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Case Number 16174: Small Claims Court

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Dark Secrets

MTI // 2009 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 17th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson has so many dark secrets. So, so many. He's got a tell-all book coming out in August.

The Charge

There are worse things than being dead.

The Case

And one of them is sitting through this movie again.

OK, maybe that's a bit too much. If given the choice between meeting my end and watching Dark Secrets—a cumbersome, mediocre psychological thriller—one more time, I would indeed choose the latter. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

The film tells the story about a celebrity couple and the tragic kidnapping of their pretty young daughter. Called into investigate the matter is a troubled cop, who embarks on a journey of dark discovery and lots of talking. Lots and lots of talking. And the talking isn't necessarily interesting or plot-moving. Anyhoo, the investigation eventually leads the cop to the truth which is both dark and secret and predictable and, frankly, not worth the time investment watching the film demands.

Hey, sometimes I'm watching a disc that does absolutely nothing for me and Dark Secrets is one of those releases. I'll just warn you now that I don't plan on this particular review to be long-winded and, in fact, I'm feeling bored right now just writing about this boring movie.

The whole production just felt like a plodding, made-for-TV experience, heavy on dialogue and character development and light on anything engaging. Dark Secrets hangs its narrative hat on the central mystery and director Frank Falco tosses in some slightly creepy, quasi-supernatural moments, but they're far from jump-out-of-your-seat shocks. This supernatural angle gives the kidnapping plot a slight flair for the metaphysical and that's OK. It's the final reveal of the guilty party that is lacking, a mortal wound when the build-up is the primary engine that pushes the whole affair.

That's all I'm interested in writing about Dark Secrets. Is it possible you might find more value in this film than I did? Sure, especially if you dig the cerebral, character-driven mystery genre, but whatever you do, don't take this as a recommendation.

The disc: video is a decent, though over-saturated 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, an adequate 5.1 Dolby Digital surround mix and no extras.

The Verdict

Can you keep a secret? Guilty!

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: MTI
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Spanish
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Drama
• Foreign

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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