5.9/10
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139 user 104 critic

Suspect Zero (2004)

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A mysterious serial killer is hunting other serial killers - and one FBI agent suspects there may be more to the vigilante than they imagine.

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Thomas Mackelway
... Benjamin O'Ryan
... Fran Kulok
... Rich Charleton
... Harold Speck
Julian Reyes ... Highway Patrolman
... Raymond Starkey
... Loretta
Ellen Blake ... Dolly
William B. Johnson ... Mel
Jerry Gardner ... Sheriff Harry Dylan
Daniel Patrick Moriarty ... Bud Granger
Curtis Plagge ... Jumbo
... Katie Potter
... Bill Grieves
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Storyline

When Dallas FBI Agent Thomas Mackelway violates serial killer Raymond Starkey's civil rights during an unorthodox arrest, Starkey goes free and Mackelway is demoted to a remote branch of the agency in Albuquerque. His first day on the job, Mackelway investigates the murder of traveling salesman Harold Speck, which turns out to be the first of three seemingly random killings. Perhaps they are not random at all. The last to die is Mackelway's nemesis, Raymond Starkey. The assignment consumes him, his past mistakes haunt him, and his head throbs constantly as he tries to find the link between the victims that will lead him to their killer while the case becomes increasingly gruesome and patently personal. This does not go unnoticed by his unflappable partner Fran Kulok, who knows of Mackelway's past and the demons that afflict him. Like Mackelway, she becomes drawn into the labyrinth of chilling clues, all of which point to the enigmatic Benjamin O'Ryan. O'Ryan clearly has a connection ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content, language and some nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

27 August 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neitariamasis  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,446,375, 29 August 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,725,813

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,650,407
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Company Credits

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script came to Carrie-Anne Moss a couple of weeks after she heard about 'remote viewing' on The Oprah Winfrey Show (1984). Since this movie is based on this subject, she said that she took it as a sign. See more »

Goofs

There is a spelling error of the word 'condensed' (spelled condenced) on O'Ryan's FBI psychological evaluation when Mackelway is reading it See more »

Quotes

Benjamin O'Ryan: I know what you're thinking. "Pain is coming. Will I take it like a man?" Well, let me put you at ease. You won't - but none of them do. Men, women, children, they all weep, they all beg, they pass out, they piss themselves, they attempt negotiation. You wouldn't believe how many men I've seen lying right where you're lying right now, grown men with wives and children at home, offering all kinds of sexual gratification for a five-minute reprieve. It's pathetic.
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Crazy Credits

The opening Paramount logo is brown (to resemble the desert) and the water in the Intermedia logo is black. See more »


Soundtracks

I Come to the Garden Alone
(1998)
Written by Austin Miles
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User Reviews

 
The kind of film that might have you stay awake when viewed on HBO at 2:30 in the morning
17 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Suspect Zero, a new mystery/horror/thriller/detective-FBI film, tries to make a lot of twists and turns in telling a story that is perhaps all-too-simple at the core. While the acting is fair by the leads (Kingsley, as a man who may or may not be the suspect, plays a tortured soul better than anyone I can think of; Eckhardt and Moss are credible if maybe mis-matched), the script is something of a turn-off. Sometimes it just doesn't make sense, despite a cameo from Robert Towne (uncredited on this site) as a professor who tries to give a little explaining to the FBI agent played by Eckhardt. It's not that the idea of it isn't bad, but it doesn't engage a viewer in a way other thrillers can.

What the film has going for it is the direction. This is E. Elias Merhige's third film after his impenetrable art-house film Begotten (arguably one of the most pretentious, deranged, if unique debuts of the 90's) and small success Shadow of a Vampire (a film that gave Malkovich and Dafoe excellent screen time as silent film icons). The style is more than flamboyant- it's madness. Merhige tries his best to get inside the atmosphere that this killer and it's tracker(s) are in, and he succeeds by almost trying too hard. It reminded me of a kind of avant-garde approach to directing one of those HBO thrillers you might catch late at night. While he doesn't do a job as memorable as 'Shadow', and outside of Kingsley and maybe Eckhardt doesn't elicit very good acting, him and Michael (Raging Bull/Taxi Driver) Chapman bring out a technical aspect with tints and angles and shots that aren't too diverting.

It's the kind of film that misses the mark of great, twisted, FBI-serial killer murder mysteries, and I would not seek it out to rent, but it didn't leave too sour of a taste in my mouth, and I didn't want to walk out of it midway either. It's average fare that could've been better, could've been a lot worse. (strong) C


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