The River Murders (2011)
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Liotta is top notch and Slater is his usual enjoyable self.
Michael Rodrick has got game and Sarah Ann Schultz creates a very hot detective.
With a handful of surprising twists and few glaring errors, it managed to tell a really interesting story by avoiding the usual pitfalls of guns and sexploitation.
This had the look and feeling of those B-movies of the eighties where you could sit in front of the picture and be just captivated by the storytelling and the performance of thespians who don't need big bucks for them to show they can act.
A good effort.
As for the whiners? Well, 2 species have sprung on IMDb in the last few years: those who like nothing and those who hate everything.
As for the rest: you'll probably enjoy the surprises as well as I did.
Another inconsistent character is the main killer aka jacks bastard son, all throughout the film he's talking about how jack will burn in hell and he will show no mercy and so forth when in the end after killing all those women and even the unborn children in the bellies he let Ana and her kid live. So overall the inconsistency makes this film really stupid and badly made.
The films highlights were not as common as they should have been but even if the highlights appeared more frequently it still wouldn't have been nearly enough to make up for all the ridiculous inconsistency. If you enjoyed it good for you but for me I just hate it for plenty of reasons I've already listed, if you haven't seen this movie and you're reading this review do yourself a favor and skip this one and go watch seven. Seven has a somewhat similar story with a much better story, consistency, acting, and climax (among the most memorable in my opinion). That's the end of my review thanks for reading.
The killer is revealed pretty early in the movie and is a rather empty caricature of some religious fanatic. I believe if they had spent more time on the killer's psychology and how he gets to his victims, the film would be more credible.
The only part I enjoyed was the rather sarcastic FBI agent played by Mr Slater but that might be just 10 min of the entire movie. I definitely do not recommend this film.
For example: "I'm going to have to ask you to turn in your badge and your gun until we clear things up. I'm sorry."
Given a second star because the photography and lighting met today's general standards, although without any particular effort on the part of the director of photography to strive for any originality or aesthetic quality.
A stinkeroo. A doggie turd painted gold.
You've been warned.
The film has shortcomings but I want to compliment the actors, crew, and artists involved. It's hard to hit the ball out of the park every time but they suited up and did the best they could.
What I see is a script that had quite a few voices that had to be placated in order for the film to be made. There are too many levels of intellect and articulation. Nobody edited the script. The script teeters uncomfortably between genres; the director creates a new sub-genre of pornography at times and then the contextual shots want to make the film artsy. Crime-Porn? I guess.
The script isn't even really that insufferable. The problem is with he pacing, the camera work, the editing, and the dumbing down of EVERY element--! Nobody looks good...and if no one looks good what's the point?
It's got the bible themed killings, except without the gore or the fear or the creativity or originality. And then, lo and behold, at the end the wife is taken captive by the killer, who calls for the husband-cop and Oh My God I never expected it...the cop kills the killer. Seven it is not. But it tries really, really hard to copy it exactly down to the 'shocking' final twist.
I have never rolled my eyes as often in a movie as I did in this one. The most entertaining thing about Ray Liotta in this film is the enormity of his beer gut, which proceeds him everywhere he goes.
The River Murders is the most predictable movie I've ever seen, with the worst script, cast, and directing in the history of my film watching career. The plot holes are so large you could fall through them from a mile high. And in the background, Christian Slater grabs desperate hold of the only role he could manage to land in what? The last decade? Oh well, he tries his best. There's your regular typecast cop actors as virtual extras.
I can't believe they had the nerve to include a 'making of' featurette on the DVD. Needless to say, I didn't watch that just like I shouldn't have watched this film.
Would I watch again? - I don't know if I will or not
*Also try - In Her Skin & Untraceable
i was not expecting anything from the movie because i knew in the first place that it is a low budget project but since the plot was appealing i went ahead and to my surprise i liked this movie in many ways. first the story itself. technically no loopholes in the script. second,characters were totally convincing and it didn't occurred at any point of time that they are unknown or never been in the lime light many times which usually happens in a small budget productions that everything is fine but star cast with poor performance brings the house down. so hats off to the stars of this movie. Third, even without showing much violence the director was able to portray the right scenario of crime scenes. so one dimension of the direction where you don't need a chainsaw or a shotgun to paint the walls with blood and body parts to make it a gore fest. You can look over the present resources and develop a plan to use them in a best possible manner. that's what the director has been able to pulled off. And last but not the least the characters in this movie don't behave in the typical way which we always make fun while watching such movies when we felt that this is the most stupidest thing to do in such a situation like even the most famous movies franchise SAW forced us to think that many times. so showing some things out of league was refreshing to me simply because it makes sense. There is this scene where the female partner of Lotta meets a guy and she refuses to date him simply because his partner is in trouble and she suspects that it is not a coincident that suddenly a guy turns up who seems nice and why he is interested in dating a cop which seems out of ordinary and she suspects that he might be dangerous but it would not have happened in the SAW or any other serial killer movies. so credit goes to director who applied logic with his characters thinking making it more of a thinking character's movie than merely simple performance where character is repeating his lines without bringing feel about his character.
Overall it is a small budget DVD release so i don't want you fellows to expect anything great from this movie but I'd say this technically it is decent film who does OK and has nice performance by stars, also the pace of the story is good so if is a good way to kill time at home and most of you might feel good about it. so given the limitations of the director & producers i would say that it is a nice attempt though screenplay could have been more tight but anyway it is refreshing. upcoming directors might learn something from this movie. My rating 7/10 simply because their hard work entertained me.
Somehow, someone has been murdering the women Jack has previously slept with, and as any good serial killer will tell you, the killer has to have a modus operandi. So Jack is first accused of being the possible serial killer as he cannot account how anyone else would know the women he has previously taken on as one time lovers, so his badge and gun are temporarily confiscated. As more murders of Jacks former lovers are turning up, Jack is eventually cleared to go back on duty.
Supporting cast members include Ving Rhames as Jack's Captain, and Christian Slater as a pesky FBI agent. I enjoy a good serial killer movie but this film left me with little to be too intrigued about. A THRILLER it was not. Yes, it is worth a watch for a late night movie when you cannot sleep but it is not an "edge on your seat THRILLER", nor does it have a unique or surprise ending. Somewhat disappointing overall.
I rated it a 4 out of 10. Sorry Ray, but maybe your next suspense film will result in a better IMDb score.
I could go into more specifics (the list is long)... but that would have me spending more time discussing this piece of garbage. And that's way more than it deserves. If I could get away with punching the kid who rented this to me I would.
You have been warned.
Well this movie did seem to lend credence to him but at the same time destroy his central thesis. It was not made in Hollywood and for various reasons it went straight to DVD, mainly cause it really was lame & boring. I'm sure by now you got the gist of the film, and saw how the once promising Ray Liotta cannot carry a movie, even with Slater's mischievous energy.
Basically this kid, who the detective under suspicion had inadvertently sired years ago, decides to go on a killing rampage against all the women he ever slept with. See, John/Ray got this one woman pregnant, and instead of getting the abortion, she went to LA and gave birth to this little monster. So he grows up naturally angry & alienated and gets involved in Christianity & anti-abortion movement. Then he goes full psycho and tortures and kills his evil fallen mother. Before he kills one women, he finagles the other women who his absent father had slept with too. Since he was about thirty, he was killing women who hadn't seen his absent father in decades yet they seem to know the other women some one night stand of theirs slept with. So begins the chain reaction Since he is involved in the anti-abortion movement and has access to abortion clinic data, he matches Ray's lovers with abortions and goes after the abortion seeking ones with a glee. After he kills them, he shoves her wedding ring in her private place. Then he even kills Ray's mother, which made his sickness even more twisted since like what did she do wrong, even from some old testament biblical POV? Okay, as sick as it is, as well as unbelievable it was, the movie just plain sucked. Ving Rames was useless as the standard harried detective's boss. Some Gisele Brazilian type played his wife and in spite of her accent, her bad acting just showed through. There were a bunch of obligatory plot twists, most of them expected. Like the killer hits on the female detective friend of his, even comes to the office, yet bluffs them off when she was one his past sex partners. You think they would have grabbed him and sweated him out then, So the killer sneaks into her flat, etc The only scene that was half way interesting was the final scene when he confronts the bad guy. It was loaded with religious symbolism. It also sort of touched on the issue of promiscuous sex so it was not a total Christian bash. The worst part of it was that it was just plain dull and miserable and had no depth to it. The serial killer genre is so large and over worked, and only the ones that has some reality to it are any good.
Here on IMDb, this film is labeled a "thriller". It could have been, in the hands of a competent director.
On the rental box, this film was labeled "action". The only action i saw was Ray Liotta jogging (and looking like he was about to have a heart attack in the process).
The only decent acting in the entire movie came from a supporting actor - the husband of one of the victims attempting to murder Liotta - whose scene was cut short by the cops who showed up out of the blue with no explanation. How did they know what was happening? Shouldn't it have been the FBI instead of a couple anonymous cops? This barely scratches the surface of the awfulness that is The River Murders. At best, this could be labeled "movie of the week".
The script seems fairly straight-forward but it has a very compelling religious aspect that comes in when we meet the killer. I'm not spoiling anything by saying that we meet the killer fairly early on. His character is written in a way that kept me interested as to his intentions. I had a hard time believing Liotta's character would remember all the "100's" of women he'd slept with, but whatever. Verdon and the killer are definitely the strongest characters, though, with the Vuckovitch character being a constant strain.
Liotta, Slater, and Ving Rhames are the bankable stars advertised on the cover, but all three men could have switched roles and you would have had the same movie. For instance, if Slater played Verdon, Liotta the Police Captain, and Rhames the FBI Agent, or so on. All three do an adeqaute job, though Slater served more as comic relief than anything else. Liotta's wife is played by the gorgeous Giselle Fraga, whose beauty just about saves her flat acting. Michael Rodrick shows some real potential as the killer, his cold performance stood out from the supporting cast.
Cinematography caught the drizzly Washington weather perfectly, though as someone not a Seattle native, I was confused as why it was never really brought to light which river the title alluded to.
"The River Murders" makes for a nice day off or rainy day mystery movie to watch with some popcorn. I'd recommend it.
The movie was great, but definitely a TV movie. There are a lot of theater movies out there, that suck much, much more, and I would definitely have spent $10-15 to see this in theaters.
The plot is gripping, and draws you in. Although there are some scenes that do feel hollow, the movie has a quick pace, and keeps you guessing. I've seen Ray Liotta in a few movies/shows before, and this is definitely his best acting out of all of them. The movie has suspense enough for you to worry about a character as well.
See this movie, it's truly one of the good films out there.
Yet again i lament the fact that IMDb does not have a no stars option because this film has no redeeming features whatsoever bar a comedic hamming it up big time performance from a wise cracking Christian Slater as an FBI agent. Every cliché in the book is flogged to death. Credability is non existent. The rubber snaps (no pun intended) when Liottas ex bed notch cop friend takes a lift from the shifty looking serial killer because she could not be bothered furthering her feeble attempt to hail a taxi. Even when an opportunity is presented to spin something else the script then goes out of its way to reinforce the fact that Liottas character was a heterosexual stud.
Liotta should be ashamed for taking the pay cheque as his performance is so lame it is at times unintentionally funny. Watch him and his jelly belly jogging - hope they had paramedics ready. As for the "actress" who played his wife - jeepers enough said. I only watched to the ahem -climax- to see what the motive for the killer was after making several wide of the mark guesses. Now i'm feeling double dumbness by also actually paying to rent this trash and all. But then i excuse myself by checking the real age of the actor who played the killer on IMDb - he is in his 40's and looks every day of it. They pass him off as being 30 year old in the movie which is why i would never fathom him as the son of the Liotta character who is portrayed as 48 year old in the movie.
There were only 2 enjoyable things about this movie; Christian Slater (basically playing Christian Slater the FBI agent) as his character was amusing and the 2nd thing was the end credits. I gave the film 2/10: 1 for Christian Slater and 1 for comedy value. Straight to the bottom of the DVD bargain bin (or the river) wit this please...
This is the central plot line for The River Murders, a new direct to VOD and DVD title staring Liotta, Ving Rhames and Christian Slater that is much better than is should be for reasons that we won't be able to fully scope to any reasonable conclusion.
The movie begins sharply with the discovery of a female victim that has been found in a local river. Jack arrives at the scene and immediately identifies the girl as someone to which he had prior relations. When the body is taken back to the morgue, a ring is discovered in the dead woman's vagina. Before Jack can come to grips with his connection to the victim, he receives word that his mother has died mysteriously. And then, another murder of a former female acquaintance is found with the same M.O. as the first girl.
This prompts an F.B.I. investigation lead by Agent Vuckovitch (Slater) who is an obnoxious and not entirely believable agent who spends more time trying to provoke detective Verdon than he does on the exploration of the killer.
The River Murders soon slides into conventional thriller mode and more bodies are found while we are introduced to the killer and we get the two destined story lines of Verdon's confusion and struggles with the F.B.I. and the killer's relentless mission to continue a personal vendetta against jack that will be revealed before the final credits roll.
The River Murders is not overly graphic, it's not particularly believable and it has a killer whose motivations are something that can only come out of the Hollywood machine. Yet, we liked it. Maybe it was the always reliable acting by Rhames (who plays Jack's boss) and Liotta. Maybe it was the no nonsense direction by Rich Cowan (Shadow of Fear) that kept things moving without convoluting the plot line or stretching the brisk 92-minute runtime with unnecessary subplots or dialogue traps. Whatever the reason, we thought The River Murders worked and was far better than the average made-for-television fare that the story would suggest suited.
The heavy weight of the broad motive of the killer is the only thing that keeps The River Murders away from a better grade and acceptance. But that shouldn't deter you from giving this VOD effort a shot. It is better than most and hardly deserving of a complete ignore.