Earl Brooks is a highly respected businessman and was recently named Portland's Man of the Year. He hides a terrible secret however: he is a serial killer known as the Thumbprint Killer. He has been attending AA meetings and has kept his addiction to killing under control for two years now but his alter ego, Marshall, has re-appeared and is pushing him to kill again. When he does kill a couple while they are making love, he is seen and photographed by someone who also has his own death and murder fetish. In a parallel story, the police detective investigating the murder is having problems of her own. She is going through a messy divorce and a violent criminal who had vowed revenge some years before has escaped from prison and is after her. Written by
The prayer Mr. Brooks repeats throughout the movie is called "Serenity Prayer" written by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. This prayer is in use in Alcoholics Anonymous since the early 1940s. Mr. Brooks visits AA-meetings to curb his morbid addiction. See more »
When Det. Atwood is taken into the van, the van turns into an alley with the sliding door open. Turning into the next street from the alley, the door is closed. The next shot with the van driving along the street shows the door open again. See more »
Mr. Earl Brooks:
Oh God... God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Why do you fight it so hard, Earl?
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A thumbprint forms the backdrop for the end credits. See more »
I saw this movie with high hopes to see a good performance out of Kevin Costner. He didn't disappoint in a movie that very well could have failed--but didn't! I liked the idea of a 'nice-guy with a conscience' serial killer theme, but serial killer movies have been done to death. Costner and the script writers manage to give new life and a refreshing twist on this movie theme, and William Hurt's performance as his evil alter-ego is first-rate. This arrangement was better than just a run-of-the-mill voice-over by Costner's character. It reminded me a bit of a modern-day version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," which is one of my favorite novels. I'm happy to see all of the actors in this film finally get a good script and story to work with after many disappointments for them and the movie-going public.
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