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  • I've read quite a few comments on this movie and some of them I disagree with and others I don't. Sure, it may be a little predictable and a bit 'all been done before' but there is a certain level of originality and uniqueness to it also.

    For starters it has a fantastic cast and both lead actors (Jolie and Washington)have won Oscars and thats says something. It can't be easy playing a paralysed man and remaining so still and wooden and he plays the frustrations and emotions so realistically that I would imagine a person actually would be like in real life. Jolie is charming, composed and works well with the camera. Her character is convincing enough and this goes for her performance.The support cast is fantastic too, especially Queen Latifa.

    The film may have the usual iconographic elements found in the psychological thriller genre but they are necessary for it to firstly conform and also progress. 'The Bone Collector' introduces new techniques and a slightly different angle for the viewer. there has to be a certain amount of repetition with this genre for it to work and this is the case for many others, such as romantic comedies and a couple falling in love or teen flicks with a football jock character.

    I am currently writing my degree dissertation on sexual subjectivity in psychological thrillers and this film is perfect for that. The changing levels of gendered representations is very interesting and both supports and detracts away from the current representations in society.

    I say, give it a go! Don't listen to people who have already seen it and didn't like it. If I'd have done that then I wouldn't have given it a go and my dissertation would have been short of argument!
  • Denzel Washington plays a former cop who is injured in the line of duty and becomes a crime scene investigator and expert witness in the service of law firms. Angelina Jolie plays a cop who is struggling to find a place within a male-dominated police culture, and shows a talent for crime scene investigation, which Denzel's character immediately recognizes and appreciates, since he is bedridden and physically unable to go to most crime scenes. She is reluctant to get involved, but does wind up grudgingly serving as his eyes and ears as they try to follow clues left by a serial killer who gives clues about his next victims and taunts them and the police.

    While Denzel's character is almost too brilliant to be believable, if you can overlook that you should thoroughly enjoy this movie. Denzel and Angelina, together with cops of varying competence, try to follow the clues given to them by the serial killer, who gives them clues before the killing actually occurs.

    Most people who enjoy a dark, suspenseful movie (such as Silence of the Lambs) should thoroughly enjoy this movie.
  • I was very pleasantly surprised at this film. Denzel Washington proves again that he can handle any role that he chooses to play. In this case, he plays homicide inspector, Lincoln Rhyme who has been nearly paralyzed after suffering from an accident in the line of duty. But now, when a mysterious killer begins killing off people in a very peculiar matter, he must team with a hard-headed rookie cop (Angelina Jolie) to solve the crimes. Supporting cast includes Queen Latifah, Michael Rooker, Mike McGlone, Luis Guzman, Leland Orser and Ed O'Neil.

    I like the way they have the killer as an intelligent person. Someone who has a knowledge of what he is doing. And the way he leaves clues for the cops to follow. To come up with something this perfect, you must a genius. While not really scary, this suspense thriller is actually thrilling as opposed to the many number of "thrillers" that are not even thrilling. (Example: HANGMAN). Thank you Hollywood for giving us THE BONE COLLECTOR. This is a good one. Highly recommended.....5/5.
  • I am one of those older folks who doesn't care for the kind of movies that are made these days. As such, my movie watching is generally confined to old classic films ala TCM and AMC. But, I do subscribe to all of the premium channels via DirecTV and, occasionally, watch a newer film if the plot synopsis appears to be one that I may be able to tolerate. I have read all of the previous reviews of this film on the IMDB and find them very interesting. Many of the reviews mention a movie titled "Seven". I have never heard of, much less seen, "Seven". I consider this fact to be a fortunate one because I was able to watch "The Bone Collector" without having to constantly compare it to a previous film. In short, I liked this movie. I was entertained royally precisely because I didn't take the story line too seriously. There was not much time wasted on character development. GOOD !! I don't need to know why the characters became the persons that they are. I simply want them to get on with whatever they must do. Another thing that I liked was the lack of sex scenes, which seem to be almost a necessity it today's movies. The two leads did a great job and their chemistry was excellent. Mr. Washington and Ms. Jolie were very believable. The killer? No big deal. I couldn't have cared less who did the killings. I simply waited for justice to be done. In short, I don't agree with any of the harsh criticism that I have read on this forum. I guess that's because I am a rather down to earth person who has no need to turn watching a movie into an academic exercise, complete with thorough analysis of character motivation, etc.
  • A bed ridden, paraplegic NYC detective, Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington), teams up with a rookie cop named Amelia (Angelina Jolie) to try and catch a serial killer, in this dark, moody atmospheric thriller from Director Phillip Noyce. This is a fine thriller.

    From the get-go viewers understand that an intelligent maniac is on the loose, and could strike at any time. That is the very definition of cinematic tension. In addition, the killer uses dark, subterranean spaces to torture and kill victims. That inky darkness, together with a haunting musical score further amplifies suspense.

    But, the solution to the whodunit puzzle is ultimately unsatisfying because the screenwriter withholds important back-story from viewers. This could have been so easily fixed with the addition of a line or two of dialogue and/or a brief added scene near the film's beginning. Even so, good plot misdirection creates ample red herrings, so that the killer's identity is not a foregone conclusion.

    The film's cinematography, production design, and editing are fine. Washington does a good job as the paralyzed cop. But Angelina Jolie is miscast; she pouts her way through the film looking like she's bored out of her mind. The support cast helps a lot, with highly credible performances from delightful Queen Latifah, capable Ed O'Neill, and reliable Michael Rooker.

    The crime scenes tended unfortunately to be in-your-face grizzly. But at least the gore quotient was minimal.

    For dark, moody serial killer films set in NYC, I prefer "Sea Of Love" (1989). Nevertheless, "The Bone Collector" can be enjoyed for its elevated level of suspense, its fine cinematography, and its generally high level of acting. Be advised, however, that the film's finale may be a disappointment if you expect all the whodunit puzzle pieces to fall into place, neat and tidy.
  • When NYPD cop Amelia Donaghy uncovers a mutilated corpse she shows a natural eye for detail and preserving crime scenes. When the killer turns out to be a serial killer leaving clues to his next crime, NYPD turn to the paralysed ex-forensics cop, Rhyme to help them piece together the clues. With Rhymes bedridden, Donaghy becomes his eyes, ears and legs as she walks the scenes under his guidance to uncover the trail.

    This is a star vehicle - two Oscar winners and some good supporting actors (Luis Guzman, Michael Rooker to name two). However the plot is below the Washington and Jolie. It is the old "killer taunting cops to catch him" chestnut. It is slightly spiced up by the use of forensics etc and watching Washington putting together the logical clues is quite fun - mainly because you get the feeling that you're right there with him and that it all makes sense. However most of it doesn't makes sense, a lot of the forensics is bull and relies of coincidence or Washington dragging facts from the back of his head. This is a shame because it feels like the film is just being lazy at times and is cheating us out of logic. This laziness feeds right through to the ending - if you thought that the Scream films were lazy and stupid wait till you see the stupid ending to this! Up till this the film does have plenty of horrible scenes and lots of tense bits with Jolie walking round in the dark with the killer potentially just round the corner.

    Jolie is good and deals with her character well - despite the fact that a beat cop would never just be able to become a crime scene officer on the whim of an ex-cop. Washington deals well with his character being paralysed for the whole film but does get a bit silly at the end where he fights the killer with just his head! Support is fine - but Guzman is not as good as he usually is.

    Overall this is a B movie that got an A movie budget. The film is dark and tense but ultimately a bit lazy and blows it totally with a stupid lazy conclusion.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is an abomination of the source material. I'm surprised Jeff let anyone mess with what was a suspenseful, well thought-out novel. The changes to the characters (names, genders and ethnicities) was the hardest part to take. The biggest of these being that Lincoln Rhyme is white in the books, and Amelia Sachs is the granddaughter of a German Jewish immigrant.

    SPOILER:

    And they shied away from depicting the romance that develops between the leads, as if they were uncomfortable with the notion of a non-disabled woman having a relationship with a quadriplegic. I find that distasteful.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I went to this film expecting not too much after all the bad commentaries about it, but in the end I think this film is quite entertaining. The acting is quite good and the filmmakers understand it to build a 'scary' atmosphere. Of course, this is no masterpiece like Se7en, but its okay... What I did not liked at all, was the ending. It was so (!!!) predictable. Some people even made bets à la "5 bucks she will save him". Moreover it was really stupid, that the killer's motive had nothing to do with the entire film. And maybe the worst about the film was this completely ridiculous christmas scene where both lead characters seem to be a couple. It seemed to me like the writer thought "Oh s**t, I forgot the two have to fall in love" and so he wrote this scene.

    Bottom line: Quite entertaining but too predictable to be good. My vote: 6/10

    BTW: What do Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts have in common? The wide grin :-)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The storyline has too many flaws and illogical sequences to be worthwhile. Jolie's acting is pretty flat and poor, Washington's is OK, the rest of the cast are cardboard cutouts. Somehow almost everything about this film oozes mediocrity. The plot is lame. The only thing I liked more or less about this film are the fairly original methods the perpetrator uses to end his victims. Technical details are worse than the most far-stretched CSI 'knowledge' and gizmos and halfway the movie one wonders if the director even cared about detail credibility. (Some Spoilers hereafter!) I mean, an EKG machine with a pure sinus wave reflecting a man's heartbeat, a quadriplegic with full body muscle spasms and one working index finger, sure. A killer gutting a man's bowels whilst keeping him alive to allow the rats to feast on him followed by a rat aiming for the guy's FACE! What's with all that stupidity? Then there are quite a few continuity goofs, but you can find those elsewhere here on IMDb Honestly I found it a bit of an insult even to my limited intelligence.

    Waste of time. Still 4 out of 10 to keep my girlfriend from kicking me.
  • One time, when I was about 11 years old, I rented a film called "The Silence of the Lambs", and... Wow! I can't describe the the feelings I had. It was the best film I had seen till that moment, and it is on my mind until today.

    In my opinion, this was the inspiration for all the other thrillers which came out after 1991, specially those ones with a serial killer. Some time after that, I rented "Se7en", which was for me wicked, claustrophobic (in the good way), brilliant, almost as good as "The Silence of the Lambs". Taking those two films, almost all the other serial killer thrillers were a big waste, specially "Kiss the Girls". However, "The Bone Collector" was released in 1999. But, for some reason, it received many bad reviews. I really don't agree with them.

    The theme of "The Bone Collector", despite the fact that it has already been used in many other films, is really interesting. I won't say much about it to preserve your entertaining, but I can say it is very suspenseful, dark, well-written, well-directed and well-acted. Denzel Washington gives another great performance as the paralitic detective, but the big star is really Angelina Jolie. She's very, very pretty and talented, and has a GREAT future. She has been keeping my attention since the TV movie "Gia", and surprised me last year in the wonderful "Playing By Heart". I'm very glad that she won the Golden Globe for "Girl, Interrupted", and I hope she wins the Oscar for that part. Angelina deserves it for walk one more step on her brilliant career. Her acting in "The Bone Collector" is not different. Her dialogues with Denzel Washington in the film are intense and provoking, and without her the film would have been a little lost.

    So, when you see "The Bone Collector", try to forget the bad reviews and have fun. It is not "The Silence of the Lambs". It is not "Se7en". But it is a fine film if you want to feel your hands cold and your heart beating fast. And appreciate Angelina's beauty.

    7/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Bone Collector (1999): Dir: Phillip Noyce / Cast: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Micheal Rooker, Queen Latifah, Ed O'Neill: A bag of trash that includes footage of a finger skinned to the bone. Do we really need to see this? He is a taxi driver known as the Bone Collector. Instead of collecting stamps or parking tickets like normal people, he collects bones, and details are not needed as to how he achieves this hobby. Denzel Washington plays a cop shackled to a bed due to an injury that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Angelina Jolie plays a young policewoman who discovers a hand containing a skinned finger with a wedding ring emerged from the ground. One poor sap is eaten alive by rats. The killer's identity is left to the pointlessly graphic conclusion. Director Phillip Noyce achieves a certain level of tension but locations are drab. He previously made another bullshit film called The Saint. Washington does well in a role that is mainly bed ridden but his climatic survival is pathetically violent. Jolie completes the duo playing off Washington's physical demands while investigating the crime. Then she does the hero rescue scene just in time. Queen Latifah and Micheal Rooker are totally cardboard. Ed O'Neill makes an appearance as a detective but perhaps if he was using his Al Bundy persona then this crap would liven up. The result is total barf bag potential. Score: 2 / 10
  • THE BONE COLLECTOR / (1999) ** (out of four)

    By Blake French:

    Everybody has seen it, the notorious suspense thriller in which a serial killer madman plays cat and mouse games with a distressed cop; seldom are movies as predictable, dispensable, or formulaic. One of the most recent in this generation's trend of serial killer movies is called "The Bone Collector," and stars Golden Globe winning actor Denzel Washington and the sexy actress, Angelina Jolie. As often true, the production is well acted, directed with focus and precision by Philip Noyce ("The Saint," "Patriot Games"), and creates an appropriate mood for its characters. But even big stars and a appropriate atmosphere cannot save a movie this familiar and predictable.

    Denzel Washington plays a heroic cop named Lincoln Rhyme. He is an underdeveloped character, however, the screenplay supplies him with a vast reputation and experiences as a cop; he has written a dozen books on crime scene tactics and his mind in an encyclopedia of crime solving methods. As the movie opens, he is paralyzed at a crime site, leaving him bedridden in his Manhattan apartment with control of only a single index finger. His headquarters is decorated with all sorts of high-tech gadgets and a kind nurse named Thelma (Queen Latifah), who is always there for him when he goes into violent seizures.

    A few gruesome murders transpire, leaving a rookie cop, Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), whose assistance is selected by the paralyzed but smart cop who uses her as his body to stop the psychopathic serial killer. The killer uses a taxi cap to lure his victims to their final and disturbing death. What is most bothersome about this production is that it teases us with intriguing implications of the graphic murders instead of portraying guts and irony by exploiting the supposedly grotesque images.

    The production consists mainly of sequences in which various characters loom in dark hallways, allies, rooms, or sets designed specifically for the killer to lurk around in. Of course there is plenty of suspenseful music and a few surprising moments, but the actual story greatly lacks imagination and edge. Angelina Jolie is the movie's standout performance, but she is mainly used as a plot device to explore such areas as listed above.

    "The Bone Collector" is not a horrible movie, just a recycled one. The material has been experienced so many times before we can never become too involved in the story or too interested with the characters. What bothers me most is how this kind of story has no cause or purpose; the serial killer's motive, as always, is explained during the climax sequence, and is disposable and contrived. Why do screenwriters create killers with disturbing motives, but no reasoning behind them? Kind of defeats the purpose of rationalism, doesn't it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is a genre movie: a master detective follows the trail of a really clever serial killers who plots complicated murders based on a 1900's murder mystery novel. This only happens in the movies, of course, but we can buy some of that. But without revealing too much of the plot, this killer is doing this as a revenge on the master detective, Lincoln Rhymes played byDenzel Washington, who is a quadriplegic from an accident he suffered on a crime site. But the killer, who is seeking revenge, is totally a phony savant character ala Hannibal, who has everything calculated to the last nano-gram of the victims' emotions. He had plenty of chances to do in Detective Lincoln Rhyme in a more conventional manner, but he plots these complicated but empty murders just to mess with our Sherlock's head. That is why this is just another unreal techno killer movie. Funny, Mike Rooker appeared in this one, as a pompous careerist cop named Cheney, get it, when he carried the classic "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer". That creepy low budget film worked because he was plausible as just a quick, clever loner who enjoyed killing random people in random uncomplicated ways which never alerted the police. It was 10x as frightening and real as this over produced star studded turkey. Even "Copycat" was more real than this one. For all the techno CSI geekiness, the motivation of the killer and the plot were really primitive. But none of that was germaine in the story, it was all a red herring.

    Angelie Jolie plays Patrolwoman Amelia Donaghy, who discovers the first victim on the Amtrak tracks and stops a train, then photographs the whole scene, impressing Sherlock. Like all special types of movie detectives, he gets called in as a special assistant by the pompous NYPD suit, Cheney, as the NYPD's conventional methods fail. Queen Latifah makes her obnoxious presence felt as Sherlock's home health aid/nurse, giving up her usual stereotypical loud ghetto-fabulous schtick. Then they throw Ed O'Neill in as an amiable detective funny-straight-dumb guy, and you have a real three ring circus. Angelina Jolie is the only one who earned her pay, she did a good job in her overly complicated role. Denzel was a mannequin and then they throw in Luiz Guzman as a friendly CSI scientist Pete Gomez, great match! Ed O'Neill would be more believable as a scientist, but they have the smart people of color versus uptight and stupid white folks angle. The subplot of the suit detective, Cheney aka Rooker, harassing our hard working bedridden Sherlock and his female Holmes, was way over done. It's simply amazing that such money and talent be employed for such paltry results, it almost ranks down there with "Striking Distance" as far as high priced mediocrity goes.
  • The Bone Collector

    The serial-killer genre received a big boost over a decade ago when 'The Silence of the Lambs' was released; Hannibal Lector himself spawned a newfound interest in not the slasher genre of the eighties, but of the psychological slashers.

    Unfortunately, like all movies and their genres, they simply get…old. I'm tired of serial killer movies that try to cash in on the success of 'The Silence of the Lambs.' We've had countless films over the years since 'Silence' that are just tragic rehashes of each other with predictable and ridiculous endings.

    Now we have 'The Bone Collector,' another typical 'psychological thriller' brought to life by a great cast and director.

    Angelina Jolie plays the cop-on-the-streets who discovers a corpse next to a railroad. She immediately sparks interest in herself as the chief of police starts watching over her more, and a paraplegic man named Lincoln (Denzel Washington) summons her to his home to ask her a simple question.

    Washington wants Jolie to help him catch the killer.

    Denzel Washington plays Lincoln, a man who used to be big but is now immobile. His only moveable joint below his neck is a single finger, which he uses to click a computer mouse by his bed. He is watched over by Queen Latifah, a caring woman, sure, but not exactly loving.

    'The Bone Collector,' based on the novel of the same name by Jeffery Deaver, could easily have slipped into the average slot, but because of a great cast, is just good enough to recommend. There are some gut-wrenching scenes in 'The Bone Collector,' but then there are some scenes (including the end) that recede into the stereotypical psychological thriller.

    Director Phillip Noyce uses some great shadowing and a dark, moody atmosphere to bring the surroundings of his film to life. Exterior shots are dark and withdrawn, and interior shots are almost brighter. It is as if the darkness symbolizes the chemistry in the characters. The more Denzel talks to Jolie the brighter the room gets; when they are outside it is darker. Why? Because she doesn't know anyone outside. It is as if the surroundings are tailored around her character's emotions. She's happy, it's bright. She sad, it's dark. Etc…

    All in all, I was going to give 'The Bone Collector' a higher recommendation than three stars before I saw the ending, but it turned out to be quite ridiculous and average; plus, it was very predictable. I guessed it before it happened.

    3/5 stars –

    John Ulmer
  • I can envision the writers of this story thinking up this script:

    1.Let's make a serial killer movie like Se7en, Knight Moves, Copycat, and Silence of the Lambs. People like serial killer stuff. It'll sell... 2.The killer needs to adopt some sort of pattern. I know; he'll copy it out of a serial killer mystery novel. That hasn't been done yet, at least not exactly like that. 3.Now, we need some kind of way to make this movie unique; of course, the good guy can be bedridden like in Rear Window. 4.Lastly, we need a twist ending that will give this movie the success of The Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspects.

    Okay, now that you know these things, you know the whole movie, so don't waste your money. One thing I really hate about moviemakers is that they take a perfectly good concept for movies and completely run them into the ground. I wrote better stories than this when I was in Junior High. I just kept checking my watch every five minutes. When the twist ending finally came, I wasn't shocked, I just said, "Oh. Who cares?!" The characters are two-dimensional. They have your typical movie personalities. This movie is just proof that stealing the elements of other successful movies is no excuse for a bad script. I give this movie 1 out of 10. Normally, it would earn at least 2 or 3, but I'm so sick of the unoriginality. When will they learn? 1/10
  • Flatliner8224 May 2004
    1/10
    yawn
    Warning: Spoilers
    SPOILER ALERT

    A cliché-riddled film that somehow makes an anti-death with dignity statement, though it attempts to do the opposite. Washington is a paralyzed forensics officer who has been suffering and wanting to die for the past four years (apparently he wrote his huge selling book only a year ago though, so it hasn't all be despair). He arranges for an assisted suicide with his doctor who will return in a week.

    In the meantime, he helps out on a serial killer case. He recruits the gutsy, I don't wanna do it, but I'm just so good at it, cop Jolie, and they track down impossible clue jumping to highly unlikely conclusions in matters of moments. Hey, that old bolt means that the killer has the millionaire's wife in a steam tunnel by the old Woolworth building. Shyeah, right. It's laughable. Yet no is smart enough to figure out that doctor who's going to assist him is the killer.

    When he comes to Washington to murder him (ahead of schedule), he has a change of heart and struggles unbelievably for his life. Cut to the obligatory bad guy about to shoot the good guy scene when BANG the gun goes off--- but the bad guy didn't fire! No the woman steps out of the corner, she has just shot him in the back.
  • pchristle7 November 2015
    5/10
    Bleh
    Warning: Spoilers
    I never saw an Angelina Jolie movie before. If this one is a representative example of her acting abilities, I will never watch another. She is not the worst actor I have ever seen, but she certainly lacks believability. Maybe it is just a role she is not suited to -- a street cop? The other problem with this film is the script, which does not play fair with the viewer. The killer turns out to be someone totally unexpected, which would be fine if any clues to his or her identity had been given somewhere in the movie. Denzel Washington is good, given the limited scope of a character confined to a bed. All in all, an average movie that is not quite a waste of two hours of my life.
  • I am fully aware of the fact that most film critics here in the United States did not approve very highly of the 1999 Denzel Washington film "The Bone Collector". But despite the fact that only twenty-eight percent of them would agree with me, I think that "The Bone Collector" is a well-made mystery thriller with solid performances, especially toward Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie, a good plot, great tension, and a well-executed story.

    Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington plays a quadriplegic detective who is asked to help with an investigation dealing with a serial killer operating in New York. He appoints a rather reluctant female detective played by Angelina Jolie to lead the investigation outside his hospital room since he cannot walk himself. He communicates with her through radio, giving her hints and tactics as they try to figure out who the killer is, who he will strike next, and how they can stop him.

    Yes, this plot is one that has been reused many times and this yet another case. But just because you reuse a plot does not mean the end product is going to be horrible and not entertaining. I myself enjoyed "The Bone Collector" and did not find one scene where I was bored, even though I had a pretty good idea on what was going to happen next. It gets a strong rating for its performances, action scenes, and good general entertainment value.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Spoilers follow.

    Caught this on video. The comparisons I've read with Seven seem obvious, but there was one significant difference. Why do most Hollywood scripts always require that in most serial killer flicks the main character has met the killer in the first 15 min. of the film? Here astute movie watchers had the choices narrowed to two early in the film.

    I believe this is probably due to the meddling of studio management in making stories more "commercial." What's wrong with serial killers we don't know as the villian? Does this make them any less scary? These "movie of the week" rewrites only scream one thing to an audience; "We think you are too stupid to enjoy this unless we dumb it down for you."
  • jhclues13 September 2000
    Warning: Spoilers
    **May Contain Spoilers** Director Phillip Noyce delivers an atmospheric thriller with `The Bone Collector,' a somewhat grisly tale of a serial killer in New York City. Homicide detective Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) is an expert in the field of forensics; he has also been a quadriplegic for four years, the result of an accident sustained during the investigation of a crime scene. From the neck down he has the use of only a single finger, with which he controls a computer and monitor from his bed. Useless though his body may be, his mind is still sharp, and circumstances bring him together with a young NYPD officer, Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), who has just received a long sought after transfer to the Youth Services Division. Destiny takes her elsewhere, however. When she is the first officer to arrive at a crime scene, Donaghy proceeds to secure the area and take the appropriate measures to insure that any evidence is not compromised. Rhyme is consulted on the case (a murder), and takes note of the precision employed by Donaghy in handling the crime scene. When he meets her, he learns that while at the academy she had read one of his books on the subject (He has written a dozen, on forensics and related issues). Rhyme then presses her into service as his eyes and ears, to physically do at a crime scene what he cannot, by talking her through each step via radio. Reluctant initially, Donaghy soon exhibits an affinity for forensics and becomes much more than merely the physical extension of Rhyme; they become partners, and continue with the case accordingly. `The Bone Collector' offers some chilling moments, especially in two scenes, one of which involves a steam pipe, the other, lots of rats. In each case, it is all the more horrifying because the victims can see exactly what is about to happen to them, they have time to think about it, and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it. It makes for an eerie, disconcerting story, and though inherently dark it never descends to the appalling level of a predecessor in the genre, `Seven.' Washington gives a top notch performance, keeping Rhyme interesting though confined to bed for the entire movie, and Jolie takes Amelia to a believable level that far surpasses the typical ingenue rendering of such characters. Unfortunately, character development, on the whole, is sacrificed for sensationalism; with the exception of Rhyme, whose character is readily established, we are offered mere glimpses of the rest. We have hints as to what motivates Amelia, but we are left guessing as to the agenda of Captain Cheney (Michael Rooker). Along the way, some characters are used like obstacles thrown into the path of a race track (Cheney is one, a bookstore clerk is another), with the sole intent of manipulating the audience. With a little more depth, this could have been a remarkable movie. The supporting cast includes Queen Latifah, who brings a welcome presence to the film as Rhyme's nurse, Thelma; Ed O'Neill (Detective Sellitto); Leland Orser (Richard Thompson); Mike McGlone (Detective Solomon), Luis Guzman (Eddie Ortiz); and Arthur Holden (Bookstore clerk). While this film provides for some real gut wrenching reactions, it is not `The Silence of the Lambs.' On a dark night, however, when you're alone in your living room with nothing but the flickering of the television and the wind howling outside, it'll do. I rate this one 7/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Bone Collector is set in New York City & starts as one of the world's foremost criminologist's & crime scene experts Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) is involved in an accident which leaves him a bedridden quadriplegic. Jump forward four years & Alan (Gary Swanson) & his wife Lindsay Rubin (Olivia Birkelund) are kidnapped, soon after New York cop Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) is called to a crime scene & finds the buried & mutilated body of Alan. Amelia notices some unusual crime scene evidence & makes a note of it which impresses Rhyme when he is asked to work on the case, he quickly realises the evidence are in fact cryptic clues to the whereabouts of Lindsay. Having cracked the clues the cops get there too late to save her but this is just the beginning as a sadistic serial killer continues to kill & leave forensic clues for Rhyme & the police...

    Directed by Phillip Noyce I watched The Bone Collector last night & I have to say it's one of the worst big budget post The Silence of the Lambs (1991) & Se7en (1995) serial killer thrillers I have seen, in fact it makes Friday the 13th (1980) look sophisticated & realistic! The script by Jeremy Iacone was based on the book by Jeffery Deaver & is so poor on so many levels I hardly know where to begin. For a start it takes itself deadly seriously & that makes all the other flaws seem twice as bad. The character's are truly awful & I didn't believe any of them were actual human beings. First we have Lincoln Rhyme who is paralysed from the neck down & there's just not a lot the script can do with him, in fact he quite literally can't do anything but lie in bed for the whole film. He is seemingly impressed with Amelia because she stopped a train & thought a fresh footprint near a murdered person might be of relevance, I'm not being funny here but wouldn't any cop realise a footprint near a murder victim might be of some relevance? Why is he so impressed with her? Then there's Capatin Cheney who is not only unlikable & shouts at everyone for no apparent reason but is so incompetent that he failed to connect several murders committed in a short space of time where each victim had sections of flesh & skin surgically removed from their bodies, how exactly did this guy get to be a police Captain? Then there's the killer whose motives are less than plausible, are you trying to tell me they devised an intricate plan to murder at least seven people because they spent six years in jail for something they actually did? If they wanted revenge on Rhyme why did they kill all those other people who had no connection to anything, I could maybe just about buy someone wanting revenge against the guy who put them away but not to kill several other people who have no connection to themselves, the intended target Rhyme anything else. Also after devising an intricate plan to kill these people & get away with it they suddenly turn into the most stupid person in history as despite holding a large knife & being able to walk & use their arms they are actually defeated & nearly killed by a quadriplegic who has no movement in his body below his neck! How did that happen? I should also mention Amelia who is a terrible character, she actually buys her own camera to take crime scene photo's & shoots rats for no apparent reason.

    Besides some of the worst written character's ever the story & plot isn't much better We never find out why the killer is using The Bone Collector book as inspiration We never find out why the killer was taking strips of flesh from his victims. It's never explained why a rookie cop like Amelia is allowed to enter crime scenes even before the proper forensic teams. There is no reason given for why the killer chooses his victims. Also the killers clues are a little obscure aren't they? I mean a bloody animal bone & shaved rat hair? Logically how does someone go from a bone & rat hair to the exact pinpoint location of the next victim & has the whole of New York to choose from? There's some nonsense about a bird that sits on Rhymes window ledge which is just totally random & at almost two hours The Bone Collector is really slow going. There is so much wrong with The Bone Collector & it all comes down to one of the worst scripts ever, it's atrocious on all levels & has zero credibility. Apparently Angelina Jolie has stated that she shot nude scenes for this film but they were cut because they were felt to be too distracting.

    With a supposed budget of about $48,000,000 The Bone Collector is well made with good production values & that Hollywood gloss about it. I also must add right now that I think Angelina Jolie gives one of the worst performances I have ever seen, I think she is absolutely terrible in this. Denzel Washington just sort of lies there really, Queen Latifah is awful & even Michael Rooker can't do much as he is stuck with a clichéd & one dimensional character.

    The Bone Collector has to be one of the worst Hollywood films I have seen in a while, I saw it for free on telly last night & I still feel cheated & ripped-off. There are just so many things to poke holes at it's silly, embarrassingly awful or should that be awfully embarrassing? Works either way to be honest...
  • Peridot30 October 1999
    Warning: Spoilers
    Ok so I haven't seen "Seven" or "Silence of the lambs" or any other 'scary' movies... not really since "Fatal Attraction". These types of movies scare the wits out of me but I kind of saw "The bone collector" by accident.

    Anyway, I can't compare it to other thriller/suspense/horror movies but what I will say is that I LIKED IT. The ending was not really that predictable and the acting was incredible. The storyline was nothing special but the directing/producing/editing of the film is fantastic.

    *SPOILER BELOW*

    I did not like the fact that Thelma died. That was pretty pathetic having Lincoln and Amelia turn out ok but her, a 'good' character die. The other cop guy dying I didn't mind...

    Anyway the whole movie got my heart pounding. I loved the music/ sound effects. I give it a 7/10.
  • Bad directors are generally a lot more reliable than good directors, in the sense that even the greatest of directors can make a poor movie every once in a while, but bad directors hardly ever let you down: They keep churning out turkey after turkey without ever a trace of intrusive talent or inventiveness seeping into their works.

    Phillip Noyce is a prime example of this. In my opinion, he is one of the very worst directors, not only working today, but in the whole history of Hollywood cinema (he's got Ed Wood beaten by a mile); and this view is reinforced every time I watch (or, more appropriately, endure) one of his "films" (I would call them something else, but bad language will prevent this review from being posted I'm afraid). I'm not sure if the problem lies in his limited capabilities for the art of storytelling, or in his appalling penchant for choosing wretched screenplays, but the truth is that all of them (and I regret to admit I have seen no less than six) have made me wonder whether to laugh or cry at their incompetence, or simply go to sleep from the boredom.

    The Bone Collector is, of course, no exception. In fact, I think Noyce has outdone himself with it, as it is an exceptionally terrible movie. I cannot find a single redeeming feature in it. For one, Jolie is quite obviously miscast, and even the usually solid Washington takes this as an opportunity to overact (Well, It's not like there's any actor's director around on set to restrain him, is there?). The storyline is absurd from its very inception, and I find it extremely hilarious that it pretends to be about the elusive science of evidence-gathering, when this kind of left-there-on-purpose evidence that only a movie killer would leave, is precisely the one kind that requires no talent at all to find. BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT THERE. And then the investigations made from this evidence seems to follow little logic other than Rhyme's whims and *intuitions*, or risible strokes of luck. The film keeps throwing one-or-two-line characters at you so that you wonder which one the killer might be (oh how very exciting), but still the ending won't fail to underwhelm you.

    I have to admit one thing: this pathetic excuse for a film kept me hooked not because it was interesting, but because I was morbidly curious to find out how dire it could become as it went on. But of course, that's because I saw it on TV, and I didn't have to pay a ticket; I swore years ago (more precisely, after I saw the narcolepsy-inducing Clear and Present Danger) that they would only take me to the cinema to watch a Phillip Noyce movie if I was WRAPPED IN CHAINS.

    Note: This review was written before Noyce directed Rabbitproof Fence. OK, so it turns out he IS able to make a decent film. But it doesn't change the fact that the rest of his output is awful.
  • The Bone Collector is a serial killer thriller in the vein of Seven. Here the gruesome deaths are hinted at rather than shown in a gory visceral manner.

    Denzel Washington is Lincoln Rhyme, a paraplegic detective now bedridden who needs round the clock care after an accident. Rhyme was a brilliant forensic detective who wrote several books on the subject.

    Now his superiors want his help as a maniac pretending to be a cab driver, is abducting victims, torturing and killing them yet leaving clues behind for Rhyme to solve. He is assisted by a rookie cop, Amelia (Angelina Jolie) who acts as his physical being as she goes does the leg work and goes out out to the subterranean dark lairs where the victims have been held.

    As the film progresses it almost seems like a chess game is being played with Rhyme, the clues are aimed at Rhyme somehow as if the killer is taunting Rhyme, like they might have dealt with each other in the past.

    Director Phillip Noyce uses the film such as Sea of Love as a template for misdirection. It even has Michael Rooker playing a police chief, he played the villain in Sea of Love, initially appearing in a small scene.

    However the ending was rather cheesy with some campy lines and the motive of the killer felt like a bolt from the blue. Still it is an entertaining thriller but not up to the standards of Seven, Sea of Love or The Silence of the Lambs.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In fact during the whole projection the suspense keeps us rooted to our seats while crime succeeds crime (there is a serial killer in action), investigated by an odd couple of a paraplegic (due to a previous accident) super-detective (Denzel Washington) and a young policewoman (Angelina Jolie) who past the first moments of hostility (from her side for judging him too bossy) reveals herself an intelligent and active working partner. The new communication technologies allow the detective to run and orient the investigation and the action outside in the field for the policewoman and the other assistants while he stays bedridden at home. This is all presented in a sequence of images, sequences and dialogues that keep the viewer very interested till the end. The story (as it is fully revealed in the end) is however weak and rather unbelievable in what concerns the investigation developments chiefly by the too quick way our super-detective runs into definitive conclusions and follows successfully clues based on very weak material elements of evidence. Finally a movie to be seen for lack of something better.
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