SECRET IN THEIR EYES (transfer) review

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These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

So a little back story on this movie. Did you know that it’s actually an American remake of a Spanish-Argentine movie that was made back in 2009 called EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS, which was also an adaptation of a novel called La Pregunta de Sus Ojos (fun fact: the writer for the book also co-wrote the screenplay)? Yeah, this movie’s got a bit of an origin to it. Naturally, after seeing SECRET, I was interested in seeing the Spanish-Argentine original. Having now seen both movies, eager to compare and contrast, I am here to do just that (EL SECRETO in another review).

But first, lets start with the American original.

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor (SHERLOCK GNOMES [2018], DOCTOR STRANGE [2016], THE MARTIAN [2015], and upcoming films THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND [2018] and THE LION KING [2019]), Julia Roberts (WONDER [2017], MONEY MONSTER [2016], and the upcoming BEN IS BACK [2018]), and Nicole Kidman (HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES [2018], THE BEGUILED [2017], LION [2016], and upcoming films BOY ERASED [2018] and AQUAMAN [2018])

Support: Dean Norris (BEIRUT [2018], THE BOOK OF HENRY [2017], and the upcoming DUKE CITY [2018]), Alfred Molina (WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT [2016], and the upcoming THE DEVIL HAS A NAME [2019]), Joe Cole (THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE [2017], GREEN ROOM [2016], and the upcoming COLIN YOU ANUS [2018]), and Zoe Graham (BOYHOOD [2014])

Director/Writer: Billy Ray (for writing THE HUNGER GAMES [2012], VOLCANO [1997], and upcoming films OVERLOAD [2018] and Terminator [2019])
Composer: Emilio Kauderer (upcoming THE LAST MAN [2018])
Cinematographer: Daniel Moder (unknown stuff)
Editor: Jim Page (XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE [2017])

This is my honest opinion of: SECRET IN THEIR EYES


A former FBI agent named Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) comes back to town after thirteen years to visit some old colleagues, his former partner Jess (Julia Roberts) and romantic interest district attorney Claire (Nicole Kidman). Believing that he’s found new evidence to justify reopening a case that the three of them were involved in, the rape and murder of Jess’ daughter, Ray wants to continue the search to find the man who caused so much pain and frustration and put him away for good.


It sucked. Like, by God, it sucked. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more angry I got with this movie. And that’s painful for me to say. Ejiofor’s become very respectable, having been involved in a number of high profile movies in the past, Roberts is a household name for great reasons, and should I even bother mentioning Kidman, my original celebrity crush (I don’t care if you haven’t been in a good movie since COLD MOUNTAIN, I still love you…)? Yeah, I was kind of on board with this movie, but it was awful.

First and foremost, I’ve mentioned this before. I’m not educated in film. I have a decent eye in spotting good or bad acting and stories. I don’t have an eye for good cinematography, or editing, or lighting, the technical stuff, basically. So when I tell you that the editing is horrendously awkward and confusing, you know that’s not a good @#$%ing sign! The story is told in flashbacks, between 2002 and 2015, but occasionally it’s such a chore to figure out which timeline we’re in. I literally had to rely on Kidman’s hairstyle to tell me which year the scene was taking place: long hair? Awesome, 2002. Shorter hair? Great, 2015. But if she’s not in the frame, forget about it. Ejiofor has like one or two strands of gray hair, Roberts doesn’t change her look at all, or the changes are way too subtle.

But enough about the editing, despite how much it brings the movie down. Characters are written awkwardly or stupid, legal accuracy is questionable, subplots that get farted into the wind, it’s a thorough mess of a film and I really hated it. It’s saved only by Kidman (damn you, woman, for making me bias). One of the worst films I’ve seen all year.

My honest rating for SECRET IN THEIR EYES: 2/5

This review essentially continues in my review of EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS (2009)


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