To Catch a Killer (2023)

April 15th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Damián Szifron | Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Jovan Adepo | Thriller 119′

Shailene Woodley plays a modern-day Clarice Starling in this slick Baltimore-set police procedural from Argentine director Damian Szifron (Wild Tales)  It has to be said though that Ben Mendelsohn pulls rank performance-wise as her confident boss, the FBI’s chief investigator Geoffrey Lamark tasked with helping her track down a dangerous killer with the use of profiling. Usually cast as a villain Menselsohn makes for a masterful and persuasive chief who never takes himself too seriously, in the style of Carey Grant.

Profiling has long been the go-to device used in criminal investigation, alongside forensics. And Lamark (a Mendelsohn) instantly marks out the troubled Eleanor as the best detective to help solve the case. She stands up to him impressively in a gutsy street scene. And Woodley is certainly convincing in the role of Eleanor, a young police recruit whose feminine intuition and troubled past give her the tools and personal experience needed to understand the perp’s warped mind.

As the police and FBI launch a nationwide manhunt, they are thwarted at every turn by the individual’s unprecedented behaviour. Together Mendelsohn and Woodley make a poweful coupling yet Eleanor may be the only person who can understand the mind of their assailant and bring him to justice. MT

ON RELEASE ON in the US from 21 April 2023

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