2004 Certificate: 15


Inspector Jessica Shephard (Ashley Judd) is a San Fransisco police officer on the rise who takes on a murder case only to find that the victims list is comprised of her ex-lovers. With a drinking problem at hand, it starts to look like the cop with the angel face might be following in the footsteps of her sociopathic father, also a policeman who killed her mother amongst others. Samuel L Jackson is her surrogate father in this literally twisted police mystery.


  • Philip Kaufman


  • Samuel L Jackson

  • David Strathairn

  • Andy Garcia

  • Ashley Judd


"I'm working on my first case and it looks as though I've slept with all the victims" is the sort of statement to get a cop sent back to traffic duty.

But not Inspector Jessica Shephard (Judd). She's allowed to continue the investigation even though her character profile suggests she shouldn't be allowed behind the counter at Burger King.

As well as rough sex with a series of hunks who wind up battered to death, her cop father went on a killing spree, slaying her mother before turning the gun on himself.

Then there's her propensity to sit in her apartment slugging tumblers of Cabernet Sauvignon while gazing at the autopsy pictures of her monstrous dad.

Oh, and she has blackouts and comes to with a vague sense of foreboding about what went on while she was unconscious.

In other words, she's not the sort of cop you want probing the case of a serial killer who stubs his fags out on the back of his victim's hands.

Despite glossy production values, no money appears to have been spent on a script riddled with cliches and psycho-babble.

Judd, not the most endearing of actresses, hails from the American acting school of the exaggerated gesture and gives full rein to her studies here.

Samuel L Jackson is on hand to lend some dramatic ballast as her surrogate dad, while Andy Garcia holds water as her police partner.

However, it's less whodunnit and more whybother with the unintentionally funny lines coming thicker and faster as the noose closes on the real killer.

The sort of film you might want to catch at your local multiplex. Next month.