Rated 2.0

A New Jersey cop (Samuel L. Jackson) investigates a carjacking and kidnapping, while suspecting that the woman who reported the crime (Julianne Moore) isn’t telling the whole truth. Richard Price’s sprawling 600-page novel probably would have been tough to film in any case, even with a script by Price himself that eliminates whole characters and huge chunks of plot. As it happens, Price’s dual plot, of the investigation and the escalating racial tensions that surround it, befuddles director Joe Roth from the very start: He fails to distinguish any of the secondary characters, botches the big scenes and plays everything at a raging bellow, drawing his actors into a shouting match with James Newton Howard’s feverishly thundering musical score. Jackson and Moore manage moments of dignity, if not power.