In the Cut movie poster
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In the Cut movie poster

In the Cut Movie Review

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Meg Ryan ventures away from the romantic comedy genre for a rare serious movie, only to have this career move be the worst one... well, of her career. In the Cut is easily one of the worst movies of the year, with little too offer but some nude shots of Meg Ryan and a couple of beheadings.

In the Cut is about Frannie (Ryan), an English teacher who has a close relationship with her sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh). After a body is found dismembered in her garden, she meets Detective Malloy (Mark Ruffalo), who is investigating the case. They find solace in each other by engaging in various sexual acts, but ultimately the fate of their relationship relies on the identity of the serial killer, who, undoubtedly, is closer to them than either of them suspects.

So, In the Cut is a serial killer movie. There are a few bloody scenes. Meg Ryan gets naked and has sex. Why the hell is the movie so damned bad?

Boring, boring, boring. In the Cut moves slow enough that it could be going backwards; each scene is painstakingly drawn out with very little going on at any specific time. While director Jane Campion (The Piano) does excel at creating a dark and creepy atmosphere, she does nothing to fill that atmosphere with anything worthwhile. Many of the scenes seem repetitive or even identical in an attempt to show character progression. Worse, the movie does not once pick up over its two-hour running time. Even at the climax, where the identity of the killer is revealed, does the movie fail to even reach normal movie pace. It is agonizing.

Much of this boredom may be related to the drab characters that are painted into this screenplay with a thin layer of watercolor. Frannie, Meg Ryan's character, has nothing going for her. She's really a loser of a woman that seems to attract the scum of the earth (including a semi-funny yet ultimately disturbing character played by Kevin Bacon), and the only progress she makes through the movie is being able to open her legs farther for Malloy. While it is almost refreshing to see Ryan try something other than her typical fare, the specific screenplay she chose to do her career change with is absolutely dreadful. The character of Frannie is one of the worst protagonists to grace the silver screen.

Mark Ruffalo's character is a little more interesting, but the movie never really delves deep enough into his psyche to make him realistic. With his mustache and sexual urges, he comes off as nothing more than an icky sleazebag, though it is evident that Campion wanted to make something more out of him. She fails at doing so.

Ultimately, In the Cut is just disturbing. I am not one to be disturbed easily, especially by on-screen sex and so forth, but the sexual content in this movie never really clicks with the rest of the movie. Nothing, including Meg Ryan's nudity, seems to be necessary - of course, the whole movie doesn't seem to be necessary. Some of the dialogue is rather raunchy and does nothing for the movie but piss some audience members off (one woman walked out after being completely disgusted).

In the Cut, evidently, has very little going for it. Whatever Campion was attempting to do did not happen, unless she was aiming to make one of the most dreadfully boring and awful films of the last several years.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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