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Edge of Darkness (2010)

2:32 | Trailer
As homicide detective Thomas Craven investigates the murder of his activist daughter, he uncovers a corporate cover-up and government conspiracy that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence.


Martin Campbell


William Monahan (screenplay), Andrew Bovell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,891 ( 1,743)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Craven
Ray Winstone ... Jedburgh
Danny Huston ... Jack Bennett
Bojana Novakovic ... Emma Craven
Shawn Roberts ... Burnham
David Aaron Baker ... Millroy
Jay O. Sanders ... Whitehouse
Denis O'Hare ... Moore
Damian Young ... Senator Jim Pine
Caterina Scorsone ... Melissa
Frank Grillo ... Agent One
Wayne Duvall ... Chief of Police
Gbenga Akinnagbe ... Detective Darcy Jones
Gabrielle Popa Gabrielle Popa ... Young Emma (as Maria Gabrielle Popa)
Paul Sparks ... Northampton Police Detective
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Thomas Craven is a detective who has spent years working the streets of Boston. When his own daughter is killed outside his own home, Craven soon realizes that her death is only one piece of an intriguing puzzle filled with corruption and conspiracy, and it falls to him to discover who is behind the crime. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Few escape justice. None escape vengeance. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


John Corigliano wrote a complete score to the original cut, with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in London, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Corigliano's score was rejected when re-shoots made the movie more action-driven. Because Corigliano was not interested in scoring the new version, stating it was now the kind of film he would never have signed up for, a new score was commissioned from Howard Shore. See more »


When Craven is talking to his daughter's friend in the car, when she gives him the disc, you hear a bird call. It is the sound a Western Scrub Jay makes. There aren't any Western Scrub Jays in Massachusetts. There's also another point in the movie where you hear a Western Scrub Jay, a scene that also occurs in Massachusetts. I'm guessing the movie was sound edited in California, where Western Scrub Jays are common. See more »


Thomas Craven: You know, Bill, no one expects you to be perfect. But there's just a few basic things you gotta get right. Always do the best you can by your family. Go to work every day. Always speak your mind. Never hurt anyone that doesn't deserve it... & never take anything from the bad guys.
See more »


Referenced in Tosh.0: The Average Homeboy (2010) See more »


Embraceable You
Written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Performed by Charlie Parker
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

User Reviews

Gibson's intense performance is reason above anything else to see this flawed thriller
21 June 2010 | by DonFishiesSee all my reviews

Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a good cop whose only daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) returns for a visit. While she initially appears to be fine, she turns out to be incredibly sick. On the way to see a doctor, Emma is gunned down in Craven's front doorway. His fellow detectives think the hit was meant for him, but Craven digs deeper and believes the nuclear manufacturing company she worked for may have something to do with it.

When Edge of Darkness was released this past January, it was marketed as a return for Gibson to the action thriller genre he has always excelled at. Except the film was actually more of a slow burn thriller, much like last year's fascinating and incredibly well done State of Play, and both based off a BBC mini-series. Albeit, this film is punctuated with scenes filled with incredibly graphic violence. But that initial flub is not the only thing working against the film.

The film masquerades as being break-neck paced, and uses this as an excuse to never really develop anyone. Emma is killed off less than ten minutes after the film begins, and the film never really lets up afterwards with Craven's search for the truth about his daughter's murder. We get very little on who Craven is, outside of a few dialogue inferences and his "nothing to lose" attitude. In a way, he is very similar to Liam Neeson's absent minded character in last year's Taken, except Craven actually takes the time to talk to people and not just kill them off. We get even less on Emma, outside of seeing her as a child in home video footage that appears to be haunting Craven.

If that were not enough, the film throws multiple characters at the audience almost at random, and very few of them stick. I found it incredibly hard to keep track of at least a handful of them, because they were so similar. Outside of Ray Winstone's Jedburgh and Danny Huston's Bennett, most of the characters are of no particular significance other than to move Craven's investigation along. I imagine this issue is largely the fault of the original six-part mini-series, which had the time to bring in a plethora of characters and develop them as opposed to a two-hour film. But State of Play managed to both keep its focus for the majority of time and develop its main stable of characters fairly well. How could this film not follow suit?

The film also suffers from a fairly ridiculous third act. Getting into specifics would ruin the film, but what can be said is that it ruins everything that came before it. It betrays everything the film has going for it, and boils itself down into a rather goofy actioner. The film is never really a revenge thriller, but more of a thriller about a man trying to find out why his daughter was killed. I really enjoyed the film and its last half when I first saw it theatrically a few months ago. But watching it again at home, it almost comes off as having gone totally off the rails much too quickly. The film's penchant for hyper violence gets far too ahead of itself, and it feels almost like the filmmakers wanted to please the audience with something totally different than what the film sets up for (plus, it feels a bit too close in similarity to the ending of another of William Monahan's previous scripts).

Despite all this, the film is still great when it is playing itself as the slow burn thriller it actually is. It is taut, suspenseful, and a touch unpredictable. For its problems, I really enjoyed the conspiracy filled storyline, and really liked some of the twists it took. It did remind me a lot of State of Play, but never feels like it is trying to steal its thunder or underrated greatness. It does have moments where you are on the edge of your seat, and does have moments where it makes a genuine attempt at making you think.

But this whole film would mean nothing if it were not for Gibson. This film was his first in a significant starring role since M. Night Shyamalan's last good film, Signs. Despite having been off the scene for eight years, this does not seem to have made Gibson lose any of his intensity or gravitas. He owns the screen in every scene he is in, and brings a certain immediacy to the role. It was interesting seeing him in such a wounded and devastating role, but he plays it with such strength and ferocity that you almost forget this was a guy who once cracked jokes as a suicidal cop and helped take down the British as a legendary Scottish commoner. He is a man who knows his craft, and knows just the right amount of seriousness to bring to the role.

Although not nearly as well showcased, both Winstone and Huston pull off great performances in their underwritten roles. Both were clearly much better developed in the series (and remain rather enigmatic throughout the film), but are still equally good here despite being overshadowed by Gibson. I would have enjoyed a whole lot more emphasis on both of them than the multiple other characters thrust at the audience over the course of the film.

Edge of Darkness is not a bad film, but it is not a good enough film to hold up on multiple viewings. I really enjoyed it the first time I saw it, but I found it less entertaining and much more problematic the second time round. But watch it for the driving force of Gibson above anything else. Time away definitely helped him become a stronger performer, and I can only hope his intensity will continue to shine.


(Portions of this review originally appeared on http://www.dvdfanatic.com).

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Release Date:

29 January 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Edge of Darkness See more »


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,214,384, 31 January 2010

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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