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Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Gary Sinise, Alfre Woodard, Linus Roache
Director: Joseph Ruben

Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore) is a grieving mother, trying desperately to hold onto memories of her son who went missing and is considered dead after a plane crash but her husband (Anthony Edwards) is concerned that her failure to let go may be causing more harm than good. She sees a therapist (Gary Sinise) on a regular basis to help her move on. As she finally starts to try to carry on with her life she begins to notice things about her son disappear literally in front of her eyes, to which her initial reaction is to accuse her husband of purposefully getting rid of old tapes of their son and photos, but he responds by reminding her that they actually never had a son as she had a miscarriage.

Her husband and therapist decide that the best course of action for her is to have her committed for specialist care but she runs away before they can take her away to confront a fellow parent Ash Correll (Dominic West) with her suspicions to which he equally denies having had a daughter. Eventually, it is only through her constant ramblings and child drawings that what he discovers in his study convince and remind him that he too had a child, who boarded the same plane as her child. They join forces to investigate the whole incident and very soon the cops are looking for them, although one cop (Alfre Woodard) has her doubts as to whether they are actually guilty of anything. As the two desperate parents get closer to discovering what happened to their children a much more sinister and shocking revelation becomes horribly evident.

Thriller, sci-fi, drama are all weaved into what could have been a very compelling dramatic thriller instead it comes off as a basic film with a great idea that is not fully explored. Having said that this film still managed to make me literally jump from my seat with a very cleverly staged scene in which the two main characters are driving along in a car quietly discussing something when out of nowhere a speeding car smashes into the passenger side of their car. The CGI is minimal but cool and Julianne Moore easily drives the film along with a consistently strong performance as the mother who simply cannot let go. This is a good film that could have been a great film but for the average movie fan, the question is; is it entertaining? Yes it definitely is and as such I personally feel that it is cinema worthy.

3 out of 6 stars