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January 04, 2009

Deceiver

Deceiver Tim Roth, Chris Penn, and Michael Rooker ("Henry; Portrait of a Serial Killer") make this mediocre psychological thriller entertaining but not enjoyable. The story revolves around two South Carolina detectives, Braxton (Penn) and Kennesaw (Rooker) interrogating by polygraph machine, the deviously intelligent murder suspect James Wayland (Roth). While some scenes are thick with drama due to the penetrating dialogue, the movie fails to hold together. Add to this a ridiculously sub-zero, film-noir subplot with Ellen Burstyn as an underworld kingpin and a final scene that negates the whole story and what’s left is a sad waste of good talent. Rosanna Arquette and Renee Zellweger provide strong female characterizations.
Rated R. 102 mins. (C) (Two Stars)

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