DVD - Image A- Sound A- Extras C+
BD - Image B+ Sound A Extras C+
starring Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Kiefer Sutherland, Gena Rowlands
screenplay by Jon Bokenkamp, based on the novel by Michael Pye
directed by D.J. Caruso
by Walter Chaw The more cynical among us would note that the title might also refer to the time that movies exactly like Taking Lives have stolen from hapless audiences, but the fact of it is that if not for our mortal curiosity, we might have missed genuinely good mad-dog killer flicks like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Manhunter, The Untold Story, and Se7en. On a reptile level, I think it behoves the herd to slow down at the scene of a gory end, the flock imprinting another's messy mortal lesson as an explanation for our fascination with train wrecks and splatter flicks. But where a film like The Silence of the Lambs perversely reassures its captive audience that no matter the procreative ingenuity of a predator's unslakeable bloodlust, there's always a corn-fed, buttermilk-scrubbed farm girl there to put him away (and Taking Lives falls into this camp), there are films like granddaddy In Cold Blood (and great-grandpappy Psycho) that disdain the easy treatment of societal cancers. The one is appeasement and equivocation-bordering-on-exploitation, the other is always disquieting and sometimes even thought-provoking.