An obsessed cop is on the trail of a serial killer prowling the streets of Buffalo, N.Y. but when his teenage daughter disappears, he drops any professional restraint to get the killer.
**Fundamentals, reception.** 1. American/Canadian live action feature length film, 2012, rated R, 108 minutes, crime, mystery, thriller. 2. IMDB: 5.7/10.0 from 5,365 audience ratings. Estimated budget, 25 million USD. 3. Rotten Tomatoes: 'No score yet...' and 42% liked it from 1,128 audience ratings. 4. Netflix: 3.5/5.0 from 636,300 audience ratings. 5. Directed by: Morgan O'Neill. 6. Starring: John Cusack as Mike Fletcher, Jennifer Carpenter as Kelsey, Dallas Roberts as Carl, Mae Whitman as Abby Fletcher, Sonya Walger as Shelley Fletcher, Ksenia Solo as Emma, Gary Anthony Williams as Darryl. **Setup and Plot** 1. Mike and Kelsey have been on the case of a serial killer for quite some time, but the department is shutting their efforts down for lack of progress. It's Thanksgiving, and Mike asks Kelsey to stop by to say hello to his wife Shelley, and daughter Abby. 2. There is tension between Shelly and Abby, and between Shelley and Mike. Mike and Kelsey revive the case somewhat over a murder of a transsexual. Abby gets more discouraged with Shelley, and takes off. She breaks up with her boyfriend, and the serial killer kidnaps her. Shelley finally notices Abbey is gone. She alerts Mike, and the police engage more strongly. 3. Mike and Kelsey get a lead on the accomplice of the killer. Mike goes off on him, and physically assaults him. After trying to follow the accomplice, they give up after a while. The accomplice was on a long shift and stayed in the hospital where he worked to avoid being followed. Mike loses his composure at home. 4. Abbey, meanwhile, has a wretched time in captivity with other young women who have been kidnapped. Mike starts looking at his daughter's life as he would if he were not his father; then the clues start coming. 5. Will Abbey get rescued? Will Mike still have a career? **Conclusions** 1. **One line summary**: Cop needs to find his daughter emotionally to find her physically. 2. Three stars of five. **Scores** 1. Cinematography: 8/10 Better than VHS quality, but not by much. 2. Sound: 4/10 Sound levels were absurdly out of control. 3. Acting: 6/10 Cusack and Carpenter were fine. Dallas Roberts, whose role was pivotal, was unconvincing, beginning to end. Mae Whitman was rather good, but Sonya Walger not so much. 4. Screenplay: 6/10 The story was clever and engaging, but the poor choices in casting nullified much of that. I enjoyed the onscreen time of Cusack and Carpenter, but when Roberts was onscreen, the urge to leave to get a cup of coffee was enormous. The ending was tough to stomach, but it certainly explained the difficulties in the investigation.