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January 03, 2009

Under Suspicion

Under_suspicion "Based on a French movie that was based on a book" is not a preface that’s going to attract big audiences to a new adaptation. That’s a good thing considering the stagy theatrical structure of "Under Suspicion" that builds suspense and tension only to pull out a fake ending. Henry Hearst (Gene Hackman) is a 57 year-old, widely respected tax attorney with a beautiful younger wife living in luxurious splendor on the small island of Puerto Rico. Henry becomes suspect number one when he’s called in to Police Captain Victor Benezet’s (Morgan Freeman) office to undergo more questioning about the circumstances by which Henry discovered the clothed body of a raped and murdered teenage girl on the previous day. The movie plays like a courtroom drama with Henry repeatedly changing his story - in revealed flashback sequences - until Victor and his gung-ho assistant detective (Thomas Jane) are completely certain of his guilt. It’s hard to imagine anyone walking out of this movie satisfied, regardless of Hackman’s and Freeman’s solid performances.
Rated R. 110 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)

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