Everyone likes a good mystery. Sifting through clues trying to uncover a secret is something most enjoy. Agatha Christie built a career on this as her countless books attest. Secret in Their Eyes takes its cue from these puzzle solvers. An intriguing amalgamation of thriller and searing drama, crime enthusiasts should find much to divert their questioning attention.
FBI investigators Ray (Chiwetel Ejofor) and Jess (Julia Roberts), and supervisor District Attorney Claire (Nicole Kidman) form a close team. Their bond is soon torn apart when Jess’s daughter is found murdered. Years later Ray discovers new clues to the crime. Determined to catch the killer, Ray re-teams with his friends to finally put to rest ghosts of the past.
Secret in Their Eyes is a decent thriller effectively engaging the mind. Supported by a fine trio of strong performers, the story’s twists are well handled. Whilst primarily a mystery, Secret in Their Eyes deals with the bonds of friendship and eternal regrets. The trio’s emotional state flings them in unknown directions forcing them to confront buried issues. How they handle these issues forms the basis of genuine conflict between them, adding to the film’s intensity.
Billy Ray directs Secret in Their Eyes with workmanlike precision. Although his direction highlights the plot’s predictable elements, Ray manages to draw the best from his cast. Secret in Their Eyes is a character-driven movie rather than relying too much on action, which suits the material. Ray realises this with some powerful scenes between characters. The central mystery is interesting with a conclusion hard to predict.
A serviceable thriller mystery mavens should enjoy, Secret in Their Eyes works. The strong cast and nicely paced script make for an arresting few hours for budding detectives of any age.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 7