Suspect Zero movie poster
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Suspect Zero movie poster

Suspect Zero Movie Review

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Ah, "Suspect Zero." This little so-called thriller of a movie came and went from theaters in the blink of an eye, ultimately earning less than ten million overall. I wonder why.

"Suspect Zero" is not as God-awful as you'd expect it would be, but then again, that's not saying much. After all, this is one of those obligatory bad movies that Ben Kingsley does to fill in the gaps between his masterpieces. I don't understand his choice of movies and I don't understand why his agent lets him do so many terrible films, but here Kingsley is once again forcing us to ask, "This guy is an Oscar winner, right?" And then there's the fact that this movie stars Aaron Eckhart... Oh, Mr. Eckhart, you have the most amazing agent. After all, how many agents can get B-grade actors so many lead roles, even in filth like this? When Eckhart is in a good movie it seems to be by pure chance, and when he's in what he's remembered for most, like "Paycheck" and "Posession," he fits right in.

Of course, the real problem isn't the bad acting by both leads or even the screenplay, which at times leaves little to be desired for but could have been something else entirely on paper. The direction by E. Elias Merhige ("Shadow of the Vampire") is just downright amateurish, which leads to a cluttered and silly film that mixes serial killers and psychics into one unfriendly ball of yarn. Every time the movie goes into flashback mode - or flashforward mode, for the matter - my brain flickered. What probably was a coherent and interesting story on paper has been turned into a messy C-grade film student project. No wonder this movie sat on a shelf for years.

More upsetting is that the title character, Suspect Zero, is only in the movie for about five or ten minutes. The movie should have been about this elusive Suspect Zero, a killer of children who has kidnapped and mutilated hundreds of boys and girls without the FBI ever realizing he existed. Instead, the movie is more about the psychic process of tracking down that killer, and it just doesn't work. If the good guy is trying to track down another good guy, who cares? The killer only shows up at the end and doesn't even get to say more than a few words in his defense. How dull.

Basically, there is no reason to watch this movie. Given a slight rewrite, a better director and a much better lead actor, "Suspect Zero" could have been something. But in this case, zero is definitely not a hero.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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