Secret in Their Eyes (2015)
Secret in Their Eyes is the classic example of why you should go into a movie unbiased, because the reviews for this one have been terrible, calling it illogical and lackluster, especially in comparison to its Argentinian original. After reading the critics, it was hard not to try and pick apart the movie for all of its weaknesses, of which there are plenty, to be fair.
But none of this should take away from my overall impression, which is mostly positive: Secret in Their Eyes is a highly demanding, conceptual thriller that weaves together the themes of revenge, guilt, punishment, and utilitarianism in such a clever way that at first seems exaggerated, even crude, until suddenly it all makes sense.
A lot of reviewers wondered why the characters are so flat and the story wrought with cliches, but for me that’s part of what makes Secret in Their Eyes interesting as a revenge thriller: at first, it lulls you into a false sense of outrage and self-righteousness, personified by Chiwetel Ejiofor’s character, and then rips the carpet out from underneath you. The final twist isn’t there to shock you, it’s there to make you think. A shame that many reviewers, dismissing it as a failed remake, didn’t do so.