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The Chameleon (2010)

5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,479 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 9 user | 5 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

An FBI Agent is hot on the tracks of Frédéric Fortin who has taken up the identity of a woman's long lost son completely convincing the police and the boy's family of his identity.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Frédéric Fortin / Nicholas Mark Randall
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Dan Price
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Brian Jansen
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Brendan Kerrigan
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B.R.P.D. Cop A
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Diner Owner (as Ritchie Montgomerey)
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FBI Doctor (as Lance Nichols)
Estelle Larrivaz ...
Female Gendarme
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Gendarme
Lindsay Soileau ...
Girl #1
Katy Peppard ...
Girl #2 (as Katy Preppard)
...
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Storyline

Based on a true story, this film looks at what happens when a serial impostor in Europe passes himself off as a missing boy from Texas. The missing boy's family welcomes him as their son, but the FBI quickly realizes something is amiss. Does the family's eagerness to accept the impostor mean they are just happy to have their loved one back, or are they trying to hide a more sinister event - perhaps what happened to their boy? But even more - who is this impostor who has talked his way into the United States and a family's home? Written by Meredith P.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A son, a brother, a lover, a friend - can we ever know who people say they are? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, brief drug use and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

10 June 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Chamäleon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Loosely based on the story of Frédéric Bourdin, a French serial impostor nicknamed "The Chameleon" by the press. In 1997 Bourdin claimed to be Nicholas Barclay, a Texas native that disappeared 3 years earlier. Although Bourdin had brown eyes and a French accent, he convinced the family he was their blue-eyed son, saying he had escaped from a child prostitution ring.[5] Bourdin lived with the family for almost 5 months until March 6, 1998. In late 1997 a local private investigator grew suspicious while he was working with a TV crew that had been filming the family. In February 1998 the FBI got a court order to take the young man's fingerprints and DNA, which were later identified as belonging to Bourdin. In September 1998, Bourdin pleaded guilty to passport fraud and perjury in a San Antonio federal court. He was imprisoned for six years. See more »

Goofs

(at around 33 mins) Brendan Kerrigan (Nick Stahl) is driving a burgundy colored Camaro with a spoiler on the trunk, and (at around 18 mins) he is clearly driving a burgundy colored Trans Am with no spoiler. See more »

Quotes

Kimberly Miller: I was never really a good mother to you.
See more »

Connections

References Thriller (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Cause and Effect
Written by Simon Steadman and Nicholas Jonathan Tyler
Performed by Pet Robot
Produced by by Simon Steadman and Nicholas Jonathan Tyler
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An intriguing case made to a less intriguing movie
27 October 2011 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

"The Chameleon" is roughly based on the case of the disappearance of Nicholas Barclay, and the impostor Frederic Bourdin.

The movie stays reasonably close to the facts, though there are some mayor things changed that IMO was totally unnecessary. At the same time, more could have been done with other things. I am on purpose gonna keep this all pretty vague; as I do not want to spoil anything. If you want to know about the real case, google on it. It is a very interesting thing to do.

I would definitely have liked to have seen more background about Frederic. The case of Nicholas wasn't the first time he imposed as a missing child, neither was it the last time. As if the whole story about Nicholas wasn't bizarre enough, it gets more and more bizarre if you read up on Bourdin. He truly deserves the name Chameleon; it is incredible how good this guy is at languages and in blending in. I do understand that the movie's focus was on only one of his crimes, but I think a bit more history would have made it all even more absurd. Now, you almost feel at least a bit pity for Bourdin, but that should not happen. After all, the guy was/is a very disturbed man who didn't give a *beep* about the feelings of his victims.

The overall acting was not very good. Famke Janssen made the best of it and steals the scenes when she comes in, but I was unfortunately pretty unconvinced by the lead character. The way the story unfolds was just not good enough to convince, and the characters way too shallow. Many things are there in potential, but somehow it just doesn't work. It could have been an 'edge of your seat' thriller or drama, but it simply isn't. Throughout the whole story, it just lacks something. An other reviewer used the word 'dull', and I think that's quite a good description.

All in all; an intriguing case made to a less intriguing movie.

(Ps: An interesting little fact; Bourdin himself worked as a creative consultant for this movie. )


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