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Dark Summer
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Reviews & Ratings for
Innocents More at IMDbPro »Dark Summer (original title)

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of coolest films I have seen in a long time

Author: Patricia Eaton (peaton_163) from Austin, Texas
14 October 2003

Since my first kid I am the video store junkie from hell and I look for films I have never seen all the time. The film I found called "Dark Summer" I have no idea why this movie was not in the theaters. (Hollywood BS I'll bet, good films never get seen-GO INDIES!!!!)

I saw from the cover Connie Nielsen and Mia Kirschner (Exotica-another great film) so I took a chance.

The lead character played by this Jean Hughes Anglade was absolutely yummy for a French guy and the film was filled with all these cool actors like Keith David, Frank Langella and Anne Archer playing the most amazing character i have ever seen and probably the best of career.

I won't give away any of the plot but this film has it all, great acting, gorgeous photography, murder, mayhem, perverts, drug addicts/alcoholics and a really kick ass cast.

Support independent films and if you want to see a great movie, "Dark Summer" is one of the great ones that no one knows about out there!

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A smart complex thriller...dark and sinister in the style of "Blue Velvet"

Author: bebop1234 from United States
23 March 2006

This is a smart film. When I watched this film I found myself thoroughly engaged by it on many levels. But it's a very complex film, insofar as it not really about things that happen, so much as it is about what causes people to do the things they do.

The two girls, Megan and Dominique, do terrible things in this story, but what is lovely about this film is that it creates an opportunity for us to feel ambiguous about their actions. Are they justified in their actions or should we judge them harshly for their deeds? Society would judge them, the law would judge them - but how do we judge them as human beings, trying to survive the chaos and emotional turmoil of life? Is it rational to judge them? These are all good questions - and in the end, The Innocents becomes more than a simple story. The Innocents is a Greek Tragedy by any other name. Its classic issues are at the core of the fabric of humanity. It's tough material and strong and bold.

The protagonist, Gerard, who travels with the girls on this so-called "innocent" journey, is caught in a web from which he cannot extricate himself. Should he try, the girls will pin their deeds on him. It's the perfect platform for a crime. The more the innocent man objects and tries to pull away, the more guilty he will look. In the sense, there is a "Hitchcock" homage at play here, for those who know the genre.

On the surface these are very nice girls, but underneath, they are damaged, angry and in fact, given the wrong set of circumstances, very dangerous. This film leads you on an emotional roller-coaster and no matter what anyone may say, this is extremely well-written and most unpredictable. In an era of Hollywood film-making where plots are derivative and endings are known by an audience twenty minutes into the film, The Innocents (called Dark Summer in Europe)breaks the mold. There is nothing predictable about "The Innocents". Not at all.

The actors are extraordinary, including Jean-Hugues Anglade, Connie Neilson, Mia Kirshner, Anne Archer, Frank Langella, Keith David and Robert Culp. You don't see cinema like this very often in America (because this may be too intellectually and emotionally demanding)and to that extent I am positive that certain reviewers may not get this film, it's their loss.

I saw the European DVD of this movie, as well, and there are many more scenes than are in the U.S. version. It's quite interesting to see the additional scenes and definitely more satisfying.

The Innocents is a very smart, cunning, emotionally well-crafted piece of film-making and high regards to those who had the vision to back it. I hope to see many more films from this filmmaker.

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Wow this film is like popcorn; you just can't stop watching it. Fantastic!

Author: Georgia Anderson from Cody, Wyoming
20 April 2004

I've never written review before but this film has stuck with me for the past four days and I had to write about it. I apologize in advance at my amateurish prose.

I was watching Showtime late the other week and this film called ÒDark SummerÓ came on. At first I was like, This is really weird. But every time I was about to change the channel something new happened on the screen. First, the women were incredibly portrayed. I work in a hospital and I recognized all the symptoms of the underlying stress and depression. I immediately felt that the actors and I guess the director really did their research. Frank Langella who portrayed the father for too short a time (I always loved him), reminded me of a patient I had lost last year, a terrible man who treated his children terribly, just like the character Mr. Langella portrayed.

I think the thing that struck me the most about the film was that it took me on an emotional roller coaster ride and constantly surprised me.

I told you I am terrible at this and I have read some of the other reviews on this site and I think those people just didn't get it and were mean spirited. I loved this movie because I find that I can't get it out of my head. The performances were absolutely terrific. Connie Nielsen and Mia Kirshner as the two sisters were unbelievable to watch and literally travel with. Anne Archer gave an Oscar worthy performance and Jean Hughes Anglade whom I had never heard of before was absolutely wonderful to watch. After seeing his performance I looked up his name on this site and I want to see more films that he has done.

To the people who did not like this film, I just think this movie just reminded you of things you did not like in yourself. I may not know much about movie making but it seemed to me that these actors and the director put a lot of effort into making a film that is not Hollywood fare and not an arty movie that is trying to be more than it is. ÒDark SummerÓ is a great ride (literally) and a very well put together film and I recommend it to everyone who wants something out of the ordinary that is very, very satisfying film.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

One of the most thrilling and surprising movies I have seen in a long time.

Author: Roger Aikin (raikin2003) from Bangor, Maine
14 October 2003

I just returned from a trip with my wife to Paris. Our friends there were raving about a movie called "Dark Summer". So much so that my wife insisted (She's a huge Connie Nielsen fan).

I have to be honest my wife and I don't usually agree on our tastes in movies but the second this film started I was on the edge of my seat. The main star (Jean Hughes Anglade) was a French superstar from what i was told, but his portrayal of the cellist Huxley was sublime. The film opens up with him being interrogated by a detective portrayed by Keith David. (From Platoon, and Something About Mary, the guy is always great)

After getting in a car accident he meets Connie Nielsen's character, a nurse named Megan who nurses him back to health. In appreciation, and of course a mutual attraction, he takes her up on dinner and to meet the family.

Mia Kirschner played her crazy sister with frightening aplomb. At first the meal and their good times seems a given until he meets the father. (Played by the always- amazing Frank Langella!!) The father is sick and dyeing yet the power he still commanded over his daughters and the shocked Huxley was unmistakable.

The father dies and in an incredibly erotic interlude, Huxley makes love to Megan the whole while the sister watches!!!

I don't want to give away anymore but the cameos keep poring on and the twists and turns never stop. There are serial killers, country music and beautiful landscapes.

The main reason I am writing this review was that after I saw this film I couldn't stop thinking about it. The whole time i was on the plane i kept talking about it and my wife told me about this website and I had to tell the world.

I don't know where it is playing or if you can rent it but see this movie!!!

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A cautionary tale and one hell of a movie!

Author: Robert Berley ( from Pleasantville, NY
21 April 2004

Every once in a while a strange movie will come along and knock your socks off. I have always been a video store junkie looking for that odd gem that you can freak out your buddies with and I have found just such a movie. A new director named Gregory Marquette served up a tasty dish with his movie `Dark Summer'

(aka `Innocents') When I first took this home I was like `What the hell is going on..' and that feeling kept going on because this film never succumbed to the ordinary, only the extraordinary.

Jean Hughes Anglade, which any fan of `la Femme Nakita' will always

recognize, stars in this bizarre tale of lies and deception and was absolutely divine as the main protagonist Huxley. The man is a statement in

understatement. But I digress.

The film opens with an interrogation by one of the finest, solid character actor's, Keith David, interrogating Anglade's character about a series of murders and

from that point on I was hooked. Now don't get me wrong, this film is very

twisted and very very unconventional, but that is what so attracted me to the piece.

`Dark Summer', to me, is about the conflict of perception and innocence. The two antagonists, Mia Kirshner (Yummmm) and Connie Nielson, as the creepy

sisters, keep the dementia going by defying all definition. My point is the film kept fooling me (which is rare). Nothing is as it seems with this effort.

Power cameos by Frank Langella, Robert Culp, and the always excellent Keith

David, feed the twisted plot with a texture that is beyond the reach of the

Hollywood schlock machine. Anne Archer gives a bravura performance well

outside of the reach of any of the roles she has been saddled with in the past. (`Clear And Present Danger' Yuccchhhh!)

I think what really impressed me about this movie is you never know where this son of a gun is going. I do not want to give away the plot but I have rarely been fooled by plots and scripting, but this movie is the most different journey of any movie I have seen in recent history.

All in all the morality tale here is that no matter how decent you may be, the world conspires against you. Innocence is vulnerability, integrity is a liability.

Get a six pack, a good girl or friend and curl up with this movie, I guarantee that you will have a long, long talk afterward.

I hope I am not too vague but I am loath to give away the real joy of a film not being predictable and contrived. Who cares if it's not commercial, this movie made me sit on the edge of my seat and think. To the film makers, thank you. To it's critics, go ahead, make your own movie---I dare you!

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A character driven piece with the twists and turns of a Hitchcock film.

Author: CBWriter from Iowa
22 October 2002

In a time when most movie plots are derivative and predictable it is nice to be surprised and kept guessing like the thriller "Dark Summer" starring Connie Nielsen. Writer, Director Gregory Marquette kept the pace unpredictable and breathless. Just when you think you know where this movie is going it changes tracks on you and you are caught in the whirlwind of mystery and intrigue. Co-stars Mia Kirshner and Jean Hugues Anglade are powerful and very convincing. It was also a lot of fun when the power cameos made their appearances. Robert Culp, a perennial favorite of mine is absolutely wicked as the disgraced Judge. Ann Archer, who I cannot recall ever taking a role like the one she portrayed in this film, is worthy for a Golden Globe as the alcoholic mother. Other Cameo's like Frank Langella and Keith David are too short to be a satisfying but I give this film a solid recommend for the viewers, like myself, who are tired of the same old formulaic plots of Hollywood's recycling factory.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

This director is channeling Alfred Hitchcock

Author: Thomas Woodbine from Ashville, NC
18 May 2002

It is so rare to find a film that makes you really think. Where dialogue and subtext combine to bring as much dynamic as physical action.

After watching Gregory Marquette's "Dark Summer" I found myself brooding about what I had just scene and catching my breath at the same time. For a first time director I was really impressed by his command of the material he himself had written.

Don't get me wrong the film had some problems but they were easily overlooked by the sensational cameos. Frank Langella gives a disturbing and memorable portrayal of the two heroine's dying father. I just wish there were more of him in the movie. The same follows with Keith David who I've been a huge fan of since "Platoon". Keith always delivers the goods and he bookends the film nicely as the cynical detective but again I wish there were more of him. Robert Culp gets the meatiest role as the Judge, I don't want to give anything away but get the kids out of the room when his scenes are up!!!!

The three Main characters are hypnotizing. I looked up this Jean Hugh Anglade and this actor has an amazing bio in foreign films. I would expect to have seen more of him but I felt his acting was right on the money. Connie Nielsen from "Gladiator" is deliciously dangerous as well as her deranged sister played by Mia Kirschner.

The whole cast was incredibly strong, the photography was stunning and the pace is breathless. Maybe a little too much so and the film could have been more balanced. One thing for sure it is a real stunner because you are never sure where it's going until the end.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

a riviting motion picture experience

Author: scottyshaffer from new orleans, la
22 October 2002

Have not had an experience like this since Silence of the Lambs. Then like now you were so completley enthralled with this picture the thought of missing one secound for any reason was un thinkable. Connie Nielson was a steller performance. I have to think that this picture was what led her to getting the roll in Gladdiator. Mia Kirshener was a thriller, could not wait to see what she would do next. Anne archer as always amazing. Wish Keith David had more screen time. Greg Marquette is a wonderfull visual and creative director. I hope we get to see more of his creative inovative material very soon.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

If you're looking for an interesting & unpredictable movie that many will not have seen, look no further.

Author: med_1978 from United Kingdom
23 August 2009

I have to say the first time I saw this movie I was left stunned.

This is superbly photographed, well acted and very unpredictable road movie thriller.

This is one movie where I honestly could not predict what was going to happen next. An excellent cast headed by French actor Jean Hugues Anglade (Betty Blue, Killing Zoe) the very luminous Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, The Ice Harvest) & sexy Mia Kirshner (The Black Dahlia, Mad City)play two sisters in a very unusual road movie.

The supporting cast is excellent too with the likes of Frank Langella, Anne Archer, Robert Culp & Keith David.

The storyline throws up one surprise after another as the three go on the road after the sister's father passes, quite quickly though things take a very dark turn and Gerard Huxley (Jean Hugues Anglade) begins to wonder if he has made a grave mistake.

The music in the film is good and the locations are beautifully photographed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and really cannot understand the low score. I give it 7/10

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Innocents lost

Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
10 December 2002

"Dark Summer" or "Innocents" as it was entitled on Showtime, is a journeyman B-movie about a French cellist (Anglade) driving across country who finds himself with a couple of beautiful traveling companions (Nielsen & Kirshner) who may be a lethal liability. Among the many flaws are a musical score which is as lacking in continuity as the screenplay; too many contrived situations which seems no more than weirdness for weirdnesses sake or shock value; a noticeable absence of a story arc or an emotional anchor for the audience; and a generally concocted presentation. Nonetheless, the film has some entertainment potential for the couch potato or fans of the players. (C)

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