Kiss the Girls

October 3rd, 1997







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more trailers Kiss the Girls

Still of Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman and Alex McArthur in Kiss the GirlsStill of Ashley Judd in Kiss the GirlsAshley Judd at event of Kiss the GirlsStill of Morgan Freeman in Kiss the GirlsStill of Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman and Brian Cox in Kiss the GirlsKiss the Girls

Plot
Police hunting for a serial killer are helped when a victim manages to escape for the first time.

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 6.4/10 (26,050 voted)

Critic's Score: 46/100

Director: Gary Fleder

Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes

Storyline
Alex Cross, a Washington D.C. cop and forensic psychologist learns that his niece who is going to college in North Carolina is missing. So he goes there and learns that the police think she's among the victims of someone who kidnaps young girls and holds them captive and kills them who dubs himself Cassanova after the great lover. Later Kate, one of his victims, escapes and tries to help Cross find his niece.

Writers: James Patterson, David Klass

Cast:
Morgan Freeman - Dr. Alex Cross
Ashley Judd - Dr. Kate McTiernan
Cary Elwes - Det. Nick Ruskin
Alex McArthur - Det. Davey Sikes
Tony Goldwyn - Dr. William 'Will' Rudolph
Jay O. Sanders - FBI Agent Kyle Craig
Bill Nunn - Det. John Sampson
Brian Cox - Chief Hatfield, Durham P.D.
Richard T. Jones - Seth Samuel
Roma Maffia - Dr. Ruocco
Jeremy Piven - Henry Castillo, LAPD
Gina Ravera - Naomi Cross
William Converse-Roberts - Dr. Wick Sachs
Helen Martin - Nana Cross
Tatyana Ali - Janell Cross (as Tatyana M. Ali)

Taglines: Smart Girls. Pretty Girls. Missing Girls.

Release Date: 3 October 1997

Filming Locations: Bell Tower, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $27,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $13,215,167 (USA) (5 October 1997) (2271 Screens)

Gross: $60,491,560 (USA) (22 February 1998)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
The overhead shot of a football stadium that many may think of as Durham, North Carolina is actually Chapel Hill, NC. The football stadium you see is Kenan Stadium, home of The University of North Carolina Tar Heels. What makes this even more recognizable is just North of the stadium is the famed Bell Tower and Wilson Library dome. The next shot you see is the Duke Chapel Tower on the campus of Duke University in Durham.

Goofs:
Factual errors: When the police are following the plastic surgeon in California they are using a 4-door car with California license plate 1E49962. "1E" plates are only issued to trucks or station wagons registered to a company.

Quotes:
Det. Davey Skes: Sure picks lookers, doesn't he?
Alex Cross: Yeah, he does. But you know these women are more than just attractive. They're all extraodinary in some way. Smart, talented.
Det. Davey Skes: He ain't choosing them just for their congeniality.
Alex Cross: Ordinarily, they don't, but I think our guy is a little different.
Detective Nick Ruskin: How so?
Alex Cross: I think killing's not his ulterior motive. This guy's a collector. I bet these women are alive.
Det. Davey Skes: Come on, doc. Our boy's brain is soft as a two-minute egg and nothing personal, but I figure every one of them gals is tied to a tree just waiting to get found.
Alex Cross: Think about it, Sikes. The three you found were killed out of sequence. They weren't even among the first abducted.
Det. Davey Skes: That's right.
Detective Nick Ruskin: That don't mean they're not still out there.
[...]



User Review

great acting from the lead, uninspired plot exposition

Rating: 6/10

If you like serial killer films that like to tax your brain, you should probably give this movie a look (exactly the reasoning I was following when I picked this up at a video store). Chances are, you'll be entertained by what you see. Just don't expect this one to be a nailbiter like Silence of the Lambs or Se7en. This one comes across as more than a little forced, at times, something that can't be levelled against those two superior films.

The plot setup is as follows. A forensic psychologist (whom we get to see in action in an unrelated case, as an introduction), Dr. Alex Cross (played by Morgan Freeman), is placed in a personal position when his niece disappears, among 8 other women -- two of which are soon found dead in a forest, clearly brutally raped earlier. Cross, a clever guy, soon determines that the other six are probably alive out there somewhere, including his niece. Meanwhile, a young doctor named Kate (Ashley Judd) is herself captured by the rapist/murder/etc. (we see the events unfolding from her perspective). She, however, manages to escape. Dr. Cross and she then try to solve the case, so that Cross's niece may be rescued.

From here on, we get standard cop thriller fare -- and I'm not saying that as a bad thing, as such stories, when well crafted, are inherently interesting -- with a clear bond (not a romantic one) forming between Cross and Kate. Of course, plot twists abound (you get plenty of surprises about who the killer might be), until the inevitable (and a bit predictable) violent conclusion. Of course, the serial killer seems to be pretty kinky (an important element for a film like this); his depravity is, unfortunately (or fortunately?) never fully fleshed out.

Through it all, Morgan Freeman does an admirable job. You feel the weight of his intellect and emotion, as he goes about this personal case, even when the script doesn't project this weight itself. It's fascinating to see a professional transcend this material so easily. Freeman makes this film, 100% -- he's not only realistic but also heavily charismatic (without seeming forced, as Al Pacino on late-career-autopilot seems to be). Ashley Judd does a good job, as does the supporting cast (well... the serial killer isn't that great...), though a certain scene where she emotionally tells her story to Cross is way forced.

There are times, however, when great acting just can't make up for a mechanical script. It's not that the plot is bad itself, it's that it's exposed somewhat mundanely. It seems as though whenever a plot point is determined by the characters, they dwell on it for a bit, until it becomes uninteresting, and then the next plot point is delivered to us. The method of delivery never seems to flow out of the film's preceding movement, and often defies common sense (why would a psychologist be able to pick up a medical reference and easily pick out the drug used on a victim, when the actual medical doctors could not? it's possible but seems a bit too convenient).

The film's handling of the script is good. It looks good, and sounds good (in 5.1 surround). I still couldn't help but notice that all the tricks one normally sees that are supposed to increase tension and drama are used in this film, too, even when the script just doesn't provide the same tension and drama. (For instance, when Freeman makes a solemn pronouncement about some trait of the killer he randomly decided on, because he's so good.) When this happens, it feels like the movie is going through the motions (no matter how hard it tries, it's just not as hard-hitting or dark as, say, Se7en). Often enough, though, the cinematographer's and director's work fits the screenplay perfectly, especially during the action at the end. The experienced movie goer, however, will probably detect a moment of randomness (watch the camera work during the bar scene with the three detectives, after Jeremy Piven asks Ashley Judd to stay still) -- I'm probably nitpicking here.

Well, there you go. It's a good movie, but quite cliched, and too often it just doesn't feel right. But if you use it to admire Morgan Freeman's work, you will be entertained. 6/10









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