In the Cut

"Terrible"

In the Cut Review


Congratulations to In the Cut, currently the worst film of 2003. Mandy Moore and the producers responsible for the equally atrocious How to Deal, can breathe a sigh of relief, for they used to stand atop the trash heap but no longer bear the burden. People, I sit through these films so you don't have to. Spare yourself and avoid Cut.

What, now you want to know why it's so bad? Where to begin? A heaping slop of half-thoughts, Cut exists so squeaky-clean Meg Ryan, trapped in a career spiral, can play against type with meager results. It begins with women turning up dead in a grimy lower Manhattan neighborhood. Assorted clues point Detective James Malloy (Mark Ruffalo) to the door of disheveled English professor Frannie Avery (Ryan), who happened to be in a local bar the night a fellow patron turned up dead.

Slowly, the movie becomes less interested in solving the grisly crimes and more involved in figuring out Frannie, who flirts with an African-American student, panders to her bloated and dysfunctional half-sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and initiates a rough-and-tumble but soulless affair with Malloy. Working the case takes a back seat in the detective's mind to scoring some tail from this literate neighborhood tramp.

Clumsily directed by Jane Campion, the schizophrenic Cut comes and goes as if in a dream state, then changes gears on a dime. Elements of the murder mystery clash with the central passion play, and both are repeatedly disrupted by bizarre supporting characters - from Kevin Bacon's deranged ex-boyfriend to Malloy's guitar-strumming partner - who exist solely to convince us that they may or may not be the killer.

Cut believes it deserves credit for dabbling in tawdry sex, serial killers, and insincere dramatic tensions. Too bad Campion mistakes "crass" for "racy" when choosing her material. Ryan wants to turn heads by sullying her sweetheart image, but Frannie's such a shallow combination of emotional idiosyncrasies there's no reason to invest in her existence. Her relationship with Malloy aims for dangerous, but instead feels dumb and dull.

Working from Susanna Moore's novel, Campion falls back on a pedestrian murder mystery whenever Ryan and Ruffalo cool off. Unfortunately, the case is so anorexic it threatens to tumble over like a house of cards if only Ryan's character could pull herself from between the sheets long enough to reveal one very important piece of information to Ruffalo's clueless detective.

What we're left with is a pasted-together beast that can't maintain flow for five whole minutes. A distracted piece of filmmaking, this disjointed bomb rolls along like a square tire. The inept screenplay swirls and tumbles like a tissue in a hurricane, rapidly peaking, instantly plummeting, but always heading in no direction whatsoever. It's so arrogant, pompous, and all over the place that everyone involved should be put on some form of Hollywood probation.

Why bother with the motel?



In the Cut

Facts and Figures

Run time: 119 mins

In Theaters: Friday 31st October 2003

Box Office USA: $4.7M

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Pathe Productions, Red Turtle

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 34%
Fresh: 50 Rotten: 97

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Frannie, as Detective Malloy, as Pauline, as Detective Rodriguez, Heather Litteer as Angela Sands

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.