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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.14%
Worth A Look: 24.29%
Pretty Bad: 20%
Total Crap: 14.29%

6 reviews, 34 user ratings

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In the Cut
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by Mark Rodger-Snelson

"A gritty, bleak and sexually charged thriller."
4 stars

Jane Campion returns after four years with an unexpected erotic thriller. It is an adaptation of the shocking novel by Susanna Moore. Not only is it unexpected for Jane Campion to take on a story involving a serial killer but it is also a complete turn around for Meg Ryan who is usually found in light hearted romantic comedies. In the Cut is a gritty, bleak and sexually charged thriller.

Meg Ryan plays Frannie, a smart and self-determined woman who leads a fairly isolated existence. It is revealed from conversations with her half-sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) that it has been few and far between dates for Frannie. The only hint of a previous relationship is some brief encounters with a particularly nutty John Graham (played by an uncredited Kevin Bacon). This is in stark contrast to Pauline’s social lifestyle - who seems to enjoy a very active sex life. This soon changes after a grisly murder in her neighbourhood leads to the discovery of a body part in her garden. Detective James Malloy turns up at her door for some routine questioning and Frannie seems less interested in the murder details than the man standing in her apartment.

Malloy asks Frannie out and encouraged by Pauline, she decides to take him up on the offer. Frannie soon learns that Malloy is a typically crude New York cop – he is blunt and somewhat vulgar when he discusses sex. But Frannie finds herself intrigued by his sexual confidence and is drawn into a potentially dangerous affair.

Another murder occurs and it looks like a serial killer is on the loose. Cornelius, an intense John Wayne Gacy obsessed student of Frannie’s, becomes a key suspect. In the meantime Frannie begins to fear that Malloy himself could be the murderer but still continues with their risky liaison. Ex-boyfriend John’s manic outbursts also mean he cannot be excluded from the list of suspects. In fact, every male character in the film has enough menace in their personalities to make them capable of carrying out the atrocious crimes haunting the city.

Performances are great all round. After seeing Meg Ryan’s portrayal of Frannie, it is hard to imagine Nicole Kidman (who was originally cast) playing the part. Mark Ruffalo is a standout – even though his character is creepy and rather unlikable, he plays Malloy with such confidence that it he demands attention in every one of his scenes.

Jane Campion’s presentation of New York is harsh and realistic. It is shot as a dark and rainy city still suffering from the grief of September 11. Add to that a serial killer lurking in the darkness and a menacing mood is felt throughout the entire film.

Thankfully, Campion did not feel the need to show audiences the violence carried out during the killings, even if the aftermath is quite graphic. This is something that Seven proved was not necessary when making an effective thriller. The most confronting moments in the movie are the raw sex scenes between Frannie and Malloy which are quite daring for the actors involved. Some may feel that these were unnecessary but it is based on a much more explicit novel and they are much more realistic than what is normally shown on the big screen – it is difficult to recall any Hollywood love scenes where the male reaches over for a condom before engaging in some horizontal folk dancing.

In The Cut is an eerie and intelligent thriller that has the potential to divide fans of Campion’s previous works and the thriller genre alike. It is darker than she has ever gone before, but considering that such an intense and daring book was written by a female author, this adaptation is in perfect hands.

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originally posted: 12/14/04 18:52:29
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User Comments

3/08/18 rk worst film ever made. forget Plan 9. This movie is 86 1 stars
3/16/17 Ed Riddick Only the fine performance from Ryan partially saves it. Unsuccessful film. 3 stars
11/23/15 celtcat slow torture, beautifuly filmed but that couldn't over ride unlikable characters and uninte 3 stars
5/01/09 Johnboy A sad ageing Ryan trying to restart a dead career in a 'arty(?)' porno flick - RETIRE MEG!! 1 stars
4/29/09 Marc another unique disturbing and beautiful film from Jane campion 4 stars
6/20/06 Nicole Bleck! 2 stars
4/28/06 Angel Unedited version had a close up of a real Blow Job and Ruffalo's frontal shots! 4 stars
9/07/05 Sully tuned my girl on, so we watch it nightly now.... 3 stars
8/14/05 Charlene Javier Simple awful! 2 stars
8/14/05 Dixie Theriault poor adaptation of the novel 3 stars
8/10/05 marie naylor Starts out suspensful,then dies a slow laborious death;apparently along with Ms. Ryan's "co 2 stars
8/05/05 Phil M. Aficionado Weird and choppy and outlandish, despite pretty good acting 2 stars
12/26/04 mjoc This was unwatchable! Pure torture! 1 stars
12/09/04 Landshark Never knew Campion had a sense of humor---the ex-bf (Bacon) & the bouncer (Patrice O'Neal) 4 stars
10/23/04 Sarah really awful, bad acting, bad editing, bad cinematography, and plot - what plot? 1 stars
7/20/04 Jack Viewer Beautiful Meg and very horrible movie. The director sucks! 1 stars
6/24/04 Edgar Brief glimpse of Meg Ryan's turd-ticklers not worth the two hours of unentertaining horror. 2 stars
3/19/04 Teresa Williams Just plain weird and terribly disappointing. 1 stars
3/02/04 Jack Sommersby Fails as a thriller but fairly succeeds as a character study. 3 stars
3/02/04 Just Don't Bore Me Lame, slow, plot devoid prattle. Avoid!!! 1 stars
2/15/04 Charles Tatum They remade "Millennium" with Ryan instead of Lance Henriksen 3 stars
1/21/04 Mandy Seever PC era makes mystery impossible. Rules of PC always give it away. 2 stars
12/30/03 Rosie R See something else. Poor storyline, unerotic sex scenes, sad and lonely people. No thrills. 1 stars
12/27/03 John Bale Campion and Ryan go feral in this dark gritty thriller 4 stars
12/02/03 Chris A sensational film , unfairly hated on. Meg Ryan is amazing. 5 stars
11/25/03 Edgar Brief glimpse of Meg Ryan's turd-ticklers not worth the two hours of unentertaining horror. 2 stars
11/21/03 horndog meg ryan getting reamed. nuff said 5 stars
11/20/03 Ranveer Kunal meg is awesome 5 stars
11/20/03 Roy R. Pryor Another "men are scum" movie with "surprise" twist one could see from lightyears away. 2 stars
11/09/03 prasad not seen yet 5 stars
10/30/03 neguine sanani get ready to experience a love story that is honest and ever so intimate 5 stars
10/27/03 jdogg shallow. gratuitous. soulless. smarmy. and that's just meg ryan. 1 stars
10/27/03 vagile Despite a shallow plot, one's attention never waivers. Dark Perverse. Bravura performances. 4 stars
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  22-Oct-2003 (R)
  DVD: 10-Feb-2004



Directed by
  Jane Campion

Written by
  Jane Campion

  Meg Ryan
  Mark Ruffalo
  Kevin Bacon
  Jennifer Jason Leigh
  Nick Damici
  Sharrieff Pugh

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