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Movie Review

Twisted

MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and sexuality

Reviewed by: Chris Monroe
STAFF WRITER

Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Mystery, Crime/Gangster and Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
______
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Featuring: Ashley Judd (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood), Samuel L. Jackson (Basic, Kill Bill Vol. 1), Andy Garcia (Confidence, Ocean’s Eleven), D.W. Moffett (Thirteen), Mark Pellegrino (The Big Lebowski)
Director: Philip Kaufman (Quills)
Producer: Barry Baeres, Anne Kopelson, Arnold Kopelson, Linne Radmin
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “A female police detective is set to a case where she discovers all the murder victims are her past boy friends.”

Review

Seeing “Twisted” is about as emotionally and intellectually engaging as watching the process of making taffy. It’s sort of interesting to watch the twists and turns, but overall you’re not really involved. This piece of movie making comes off very manufactured and leaves you no different when it is done.

Ashley Judd plays Jessica Shepherd, a police officer that is being promoted to a detective by her boss and mentor John Mills (Samuel L. Jackson). As she starts her first case, Jessica discovers something in common with all of the men that have been murdered: she has slept with each of them. This “whodunit” mystery builds a case against one character, and then creates a frenzy of suspects at the end. The deus ex machina resolution of the story is plausible, but it does leave you feeling a little robbed.

Considering the repertoire of work by writer/director Philip Kaufman (writer/director for “The Right Stuff,” screenwriter for two Indiana Jones films) it is easy to anticipate a better movie. Even employing the talents of Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia helps, but the real drawback is with the story. You can use great building blocks, but it’s hard to construct on a weak foundation. The script is not overly contrived, but it does lack the suspense you would anticipate for this genre of movie.

Without being excessive, there are many moments where foul language is used. More than that, there are a couple of instances with sexual relations. These situations are brief and refrain from showing any nudity. Most of all, there are many moments of violence—particularly showing brutalized dead bodies. The worst violence is a dramatic moment where Jessica repeatedly hits a perpetrator in the nose with a small wooden hand weapon.

Copyright, Paramount Pictures

It’s difficult finding anything uplifting or edifying in this movie. There is a partially developed theme of friendship and betrayal, but that’s really not the focus. The entertainment is centered primarily on figuring out who has committed the murders. Additionally, of course, there is a kind of love theme weaved into it.

This isn’t really worth the time watching—not even on video. The acting, however, is excellent. And, despite a few variations on a typical plot, “Twisted” comes across very straightforward.

Violence: Heavy | Profanity: Heavy | Sex/Nudity: Moderate

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—My husband and I watched this movie on video. There is a sex scene and much profanity. The main character is a police detective and her former lovers (at least two of them one-night-stands she picked up in bars) turn up dead. We figured out who was committing the murders several minutes before the answer became clear to the detective. Don’t waste your money on this one.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/3]
—Anne, age 31
Negative—I would not suggest Christians view this film. There was a gross lack of morals of any kind. Sad to say, it’s almost becoming the norm from Hollywood. What was offensive in this movie was the continuous use of alcohol and permiscuous sex (some of which would be considered violent sex). I also found it to be very predictable and hollow. This movie prompted me to read Christian reviews of movies before I take them up to the rental counter.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/2]
—Dawn, age 32
Movie Critics
…Judd goes thud in bloody dud…
—Lawrence Toppman, The Charlotte Observer
…limp, ludicrous non-thriller… a truly terrible movie…
—Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
…neither suspenseful nor thrilling… unravels into a predictable tale infused with so many red herrings that the only thing it inspires is incredulity…
—Guylaine Cadorette, Excite Movies
…It’s not just that it’s a bad movie—true to its name, it’s a lurid, misshapen mess…
—Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
…walks like a thriller and talks like a thriller, but it squawks like a turkey…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…Routine police thriller is done in by unlikely characters and preposterous plot twists…
—Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
…This loopy movie is so screamingly awful it should hit your local video store’s markdown bin sometime next month…
—Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Daily News
…What happens when you combine good actors, a talented director and an awful script? Twisted answers that question so quickly it could have been made as a kind of negative case study for film students…
—Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution