Taking Lives

Rated 3.0 Director D.J. Caruso is no stranger to lurid criminal darkness. His direction of the methedrine-fevered The Salton Sea was a neglected convulsion of tragedy, betrayal, addiction and revenge. Here, the script teeters on the edge of ridiculous, as Montreal is terrorized by a serial killer who crushes the faces of his victims, usually with a rock, and takes over their identity. But Caruso injects enough atmosphere and tension to give the story a constant white-knuckle chill. The Montreal police chief (Tchéky Karyo) calls in a specialist to help unravel the mystery after an edgy artist (Ethan Hawke) becomes both an eyewitness and a possible suspect in the case. Thus arrives Angelina Jolie as an FBI profiler who relies more on intuition than on facts in her investigations and goes to such extremes as lying in the grave of one victim in search of clues. The supporting cast includes Kiefer Sutherland, Olivier Martinez and Gena Rowlands.