan Freeman) is soon on the case. Ashley Judd in her prime plays a doctor kidnapped by and who eventually escapes from the masked bad buy. She and Cross eventually track him down in his lair, but the question is will Cross' niece still be alive? The identity of the bad guy will come as no surprise tomost crime film fans, but it's a fun ride getting there. Veteran character actors Bill Nunn, Tony Goldwyn, Brian Cox and Cary Elwes are all along for the ride. Strong direction and suspenseful pacing help immensely. Too bad the follow-up Alex Cross adventure, with Freeman again playing Cross, ALONG CAME A SPIDER, was a dog. Might have made an interesting franchise.
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Fire the casting director
tunnelboy27 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This was an OK movie that could have been great. Morgan Freeman was fine as usual, but some of the other characters were poorly cast. I thought Ashley Judd was completely unbelievable as a surgeon/boxer/detective (sheesh!). By the way, how many delicately handed brain surgeons do you know that are also kick boxers? The whole movie had moments of disbelief and improbability. Why in the early scenes did the surgeon/kick boxer have a fish tank at the very foot of her staircase (which she subsequently crashed into after being chased by Casanova?). And how did the busy surgeon suddenly find time to tag along a police investigation? At the end, when Alex fires the shot, how come none of the cops outside the house come rushing in (or even before when all the commotion was going on)?
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You've already seen it.
Robert J. Maxwell2 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The niece of a Washington, D. C., police psychologist disappears from her campus in North Carolina. The psychologist (Freeman) goes down to help out the local cops. Shortly, another young woman (Judd), an intern at the local Regional Center is likewise kidnapped. We follow her story as she is taken to an underground dungeon, drugged and bound and raped. She escapes. Judd and Freeman join forces. They match the local kidnappings, which sometimes end in murder, with others that seem to follow the same pattern in California. They fly to California and discover that a cosmetic surgeon who lives in Marina Del Ray (all L.A. doctors live in Marina Del Ray) has ordered a huge supply of the rarely used drug that was used on Judd during her captivity.

If you find this a little confusing, wait until you see the movie. The plot is not simply complicated, but riddled with lacunae. Unless I blinked at the wrong moment, the movie doesn't explain the relationship between the East Coast killer and the West Coast killer who is duplicating him. I also have no idea how the Eastern killer got hold of the same drug that the West Coast killer is using. And I don't understand why, just before they fly to L.A., Freeman rejects Judd's suggestion that they notify the F.B.I. It's impossible for anyone to know why, after Judd escapes from the killer's hideaway, she stumbles through perhaps 100 yard of forest then jumps into the river, and yet the police and the FBI still can't find the obvious superterranian entrance to the killer's lair. I mean, why couldn't they figure out that it must be located along a two or three miles stretch of the river, less than 100 yeard from the left bank? Why do they refer to benzodiazepines as "benzos" when docs call them "diazepines"? I don't know why the killers off some of the girls and preserve others. The first girl who is offed is Heidi Schanz. The killer deserves to be strung up by his Buster Browns for that. I don't care how many rules she's broken. No additional clarity is provided by the director, who seems to have found out that a camera can be hand held. And the editing introduces further murk. Quick cuts of Ashley Judd practicing her kick boxing in the dungeon, with an occasional brief shot of her doing nothing in particular. Irrelevant tanker trucks that zoom suddenly out of nowhere and almost run Freeman down at a tense moment.

Why go on? Some people will undoubtedly like it because watching it will be comforting. Like all rituals watching a variation on the serial killer theme may provide a fixed point in a changing and disappointing universe. Well, a chaque a son gout. I don't know how many times I've heard Stan Getz's solos with Woody Herman's band, but I could listen to them a hundred more times. Speaking of music, somebody plays a sprightly jig from a suite by Bach and later another piece. The first is really difficult. The violinist deserves a medal for introducing some unexpectedly fresh airs into an otherwise stale production.

A shame, too, because the leads are both imposing performers in their different ways.
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Kiss That Baby Good-by
sol121827 July 2004
****SPOILERS**** Some unknown serial kidnap/murderer is on the loose in the woods outside Durham North Carolina. It gets back to Washington that the niece of D.C PD Dr. Alex Cross, Morgan Freeman, Naomi, Gina Ravera, is missing and possibly kidnapped by the killer and has Dr. Cross shoot down to Durham to not only find Naomi but solve the crimes and catch the perpetrator.

Alex Cross is a man not to be taken lightly by the local Durham PD or anyone else for that matter. He's a Inspector Doctor (PHD) of criminology in the police department of a major US city, Washington D.C. Cross is also a well known and top selling author of books about crime and a famous Forensic Psychologist who's wrote scores of collage papers on the workings of the criminal mind. On top of all that Dr. Cross has a degree in Pharmacology, the science of drugs and the effects that they have on those who use them.

The police find one of the missing girls dead in the woods tied to a tree but happily for Dr. Cross she's not his niece Naomi. As all the leads are being checked out by the police Dr. Kate McTiernan, Ashely Judd, who works in the Durham General Hospital. Kate gets kidnapped by the killer and is drugged and put in a cell underground in the woods that used to be the basement of an old southern plantation.

We learn from Kate, after her rescue, that the killer who calls himself Casanova, because he thinks that he's the world's greatest lover, likes to get beautiful as well as strong willed and psychically active young women and then break them down mentally and turn them into a bunch of obedient and helpless sex-slave zombies who will do anything he wants them to.

Kate fakes being drugged and kicks and boxes her way out of the cell that Casanova locked her into and then running through the woods she jumps down a waterfall and escapes from the pursuing Romeo. In the hospital Dr. Cross concludes that Kate was under the influence of a powerful knock-out drug called Sistol which doesn't show up in a persons blood and urine.

Checking out the sale of Sistol Cross finds out that a curtain Doc. William Randolph, Tony Goldwyn, an L.A plastic surgeon who comes from Durham ordered the largest supply of Sistol in the country and Sistol has nothing to do with plastic surgery. Dr. Cross and Kate fly to L.A with D.C Det. Sampson, Bill Nunn. Dr. Cross meets with local L.A police detective Henry Costillo, Jerry Piven, as they plan to catch Randolph in the act and arrest him. The plan backfires when outside his house they hear a girl scream and as they stormed the house Randolph killed Det. Costello and ran over Cross who tried to stop him from getting away. Going to Randolph's house in L.A Dr. Cross and the L.A police find a large supply of Sistol. They also find a 20 year-old newspaper clipping with a photo of Dr. Wick Sachs, William Converse-Roberts, who teaches at Durham Collage.

Cross figures out by putting all the evidence together that Randolph is working together with both Dr. Sachs and Casanova back east in the kidnap murders in and around Durham. It turns out that Dr. Sachs was used by Casanova to get him beautiful girls with strong wills after he sampled them to find out if the girls fit Casanova's high standards of mind and body in the women that he's looking for.

Dr. Sachs tells Dr. Cross that he sexually sampled as much as 100 women students in 75 different positions over the last four years including Cross' young niece Naomi. Dr. Sachs was so sick in his description of how he sampled the girls, especially Dr.Cross' niece, that the always cool and collective Cross lost it and almost put Dr.Sachs' head through a two-way mirror.

Meanwhile back in the basement in the woods Randolph who escaped from the police in California and it turned out that he did worked with Casanova in doing all the legwork for him has it out with Casanova. complaining about how he does all the work and that he, Casanova, has all the fun partying with the girls and that he, Randolph, also wants to get a piece of the action too. it's during the argument with Randolph that Casanova takes a shot at him.

Unknown to both Casanova and Randolph Dr. Cross is in the woods looking for the Civil War plantation. When he heard the shot Dr. Coss found where the kidnapped girls were hidden and came to their, as well as his niece Naomi's, rescue as both Casanova and Randolph fled. Cross guns down Randolph as he tries to escape in the woods but Casanova gets away.

The ending of "Kiss The Girls" was as contrived as it can get with Casanova, who was so careful during the entire movie, for no reason at all exposing himself and ending up getting his brains blown out by Cross. This is all done with the help of a milk carton, you have to see for yourself, as Casanova tried to murder both Kate and Dr. Cross with his lighter, you'll have to see that for yourself too.

The movie ' Kiss the Gils" had a lot of potential at first but sadly fell completely apart with the story going in all different directions and all of them at the same time going absolutely nowhere.
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Kiss the Girls!
Movie Nuttball15 November 2003
Kiss the Girls is an excellent thriller! It has very good acting by cast! Morgan Freeman was great and Ashley Judd was very good! Brian Cox was good as well! I thought Cary Elwes was something else! The other cast members Alex McArthur, Tony Goldwyn, Jay O. Sanders, and Richard T. Jones were good. Is it Me or did he try to act and sound like Denzel Washington? Any way the movie is good and focuses on a great character named Alex Cross! In case you don't know there is another film that Morgan Freeman reprises his role as Alex Cross and its called Along Came A Spider! It is My favorite of the two but I am not saying that there is anything wrong with Kiss the Girls which is an excellent movie! I recommend you see both films!
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Predictable, but it has its moments
jason_138 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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Kiss Off
tedg19 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

No film genre is more demanding of good writing and vision, and nothing gets screwed up quite as badly as the mystery thriller.

This type of film needs to suck you in through the mental challenge, the intricacies of the narrative, the alien laws at work. If done cleverly, the viewer/detective becomes immersed and vulnerable to whatever manipulations the filmmaker has in store.

What's missing here is everything. Freeman in particular ticks me off. He's of the naturalistic school of acting, something akin to modeling. He doesn't put out for us, or the director -- he just shows up and puts on an avuncular face.

No one else on screen is sufficiently in command either. But all that wouldn't hurt so much if there was some craft in the story. Studios think it enough (post `Seven' and `Silence') to have genius criminals doing incredibly clever things.

This is not an intelligent film, and it should be. Avoid it and its sequel.
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Deserves a better rating
WellnessGuy21 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Currently rated at 6.5 on IMDb. Too many poor movies in the range 5.5 to 6.5. And some truly abysmal ones.

This is not a poor movie. It has it's flaws, particularly the handwriting discovery towards the end - just not believable. But all round this is a good movie. Don't discard it based on the current IMDb rating. It is definitely worth watching.

Both Freeman and Judd turn in great performances, as does Cary Elwes. Jeremy Piven and Tony Goldwyn put in their usual competent work, but they only appear briefly. The storyline has some nice twists, too.

There are lots of good reviews here if you want to know more about the film. Mine is just to encourage you to not dismiss it out of hand.
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Very Well Done Psychological Thriller
sddavis6318 September 2011
This was Morgan Freeman's first outing as Detective Alex Cross (a role he would take up again a few years later in "Along Came A Spider.") Cross is a detective and psychologist who works for the Washington, DC police department. As a series of young women are kidnapped in the area around Durham, North Carolina, Cross is drawn into the case when his own niece falls prey to the kidnapper. Only a couple of bodies have been found, leading Cross to believe that those killed are being "punished" for some reason, and that the kidnapper is actually collecting women as trophies and keeping them alive for some unknown reason.

The story doesn't really revolve around Cross's niece, though. It's power comes from the kidnapping of young Dr. Kate MacTiernan (Ashley Judd.) It's her ordeal that we basically follow, through to her desperate escape and then her involvement with Cross in trying to track down the man responsible. This becomes a truly taut thriller - very exciting, and with a real sense of suspense about exactly how this is going to be resolved. A mystery is introduced when evidence seems to point to the possibility that the kidnapper is working not only in North Carolina, but also in California, because there have been a number of similar disappearances there.

Freeman and Judd were very good in these roles. Both captured their characters almost from the start and both were totally believable. I felt that almost too much was introduced near the end of this, with the result being that I found myself confused by exactly what was happening. Perhaps that's appropriate for this kind of movie, but the confusion seemed almost too much, although eventually everything came back together, and there's a good finish to the story. (8/10)
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A Sufficient Mainstream Psychological Cop Thriller with Particularly Good Lead Performances
jzappa19 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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Another Good Book Murdered
florismk14 June 2000
The only believable murder that takes place in this entire movie is that of the original James Patterson novel of the same title. Based on a close-to-brilliant serial killer thriller by the writer of 'Along came a spider', this film fails in almost every respect. Moving way too slow, with a rambling script and terrible casting, it's a predictable and boring piece of routine Hollywood produce. Morgan Freeman tries to save the film, and Ashley Judd does her best, but they alone can't save it from failure. Especially noteworthy is the terrible performance by Bill Nunn, who plays Freeman's partner. Don't bother seeing this movie - read the excellent book instead.
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Not Your Typical Murder Mystery
chimera321 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It was through this awesome film that I became a fan of James Patterson's work. I don't know how I got to being introduced to this movie but I am certainly glad that I did. When I first saw it, I was a wee bit surprised at the interesting plot twist in the end. After watching it for a few more times after that, it didn't surprise me. The book is just as scary and suspenseful and the movie, aside from a few subtle differences, sticks pretty faithful to the book. I would recommend it to anyone, but I would suggest to watch the movie first and then read the book.

Morgan Freeman is the perfect image of Alex Cross. I couldn't see anyone else fulfill that role better than him. Ashley Judd is the perfect complement to him as Kate McTiernan. Unlike some typical mystery movies involving kidnapped women, she is not the typical dizzy damsel-in-distress (which drives me nuts) but the direct opposite: a captive who fights free and does battle with the chief villain.

When it comes to the on-screen chemistry, Morgan and Ashley click. It isn't like they're doing it just to do it; they do it because that's how their characters are. And then there's Cary Elwes, the man who would later be in a few of the "Saw" movies. He takes on the role of Officer Nick Ruskin and runs with it. When I first saw the movie, I would never have pictured him as a villain. After seeing this a few times and then the "last" of the "Saw" movies (before I even knew that they were making another one), I could see that he was excellent when it came to being the lead villain alongside Tony Goldwyn (who, for all intents and purposes, was nothing more than an angry second banana here), whom most of us knew through his days in "Ghost" as the traitorous best friend.

Love it or hate it, this is filled with suspense from top to bottom. If there were ever a replay value for certain movies as with video games, my guess is that the value would be high. My word of advice: don't go into this thinking that you will have what I call a formula mystery movie. You might be pleasantly surprised, I promise.
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