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You don't play the game. The game plays you.
Michael Ledo30 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The film has only a little character build for master detective Dr. Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) who pays attention to details and then reconstructs the scene, always correctly. In this film Tyler Perry doesn't play his own mom...which may have been an improvement. Alex Cross becomes involved in a complex cat and mouse game with a highly skilled assassin in Matthew Fox.

Cross is aided by his partner Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) and Monica Ashe (Rachel Nichols). The film lacked originality and a good twist. Tyler Perry played a very stiff character, if you can believe that. Tyler's ability to figure things out from little clues should have been the fun part of the film. It worked well in the early scene with his wife (Carmen Ejogo). Instead it was very stiff and infrequently used. His partner should have said a sarcastic, "Brilliant Holmes!" at least once.

Parental Guide: Minor F-bomb usage. Implied sex. No nudity. Some torture. 3 stars is pushing it. I thought newly released "Fire with Fire" was better.
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Bad choice for "Tyler Perry" to play the lead role. "Idris Elba" - it should've been !
Off-da-Grid9 September 2017
"Tyler Perry" ....really ?? Were the producers possibly on a drunken-binge for days or off-their-medication when they made this fatal error of choosing the "main" character ?? And this isn't even mentioning the writing, directing, and other characters. But choosing such an unworthy and a "bad choice' for the title role of the character that the movie is named catastrophic !

My choice would have been...."Idris Elba", then get better writers and a better director and "Cross" fans would have been a lot happier. ( and the movie would've also made a lot more money for these obviously incompetent producers).
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Alex Cross....Poor Movie and Insult to James Patterson
slippyfostel10 March 2016
I have enjoyed all of the Alex Cross books I have read by James Patterson. The first Alex Cross movies carried big name actors and a thinking criminal psychologist and profiler who uses his mind and knowledge of criminals to solve cases. Yes, he is active, but not nearly as active as Tyler Perry was in this movie.In fact, Tyler did not do Cross justice. That was not a pun! He didn't get inside the mind of the criminal at all and was so much more active than his predecessor in Morgan Freeman. I understand the choice not to use Morgan. However, Cross is supposed to look somewhat like a lean Muhammad Ali. Tyler was far from that and not even close. This was a sad attempt to make a movie without a real story line and poor casting. Like others said, where were the characters such as John Sampson? Tyler might have made a good John Sampson, but he was not Alex Cross.A better choice would have been Will Smith as Cross. This movie ruined the franchise in my book. It was horrible!
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Poor director strikes again
Leofwine_draca15 June 2015
The third outing for James Patterson's fictional detective Alex Cross, following on from two adaptations of his work in the 1990s: KISS THE GIRLS and ALONG CAME A SPIDER. This one's a mess of a film, which is largely down to a poor choice of director and two poor choices for the main actors.

The narrative involves Alex Cross and his chums who are on the trail of a psychotic assassin who enjoys inflicting pain upon his victims. As the story progresses it becomes clear that this bad guy will stop at nothing to complete his job, which leads to a handful of mildly memorable moments including a great twist thrown in that you won't expect or indeed see coming.

A shame, then, that the execution is so muddled, with Rob Cohen once again proving a poor choice as director. You just can't take the story seriously, somehow. Tyler Perry replaces Morgan Freeman as the crusading detective, replete with Holmesian-style deductive reasoning, and I can't think of a poorer replacement. Freeman is one of those guys who constantly gives solid performances no matter the film whereas Perry's character might as well be a walking corpse. There's no emotion from him, just cold stiffness.

Equally stiff is a lamentable Matthew Fox as the supposed villain. Although Fox certainly looks imposing, when it comes to his acting it's rather dire. I've never liked this guy, and his attempts at wide-eyed menace fall flat every time. Lower down the cast list we get a bloated Jean Reno and the walking plank of wood that is Ed Burns. Even the requisite fight scenes and action bits can't lift this lifeless thriller out of the doldrums.
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Convincing performances by Perry and Fox prevent Alex Cross from being completely unwatchable.
Andrew Gold8 May 2015
It's not hard to figure out what's wrong with this movie. Skeptics may think Tyler Perry was a bad choice to fill in a young Morgan Freeman's shoes but he was absolutely fine in the role. Plus, Matthew Fox as a psychopathic skinhead assassin? Hell yes. Edward Burns as Perry's detective partner? Eh, less convincing but I'll let it slide. The direction and the writing though... whew. It's amazing the actors were able to recite this dialogue with a straight face.

The story of Alex Cross is a simple murder mystery - Alex Cross and his partner investigate the scene of a crime and discover that they're after a professional killer referred to as Picasso. Then things get personal and Cross plans to seek his revenge once and for all. Standard crime thriller plot, right? The problem is when the characters start talking to each other. Honestly, it's laughable how bad some of this dialogue is, especially between Cross and his family. They throw in these "emotional" scenes to break up the action but all they do is make for a really awkward paced movie. It would be passable if the dialogue actually moved the plot forward but it doesn't, at all. There are some subplots that are introduced and never brought up again. Like Alex Cross becoming an FBI agent. What was the point of even including that?

The main reason to watch this movie is for Matthew Fox. He's playing a sadist who is "fascinated by pain." Not very original but who cares, it's Matthew Fox playing a 130 pound untamable psychopath. The scenes in which we see him doing his job - stalking his targets, infiltrating their houses, taking out their body guards and whatnot - are the most interesting parts of the movie. He's really the only character given a clear cut motive and enough development to make him a decent antagonist. He's also batsh*t crazy, did I mention that? Yeah, he's a lot of fun to watch.

Unfortunately Perry isn't given nearly as much to work with. He's a generic detective masquerading under the name Alex Cross who acts as a poor man's Sherlock Holmes. His whole objective is to get into the mind of this madman while trying to maintain a steady family life, but instead of building tension between these two factors and having them play off one another and ultimately effecting Cross' personal life, the writer/director think it's more effective to jump from one setting to another with no lead-ins or relevance to what just happened or what is about to happen. The family scenes are cringeworthy, and even the dialogue with his partner gets really cheesy. I wanted to see more psychological warfare between Cross and Picasso. They try to do that in a couple scenes but it's so poorly written that you don't believe a word of it.

Tyler Perry's acting shines in a few scenes. He's certainly a capable dramatic actor and anyone who says otherwise is talking out of their ass. Thankfully I haven't seen the Madea movies so I had no prior opinion of Perry but he won me over with this. Mind you, some of his lines sound forced and awkward but that's completely on the scriptwriters. It's just impossible to be drawn to the character, and you'd think with a title like Alex Cross that we'd get a deep look into the mind of the title character, but instead they spoon-feed us this cheesy soapy dialogue and the occasional battle-of-wits with the villain that isn't the least bit intriguing. Also, the climax of this movie, if you can even call it that, is laughable. The fight scene is probably the worst camera work I have seen in an action movie. You can hardly see what's going on half the time, and once it ends you're just like, okay. Is that it?

Again, the leads save this movie from being a total bomb. I was admittedly entertained for a good portion of the movie despite its stupid dialogue. None of it is inventive or new; it's just your run-of-the-mill murder mystery that is low on thrills and high on cheese. Worth a one time watch if it's on TV or something, but really the main thing you'll remember from Alex Cross is the criminally wasted talent.
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More super bland than super cop
Adam Peters30 March 2015
(31%) A hugely by the numbers action thriller that I can only imagine the sheer number of people who walked out of a cinema after the final scene (or more likely after the first twenty or so minutes) and never giving it a so much as a seconds worth of thought ever again. Big name star (in America at least) Tyler Perry is decent here as he's clearly trying his best with the lame material he has been given, while bad guy Matthew Fox is much better that the one-note character he's been lumbered with. The biggest problem by a mile though is the fact that this isn't interesting enough to make it as a proper thriller, while the action is on the whole is too badly shot utilising the annoying shaky-cam technique to full fullest which just ruins all possible enjoyment. This isn't a terrible watch, but there's so little reason to actually do so.
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An entertaining Night In Movie
Kittycat6323 March 2015
I just came across this on TV, partway through, and found it compelling enough to stop channel surfing and watch it to the end.

I think a lot of people who have reviewed this have jumped on the bandwagon and given it scathing reviews simply because some other people have and, being followers rather than voicing their own genuine opinion, they feel the need to 'tag along' and go along with the negativity.

A lot of people have said it's predictable but, as others have said, in some ways the vast majority of Hollywood movies are (and in my experience, usually the most unpredictable movies tend to come from European countries such as France, Italy and - my home country - England).

Alex Cross is NOT a bad movie and is an awful lot better than much of the usual Hollywood fodder. I thought the actors were all good and worked well together and Matthew Fox was actually more believable, and impressive, in his role than in anything else I've seen him in. I would never have thought he was capable of playing such a ruthless machine of a psychopath but he pulled it off really well and was totally believable.

So, I can definitely recommend this movie and I'd recommend anyone else to give it a go, keep an open mind and ignore most of the negativity about it on here! It's really not bad at all!
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Frequently so bad it's good again
Adam Foidart28 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
So Bad it's good rating: 3,5/5 "Alex Cross" is a by-the-book detective thriller that's kind of enjoyable to watch, but isn't particularly good. Dr. Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is a psychologist and police lieutenant who's one top of the world. His long time best friend Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) is his partner on the police squad, he's got a beautiful, loving wife, two daughters, another baby on the way and his sassy mother (or is it grandmother?) lives with him in a huge house. He's so good at his job he can tell you what your favorite colour is based on the type of ice cream you ordered. That's when our villain for the movie comes in. Matthew Fox plays a devious serial murderer nicknamed "The Picasso Killer". He uses a drug that paralyzes people's bodies (but not their eyes or their mouths) yet enables them to feel pain. He tortures them to get information, then kills them for fun and, feeling inspired, creates a charcoal drawing afterward for the police to keep. Apparently, this guy's been hired, or has some kind of super elaborate agenda because he is going after high-ranking employees of CEO Giles Mercier's company (Mercier is played by Jean Reno). When Cross gets in the way, Picasso decides to take the fight to a whole new, personal level...

I'm not going to say that this movie's great. I wouldn't even say it's good, but it is entertaining. The entertainment value is mostly due to the game of cat-and-mouse between Alex Cross and Picasso. I give credit to the movie for actually making two characters that feel like they are evenly matched. Alex Cross might be a super detective, but Picasso, he's a super assassin with Batman-level gadgets and insane skills. You will not believe to what lengths this guy goes to get his prey and you will wonder how many people will bite the dust before Cross manages to take him down. I also enjoyed Matthew Fox's totally outlandish performance as the killer. It's a nice balance to Tyler Perry's totally wooden and bland performance. Kind of like a steak that's totally burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, but tasty around the edges where the two extremes meet. The film is that right mix of flat-out ridiculous, predictable and bad elements combined with enough actually intriguing developments to make the whole thing watchable. Well, as long as it's with a bunch of friends who will make it that much more fun by laughing at it.

When it comes to the bad elements, there's no shortage in "Alex Cross". Here are some more memorable examples. Characters that appear to be crucial to the plot are suddenly dropped from the story entirely. What, I ask you, happened to Rachel Nichols' character? I don't mean the obvious. I mean: can someone tell me why there's a big moment with her, and then we never see her again? Characters are either ridiculously skilled, or so dumb they would struggle to survive on a daily basis. When it becomes obvious that the Picasso killer is inside a building, looking to kill his next target Tommy hears an explosion and runs out of the room, leaving the intended target alone for the killer to pick off. What a dummy! This is also a movie where characters just know things because as long as they're off-screen they don't actually exist within the movie. While on the side, they're sitting in a comfortably while reading the script and taking notes. Take the Picasso killer. He's just encountered the police for the first time, unexpectedly. Somehow though, he just happens to have a newspaper clipping showing Alex Cross, his partner and the other officer that confronted him tacked on his wall. How did he figure out who was going to come after him? Afterwards, how does he figure out where these people live? The only explanation can be that he read the script and it told him where to go.

Another great example: Cross is talking to a high-ranking criminal in a car so that they can be "alone". He's bribing the criminal in order to get some much needed information to catch Picasso. The bribe in question is a piece of evidence that would otherwise incriminate the guy if the case was ever revived. The bad guy comments that on top of the pistol that Alex is offering him, there was another one in the evidence locker. At that very moment, Tommy shines the laser scope on the mobster's forehead, shutting him up and making him agree to cooperate. Understand that Tommy is at least 10 meters away and there was no way he could have heard the conversation. How did he know the exact moment to shine the light on the guy's forehead? For that matter, why didn't the body guards catch the guy pulling out the gun and pointing it towards their boss? "Alex Cross" is a film that's badly put together and not particularly inventive either. The editing is simply awful when it comes to the action sequences, the characters' actions often don't make any sense and the story is utter madness more than once. Let's not forget the performances from the leads, which are so outlandish I recommend you watch the film just to see them. Tyler Perry is 100% uncharismatic and about as emotive as the Easter Island statues. Matthew Fox, he's playing an all-out lunatic, so over-the-top he's straight from a cartoon. The film is never really painful to watch, but the director really let these actors down. It boils down to a complete mess that's so bad, it becomes good again. (On DVD, August 1, 2014)
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Movie is Only Like Book In Name
italianredneckgirl13 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
***Contains Spoilers****** I have been a fan of the Alex Cross series since the very beginning. I was shocked when we found out the ending in Big Bad Wolf and waited and waited for these movies to start rolling in. First, Tyler Perry, come on! Where was James Patterson when castings were auditioned for? Alex Cross was clearly more of a,the late, Michael Clark Duncan, Denzel role. But anyone, anyone other than Tyler Perry. Frankly, the entire movie was cast inappropriately. And the spots where it's clear, the screen writing was trying to cram Cross' entire back-story into 1 movie, was sloppy at best. Not true to the integrity of Patterson's fast-paced, page turning fervor we are accustomed to. The only hope is that they aren't making any more.
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Bang Ka-pow-thud
rps-229 November 2014
I continued watching this movie with increasing disgust just to see how bad it would get. It did not disappoint me. This is yet another graphic (and bloody and violent and pornographic) example of the decay of American society. If they had made movies in the last days of the Roman Empire, they would have been like this. The film starts with a violent gun battle, moves to no holds barred bare knuckle boxing and soon is showing sexual scenes that leave nothing to the imagination. On top of all this, it is set (although only partially shot)in Detroit, that urban symbol of everything that is wrong with American society. Hollywood pours out violent, negative films like this, full of gun violence then people recoil in horror when an 11 year old boy brandishing a BB gun and believing that life really is as portrayed in the movies is shot and killed by police.
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It turns out that Morgan Freeman is the REAL serial killer . . .
Edgar Allan Pooh22 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
. . . back in Detroit, when he was Madea. It's as if director Rob Cohen was bankrolled to make history's most ridiculous cop film ever. His cynical treatment suggests that the FBI recruited ALEX CROSS (portrayed by Mr. Freeman in two earlier films set AFTER this "prequel") because Cross was more of a rogue operator\"loose cannon" than Col. Oliver North. Cross is willing to bludgeon fellow (but HONEST) cops, return murder weapons to the known killers, manufacture illegal weapons, plant "evidence" to frame suspects on capital charges, and summarily execute unarmed citizens. The one thing that Cross is NOT good at is figuring out criminals and solving or preventing crimes, as he enables the crooks to rub out one of his partners, plus his wife, as well as most of the non-Black population of the Motor City. To make matters worse, LOST's heroic Dr. Jack is reduced here to cutting off hot chicks' fingers for the fun of it (when he's not destroying guys twice his size in cage fights). Yet when Matthew Fox ("Dr. Jack") faces Tyler Perry ("Madea") Mano A Mano, Madea makes mincemeat of a guy who up till then has been twice as tough and ten times as smart as anyone else on screen here. It's as if somebody spiked Popeye's spinach with stupid pills. The only thing about ALEX CROSS that rings true is that everyone DOES flee Detroit sooner rather than later!
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A horrible mess from start to finish
brchthethird14 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Tyler Perry and, to a similar degree, Matthew Fox do the best they can with a mediocre film which suffers from poor writing and direction. The drama and suspense is greatly lacking, and the action is poorly shot in the currently vogue shaky-cam style. The worst instance of this is in the climactic scene, which should have been how the movie ended. This brings me to another fault I have with the movie: the second ending, where Jean Reno's character gets his comeuppance. The scene was completely unnecessary and didn't make too much sense, especially with the way it ties things up a little too conveniently. Honestly, his character didn't even need to be in the movie. Doesn't really deserve a rental or VOD, but it's fairly good for one, mindless viewing.
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Cross it Out
kapelusznik183 November 2014
****SPOILERS**** Off the wall police drama involving super-cop and brainy Alex Cross, Tyler Perry, a Detroit policemen as well as part time psychoanalyst. Cross gets himself involved with this high priced just released from a mental institution assassin known as the "Butcher of Slygo", Matthew Fox, who's out to destroy the cities's, that's on the verge of bankruptcy, top political financier German industrialist Giles Mercier, Jean Reno, so it can be taken over, in what were made to believe , a group of Wall Street vulture capitalists. Cross himself was looking to exit Detroit and get a job with the FBI as a criminal profiler that paid 35% more then as a Detroit cop as well provided him and his family with full dental care which was all the motivation he needed. But it was his gabby old lady, wife, Maria, Carmen Ejogo, who wanted no part of it. Which made Cross have second thoughts putting her in front of him getting ahead in the world of law enforcement.

It was a lucky stroke for Cross when the "Butcher" knocked off Maria at a local restaurant, when he distracted Cross on the phone, that the by know mad as hell cop decided to stay in Detroit, like his old lady wanted him too, and take care of business in giving the "Butcher" everything that he had coming to him. This had Cross and his team of crime fighters Thomas Kane, Edward Burns, and Jody Klebanoff, Bonnie Bentley, get on the "Butcher's" tail who in fact was anything but the freelance psycho killer that Cross thought that he was.

****SPOILERS**** It's later on that we realize whom the "Butcher" was working for that involved a sick financial scam thought up by his greedy employer to save what little in money he still had left after the disastrous stock market crash on 2008! As well as keep him from going to jail for both stock fraud and insider trading that in fact, by backfiring on him, almost wipe him out. This ridicules plan also was soon to soon backfired when Cross and his partners Kane & Kelbanoff planted two kilos of cocaine on him at his hideout in far off Indonesia. That sudden turn of events had him busted by the local police and sentenced to death, by firing squad, by the state court!
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I'd better have watched a German police movie.
david-robin18 September 2014
  • the crime-scene cop, the one who is supposed to convey the horror of what he just found ... is the doctor of "Scrub". - the romance between 2 criminal investigators, in love since they're 12... - "Our killer thinks he is a Picasso". says the police team-mate... - "We are all formers from the German police" say the bodyguards...

At this point in the film, I had HUGE doubts regarding the potential of film. And then I saw skinny Matthew Fox swimming in a decorative water pipe, and I totally lost hope.

I will try to stick to plans, and produce a serious review :

  • the plot is stupid. Main character Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) investigates the crimes of a contract killer, who gives out transparent clues on his next target by drawing Picasso-inspired fusains (just because he is crazy). The uninspired writers had several reminiscence of David Fincher's seVen (pregnant wife, self-punishment, etc).

  • the cinematography is worse than most TV series.

  • the music score by John Debney (several Marvel soundtracks, "Hanna Montana") is transparent. The crying violins are repeatedly boring. The moments of emotional tension are highlighted by digital percussions.

  • the actors? ...ah ah. AH AH AH!
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A tough act to follow
bowmanblue6 June 2014
In 'Alex Cross' Tyler Perry steps up to try and fill the shoes of Morgan Freeman, who played the titular character in both Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Unfortunately, although he gives it his best shot, he does seem to fall a little short of the mark. When Freeman played the role, he gave it an air of quiet dignity where he was always ready to outwit his opponent. Perry is a big man, therefore a big gun suits him and he comes across more like he's ready to star in an action movie.

However, the lead role aside, the film chugs along quite nicely. It's based on the book of the same name and is quite tense and thrilling (if a little far-fetched in places). It's a buddy-cop film where the law enforcement are on the hunt of a killer/hit-man known by the alias 'Picasso.' There's nothing new to see here, but if you're a fan of the genre, you can certainly do worse. However, you could probably read a newspaper while watching it and still completely understand everything that goes on.

Worth a watch if there's nothing else.
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Poor production values
lbmoniz10 May 2014
Lacks the class and drama of previous efforts with Morgan Freeman who is a superior actor. I guess being succinct isn't allowed so I'll have to repeat these lines over again. Lacks the class and drama of previous efforts with Morgan Freeman who is a superior actor. Lacks the class and drama of previous efforts with Morgan Freeman who is a superior actor. Lacks the class and drama of previous efforts with Morgan Freeman who is a superior actor. Lacks the class and drama of previous efforts with Morgan Freeman who is a superior actor. Lacks the class and drama of previous efforts with Morgan Freeman who is a superior actor.
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Why Was This Movie Even Made?
thelastplace10 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I've been reading James Patterson for 20 years and have read ALL the Alex Cross books. This piece of crap was made for the money and no other reason. And from the posted gross, that didn't work either. First, the two previous movies were based on Alex Cross books, 'Along Came A Spider' and 'Kiss the Girls'. This was a made up story that is too predictable. Second, the partner, Thomas Kane, is NOT Cross' partner. He has NEVER had a partner except John Sampson. Third, Maria would have been dead BEFORE this movie, not in this movie. Fourth, set in DETROIT, not D.C. where it should have been set. I don't remember a single story where Alex Cross worked in Detroit, let alone lived there. Fifth, Cicely Tyson, as good as she is, was WRONG for the role of Nana Mama. Should I go on? If you love Alex Cross, stay away from this piece of garbage.
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So bad it actually hurts...
hminiarj6 May 2014
I flicked from channel to channel to find something to watch and found this, Alex Cross, sitting there with it's promising basic plot hook and started watching it. Heck, I even made a point of leaving the channel on while some drivel finished off before it.

When it first started it was disjointed, and it took a while to get remotely invested in following the plot line, but as it progressed it became nearly impossible to be invested in anything relevant to the movie whatsoever.

The performances of pretty much every single actor in this movie is poor or worse. They deliver the lines without any flare, any emotion, with extremely rare exceptions, but to be perfectly honest, it's understandable. You see, the lines they were given to deliver are mostly utter rubbish. NO ONE TALKS LIKE THAT! No one even acts like that. The few scenes not marked by dramatic underacting by the main cast are made hilariously bad by the overacting of the supporting cast.

The whole movie feels like the writing was done by someone who's completely socially inept but fascinated by crime dramas and has spent a little too much time watching movies like Seven.

This movie is so bad it doesn't even serve as a good "background noise" while you mill about on your computer. It's so bad you just can not ignore it. It's so bad it hurts to watch it.
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Up to the release of the latest installment of the Alex Cross movie franchise, author James Patterson had already produced eighteen books in the series.
coltens1421 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
By the time this film was available on DVD in early 2013, two more books - Merry Christmas, Alex Cross & Alex Cross, Run - will have been released, The films have not been nearly as steady, only getting its third cinematic treatment and the first since 2001's Along Came a Spider. Patterson's busily stalked protagonist did fairly well at the box office if not inspiring critics into believing he was worth following for another eighteen adventures. Fans of Patterson's airport fiction might disagree despite whatever objections they had between the films and the varying text. New fans are being sought out for the franchise reboot though and they should be mostly pleased. Considering they are used to ham-handed acting, amateurish fimmaking, cartoonish villains, hypocritical motivations and a touch of old broad sass, they should be right at home watching Tyler Perry take the lead.

As the new era begins, Alex Cross is once again chasing down another psychopath and saving a battered white girl. Along with his select team, childhood friend Tommy Kane and Monica Ashe - Who are secretly hooking up behind the boss' back - they investigate crimes of some unspecified nature in the greater Detroit area. Their special unit is hardly defined by anything other than Alec being such a master of deduction that he can tell his wife had coffee based on the blouse stain big enough to be spotted by a Fisher Price telescope from Pluto. Other than dealing with the occasional crime scene, life is good for "Detective Doctor" Alex Cross who is on the short list for an FBI job in Washington and he has just been told there's another little Cross on the way.

Also on the way is another psycho. This one, played by Matthew Fox, is a professional assassin who calls himself "The Butcher" but is referred to as "Picasso" by Tommy based on him leaving a drawing at at recent upscale massacre. There is a mystery benefactor behind The Butcher's recent spree which includes getting into underground MMA fights, paralyzing women with a special drug, and concocting elaborate break-ins to take out a French financial specialist. When Cross and Co. disrupt the latter, The Butcher takes to being bullet-grazed worse that being punched in the face.

There is a momentary fascination with the film in figuring out precisely what Fox's psychotic villain is really up to. How does buying one's way into a brutal fight connect to a stolen laptop, what's on it and how it leads to international finance? Just who is Jean Reno's one-scene millionaire is not only superfluous suspect available to be funding The Butcher? Do professional mercenaries go off-script so often to take on personal vendettas after getting a little boo-boo from their adversary For ever answer revealed in Alex Cross - and few are really offered - it opens up ten different logical conundrums over just how brilliant the particular cat and mouse really are. Loosely based on Patterson's prequel novel Cross, the screenplay by first-timer Kerry Williamson and Marc Moss - whose only previous credit is the adaptation of Patterson's Along Came a Spider - actually gets less complicated and more boring as things get pieced together. What begins as a ludicrous police procedural becomes an even more ludicrous revenge thriller that asks viewers to believe this morally-principled Sherlock-wannabe is not just ready to turn into The Punisher but also possesses the superskills necessary for an over-weight, out-of-shape, dopey, doughy detective to take on a cage fighter who overreacts to taking a single punch. There has not been a less convincing avenging angel that Tyler Perry's Alex Cross since Thomas Jane portrayed the comic world's Frank Castle by interrogating a suspect with a melting popsicle.

The stakes in Alex Cross are raised even further with the kind of vengeful horror that most professional assassins would admit is against the code. Both of the Taken films pushed the boundaries of the ratings system but did so under a kind of unwritten guide that throat-punching is less graphic than the more macho-violent fare that Sylvester Stallone has done in his Rambo and Expendable films. Alex Cross will never be confused with those, but its violence is shocking for an MPAA-rated "PG-13" mystery thriller. The connection between sexual fetish and murder is pushed during a torture scene. No less that two other crimes are committed towards women with one worthy of a funeral and the other nothing more than a cell phone snapshot. Patterson's specialty of bruising-up the fairer sex received an "R" rating when Kiss the Girls came out. Fifteen years later, viewers are apparently so numb that it can be extrapolated even while being dumbed down for those used to Perry's cartoonish portrayals of man-on-woman crimes.

All such shocking moments of Alex Cross could be all part of some calculated plan for Perry to prove that he is going hard in trying to prove what a serious, demonstrative actor he can be. Most would recommend a stint in acting classes for starters which co-star Matthew Fox is more than happy to teach. First lesson: Act with the eyes. Bug them out as far as possible to prove the depth of the character's villainy. The originally cast Idris Elba as Cross would have had to take the class on keeping a straight face in the middle of this nonsense. Lesson two goes to director Rob Cohen. With no competency as an action director and stars was wooden as Perry and Burns, shake the camera as much as humanly possible to justify urgency. James Cameron could not make a call to OnStar more dramatically riveting. Mainly because he would never create and action sequence around a call to OnStar. Alex Cross is equally silly, boring, offensive and implausible which are also its best qualities if the viewer is in a mocking kind of mood.
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Not as bad as other reviewers suggest
jsaus6330417 April 2014
I have long been a fan of the John Patterson series of books about the Alex Cross character and have read almost all of them. I read "Cross" which is the book this movie was based on. Too bad the writers and producers did not read it before making the movie.

First of all, the good about the movie. Tyler Perry fits the Alex Cross character description as given by James Patterson in the books more than Morgan Freeman did in the earlier movies (a resemblance to a 40 year old Mohammad Ali and Freeman sure is not that). There is enough plot to keep you interested and some pretty good stunts and special effects to keep you stimulated.

The bad is that it had little to do with the book. Alex Cross was single throughout the book series because his wife had been killed many years earlier. His partner, John Sampson, is absent and replaced with a different character. Cross is already working for The FBI in the book. The story takes place in Washington DC, not Detroit. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. On top of that, the plot was different as was the ending. I believe that if you want to base a movie on a book, it should at least resemble the book.

The next movie is supposed to be "Double Cross" which brings back the Kyle Craig character. There needs to be at least some background on Craig, his FBI ties, his relationship to Cross and to the Mastermind before this movie can become viable. Absent this, it will just be another movie that has no relationship to the book it is based on.

Bottom line is-if you just enjoy action, suspense, mystery, detective movies, you will enjoy this. If you are a fan of the Alex Cross series and somewhat of a purest, you will be disappointed.
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1 hour 40 minutes
cageydog21 March 2014
If you can think of ANYTHING else to do for 1 hour 40 minutes, do it. Poorly scripted, odd casting, poorly executed, worst stunts since the 70's. The movie simply fails to ever become interesting. Matthew Fox's performance as Picasso was over the top, unbelievable and was the worst performance I have seen from him. Tyler Perry was equally hard to buy as Alex Cross though he was better than Fox. The storyline included way too much unnecessary distraction that could only have been left in as filler. I also found the over the top stereotyping of Germans to be insulting, but it is this hypocritical double standard that connects this movie with Perry's other works and it is not OK. Perry has a core audience and a formula for success that is based around generating as much revenue as possible from that audience, utilizing works not based on production value, dramatic story lines or artistic expression. If this is an example of the best he can produce outside the lucrative niche he has created, he should stick to what he is famous for.
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Thirty years younger
Iain McDougall10 March 2014
I'm sure Morgan Freeman wishes he was thirty years younger if he watches this effort with his characters' name attributed to it. This is nothing like 'Kiss the girls' or 'Along came a spider'. The performers can only actor with the script they're given but surely there must be somebody better than Tyler Perry? Idris Elba would have been perfect for this role.

This movie feels more like a spoof than an action thriller. Poorly acted by both lead players and the plot is so predictable that it's painful. The cast do their best with the material, 'Lost' star Matthew Fox appears to have invested a lot into the film, almost unrecognisable as the heavily tattooed, muscular psycho. His physical transformation can't disguise overacting, but at least it's a menacing performance.
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Poor Acting And Screenplay
Desertman849 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Alex Cross is a crime thriller that stars Tyler Perry in the title role.It tells a story about how Cross meets his match in the Picasso,portrayed by Matthew Fox. This is the third film that features the character Alex Cross, the main character in a series of novels by James Patterson.The movie was was adapted from the novel "Cross," written by screenwriters Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson.It was directed Rob Cohen.

In the film,Cross' main target is a psycho named Picasso, a serial killer who tortures and mutilates his victims. Picasso is a bellicose suit-wearing monster who early on takes off his jacket and tie and reveals the psychopath within. When Cross studies the crime scenes he's left and watches as Picasso continue killing innocents around town.But when the mission gets personal,he is pushed to the edge of his moral and psychological limit.

It is too bad that Tyler Moore does not hold a candle to the performance of Morgan Freeman,who performed Alex Cross in the two previous movies namely,Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider.Added to that,the story is dull,predictable and boring.It is far from interesting as it is clichéd and has an unbearable dialogue.Added to that,the action scenes does not contribute to make the film even better.Skip this one.
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Tyler Perry - Sign of Mediocrity
imdb-456 March 2014
This film is an embarrassment. It makes B movies look like top notch thrillers. Everything is wrong with this film, exaggerated and unnatural, like almost everything I've seen Tyler Perry produce. The script is predictable and laughable. There is no chemistry between the actors and the dialog is stilted, awkward and difficult to hear.

Perry's character, Alex Cross, is a psychic genius. He can tell what went on at a scene just by his very presence. He knows one man did everything because... well... he's just so darn smart. He has the same cool demeanor the entire film and he's just not a credible character.

The worst part is that there are no twists that can't be seen a mile away and the film plays out from beginning to end without surprises. A serial killer wants to take out everyone and now it's up to our resident genius to prevent that from happening. Even the mediocre "Along Came a Spider" which featured Morgan Freeman was miles ahead of this farce. This is the kind of film that goes straight to video and gets played late night on free TV channels, if you want to waste your time on this (but certainly not your money.)
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stevenjsed22 February 2014
I wanted to give this movie a 0 out of 10 but the fact is that I laughed through most of it. If this movie was written as a comedy I would have given it an 8.

The script, the direction and the acting started out bad and got worse as the movie went on. If I had paid to see this movie I would have asked for my money back

I feel bad that I have to write 10 lines of text to have a review of a very bad movie published on IMDb, I am sure the producers and directors wanted to have a better finished product than this movie and I hope James Patterson got a lot of money for his part but they will need to change the main actors if there is going to be another Alex Cross movie. An 80 year old Morgan Freeman would make a more believable crime fighter than Tyler Perry does now.
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