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Starring Ashley Judd, Andy Garcia and Samuel L. Jackson
Screenplay by Sarah Thorp
Directed by Philip Kaufman

IN SHORT: Pass it by. [Rated R for Violence, Language and Sexuality. 97 minutes]

Pay close attention: You go home after a hard day's work and uncork a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. You drink a glass and pass out. That's not normal and any ordinary person would suspect the wine. OR you drink the entire bottle and pass out, a more likely scenario andone easy to tell on film. That's not what veteran director Philip Kaufman manages to present in Twisted, whose thesis goes something like: ace cop gets so drunk she picks up strangers in a bar and (maybe) murders them, not remembering anything the day after because she was drunk.

San Fran Police Inspector Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) is the ace cop, first seen subduing and arresting a serial rapist/murderer that has been plagung the City by the Bay for a good long time. Such great work gets her promoted or transferred into the Hoomicide Squad, where she is partnered with detective Mike Delmarco (Andy Garcia) and ignores the wrath of the other members of the department who were also working that rape/murder case. Shortly after joining the unit, a brutal beating / torture / murder victiim is discovered and the squad is off to the races. Shepard is the first to think serial killer but the more experienced (ie. the jealous male) investigators put the kibosh on the idea. Shepard spends a good amount of time trying to convince police shrink, Dr. Melvin Frank (David Strathairn) that she's fine -- we won't go into detail for reasons that would spoil the opening parts of the story -- and police commissioner John Mills (Samuel L. Jackson) keeps an eye on the inspector like a good father should. Pay close attention to the dialog and how the non-biological link came to manifest itself is explained.

Twisted tries so hard to be cutting edge film-noir for a new century that it, depending upon your mood, could have you laughing at all the wrong places. Add the by-now expected surprise ending and you've got a film experience that is really toeing the line of believeability.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Twisted, he would have paid . . .



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