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  • If you're a hard core movie fan, you learn to appreciate good "Bad Movies." There are movies that go so far off the tracks in terms of one or several essential features of film art -- casting, script, sets, pacing, editing, lighting, coherence -- that there is no way that you could, being honest, recommend them without qualifications to an unsuspecting viewer.

    Movies that go off the tracks in these essentials and offer no redeeming features are just plain Bad Movies. You you make fun of them, and then you forget about them.

    But some Bad Movies offer, amidst the badness, unique moments of grace and truth. You allow yourself to be sucked in, and you studiously ignore or forgive all the screw-ups that went into making them "Bad Movies." "Angel Eyes" is a *Good* Bad Movie.

    Why Bad? Genre incoherence is the biggest problem here. "Angel Eyes" was marketed as a supernatural thriller that offered spooky, scary insights into fate, love, danger, and perhaps life after death. Ads, and the first portion of the movie, hinted at a weird alternate identity for one character. Was he a ghost? An angel? A devil? Would "Angel Eyes" be another "Sixth Sense" or "Wings of Desire"? That's all just smokescreen. I'm not revealing any spoilers by saying that no one in the movie is a ghost, an angel, or a devil; that conceit from the ads is jettisoned pretty quickly.

    There is a subtext of fate, destiny, love and death, but that isn't worked really hard, either. That whole subtext could have been skipped and you'd still have pretty much the same movie.

    The movie you get is a movie about traumatized people finding love and rebirth. And that is one great theme.

    Another problem with the movie is its misunderstanding of how quickly people can recover from trauma. But, hey.

    I say "but, hey," because this movie has a lot going for it, and it's worth seeing for what it has going for it.

    Jim Caviezel is an underrated actor. He's not wooden; he's subtle. It's tragic that we've gotten to an era where audience's eyes can't appreciate a quiet actor in the Gary Cooper mode.

    Caviezel is a worthy inheritor of the Gary Cooper mantle. He's stunningly handsome, has a big, gorgeous body -- he's a former basketball player, and it shows -- and he possesses Cooper's quiet masculine tenderness and humility.

    All these qualities have allowed him to strike the perfect note of a very male spirituality in a number of films, from "Frequency" to "Thin Red Line" to "Pay It Forward" to "The Passion" to "Angel Eyes." In his early scenes, when the movie doesn't want you to know quite what he's about, he is perfect as a perhaps ghost-angel-devil-weirdo homeless bum-savior.

    He's equally good, later, as an entirely corporeal lover.

    He plays a wounded man, and Caviezel has the gifts to convey his character's inner pain. You believe that he cares as much as he does about what wounded him; you believe that his wounds could have done to him what the movie wants you to believe they did to him.

    Jennifer Lopez is equally good. Face it -- Jennifer Lopez is a fine actress. Yes, she appears on tabloid covers. Yes, she made "Gigli." Yes, she poses in naughty clothes a lot. Yes, she is a Puerto Rican from the Bronx.

    And you know what? She's a fine actress. Don't let her non-silver-spoon pedigree keep you from appreciating what she can do on screen.

    Lopez is as good as a cop here as she was in the more celebrated film, "Out of Sight." She's winning, charismatic, natural, and lovely to look at. Even in a white t-shirt and navy blue cop uniform slacks, she is beautiful.

    Like Caviezel, Lopez plays a wounded character ready to be reborn by love. She's equally as good as he, but she conveys her different wounds in a different way. One wounded person retreats; another lashes out in violence. It's interesting to see which party picks which method.

    Sonia Braga is in this movie. Any movie with Sonia Braga in it can't be all bad.

    Victor Argo, in a very small part as a very flawed man, is JUST PERFECT. 100% believable and heart-wrenching. I'll never forget his moments locked in silent misery, a misery he causes and a misery he feels.

    Finally, there is a not-to-be-missed scene between an abused family member and the abuser. A character speaks into a video camera at a family reunion and ... the scene just took my breath away. At that point I wanted to cry and surrender my full respect to the movie, in spite of everything it had done wrong so far.

    Don't let bad reviews prevent you from seeing this movie. Nothing's perfect. There's enough heart and beauty here for the discerning viewer to appreciate.
  • I stumbled on this film--because there was nothing obvious that made it look like a film worth your time. It's a film with a lot of misplaced evaluations. For instance, Jennifer Lopez was nominated for a "Razzie" award but the film shows a very fine effort from the lady. Again some comments on the photography infer the late cinematographer Piotr Sobocinsky has done a shoddy job because obvious Toronto landmarks appear in a film set in Chicago. This again is a fault of the Director and editor, not the cameraman who was one of the finest in his business (Kieslowski's "Dekalog" and "Three Colors--Red"). An intense viewing of the film affords the viewer to appreciate the opening shots, the alley shots, and the corridor shots that evoke feelings. It is quite different from the typical Hollywood camera-work.

    There are flaws in the film. The film jumps to situations without a build up--Catch appears on a life saving situation, seemingly out of nowhere; two beers appear on Catch's table in the restaurant, without him ordering the second; no mention is made of why Catch chose this name; etc.

    Yet despite those faults the film sails through as fine entertainment because of fine believable performances from Caviezel, Lopez, Sonia Braga, and Shirley Knight. The casting of these four was perfect (thank you Lopez for insisting on Caviezel!). The film is great entertainment because the film refrains from sex and promotes fine values--including family values, reconciliation, dealing with bereavement and doing good to make a better world. How many films are brave enough to deal with such subjects today without depicting sex and violence?

    The film touches on subplots that could have been fleshed out--Catch's lonely neighbor who invites him share a pizza, Catch's friend who recognizes him at the restaurant but Director Mandoki clearly steers clear to present the two psychologically wounded persons and their healing by coming together through a sheer accident. The film may be very Christian in character but it presents a very secular, humane scenario that will uplift any viewer. Though unevenly woven, the film has several sequences that show Mandoki has fine capabilities. One only wishes he took greater care of details.

    Flaws apart, the film is above average cinema that the publicity has shrouded by misplaced evaluations.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ANGEL EYES / (2001) *** (out of four)

    By Blake French:

    Luis Mandoki's "Angel Eyes" begins as a melodramatic tragedy that feels as if it's missing something. Its centerpiece is a love story between an unlikely couple who save each other's lives under different circumstances. At first, the film plays with interesting ideas about fate, love, destiny, mystery, and the past, but does so with stunning blandness. The male lead, James Caviezel, plays Catch, a mysterious character with an absorbing, revealing past. But his inceptive existence switches back and forth between two negative impressions: Catch is either a balmy character, or Caviezel delivers a boring, uninteresting performance. To my pleasant surprise, however, by the time the movie reaches its emotionally effective climax, it proves these original perceptions to be wrong.

    Jennifer Lopez stars as a tough Chicago cop named Sharon Pogue. She patrols the crime-ridden South Side of Chicago with her police buddies, including her partner and friend Robby (Terrence Dashon Howard). In the same neighborhood lives Catch-who sleeps in an empty apartment and delivers goodwill to many around him. He wanders around the area as if he is in some kind of existential daze, thus some believe him to be a lunatic, but for most, he appears to be a peculiar but harmless figure.

    Both of these characters have undergone deep emotional struggles. The vast majority of the conflict in "Angel Eyes" lies inside the characters. I do not want to give away any of the movie. Therefore, I must be terse in my explanation. Experiencing violence early in her childhood, Sharon has taken a stand against her father's abusive ways and is still paying the price; her entire family disowned her. However, her parents have invited Sharon to an upcoming marriage celebration. Should she attend, forcing her to come to terms with inner demons and face her father for the first time in years?

    "Angel Eyes" provides no easy answers for its characters. Sharon's private and public lives are well developed and intriguing. The film gives her a lot of dimension-I especially like her family related aspects. I will not reveal any more information about Catch; based on the advertisements, his different people will have different expectations of his identity. By explaining anymore about him, I risk giving away a large portion of the movie. Although the film does not contain startling identity twists or surprising ninety degree turns, it is very deliberate about what information is revealed at what time-thus the lack of information in the beginning. "Angel Eyes" deserves to reveal itself on a full scale, rather than me giving its plot away right here and now.

    Luis Mandoki has a certain knack with directing love stories that disclose their plot at the perfect moment. In 1999, his film "Message in a Bottle" examined another troubled soul coming to terms with his future. He does the same kind of thing with "Angel Eyes." "He's keeping a lid on his demons as Sharon does with hers, explains Mandoki about the character's behaviors. "It's only when they fall in love and then risk losing that love that they are forced to examine who they really are, present and past."

    Screenwriter Gerald DiPego creates character's who connect with the audience. The story is about "the conflict between isolation and connection," says DiPego. "We become isolated because we're afraid of opening up to each other, especially these days. On the other hand, there's a longing inside of us to connect. I think our salvation lies in keeping connected."

    As "Angel Eyes" concludes, each of the two character's has come to terms with their troubles and past. What they discover, I will leave up to you to find out. This is an uncommonly absorbing picture because we believe these characters live in our world, not in face their most private and deepest fears, and, although nothing is truly solved by the end of the movie, for Sharon and Catch, for better or worse, their problems become a different, more fulfilling internal battle. some movie fantasy. So often movies end with a fluffy, soft attitude for their characters-but not in "Angel Eyes."
  • This movie was put out as a thriller on the commercials, making it seem like the premise is about a cop who meets a guy who turns out to be a serial killer. When in fact, this movie is a great love story. Jennifer Lopez plays Sharon Pogue, a tough female police officer, who is still recovering from an abusive childhood. Apparently when she was seventeen, she called the cops and got her father (Victor Argo) arrested after he beat her mom (Sonia Braga) up. She hasn't been in contact with her family since then; until now, when the family reluctantly invites her to a ceremony renewing her parents vows. The there is Catch Lambart, played by Jim Caviezal. He is a wanderer who lives in an apartment equipped with about three items - a bed, a light, and a table. Catch never smiles; however, he does walk around looking for good deeds to do. The two emotionally torn people meet when Catch tackles Sharon's assassin who is seeking vengeance of the death of his brother. The two quickly fall in love. But now Sharon wants to know about Catch's past, which he wont say a word about. And basically the rest of the movie is about the Sharon trying tragicly dealing with her abusive childhood, Sharon trying to find out more about Catch, and Catch knocking down the wall he built around his past. I can honestly say that Jennifer Lopez delivers one of her best performances surrounded by the character of Karen Sisco in "Out of Sight", and her should-have-won-an-oscar performance in "Selena". Jim Caviezal also did a great job, keeping it "real". But Jennifer Lopez is the major power-hitter in this movie. Jennifer never had to belch an emotion out, it was natural for her. Guys, ask a girl on a date and GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!
  • So let me set the scene here, I was in a motel, in the middle of nowhere, and was flicking through the channels of the limited cable that the motel offered... I spotted Jim Caveizel (or however on earth you spell his name) and put down the remote as he is an actor that I admire and respect. Of course JLo then came into the scene and my instinct was to pick up the remote and flick the channel but I didn't and I am glad that I made that decision. Not being a fan of JLo I have never seen Angel Eyes and had no reason to seek it out either on video or on the TV but hell when you are in a motel with limited cable options you don't have alot of choice right? Nevertheless, I was thoroughly delighted that I left the remote where it was and watched this movie because in the end I loved it. I loved it more for the subtle points than the big "hollywood this is a romance you better weep points." "Hang up and I'll call your machine" in this day and age how relevant is that? how many people (if they would be honest) would much rather talk to a machine than the person because it is impersonal and they can save face? The teeny tiny aspect of him playing the notes of the trumpet on her back as they were dancing... okay so I am married to a musician so that resonates with me but it spoke volumes, no matter how much he had tried to block it out, his soul was still there, and in his soul was his music. I thought both leads played their roles with skill and conviction. I was never quite sure (until the end of course) if Catch was a good guy or a bad guy, and I liked the fact that it kept me guessing. As I said I am not a JLo fan, in fact I could be described as quite the opposite but in this movie she played her part beautifully, with conviction and totally believably. Jim Caveizel as always was understated, calm and played his role with a sympathy that is rare to see. Loved this movie, and cannot wait to see it again. I will agree with everyone however about the advertising hype that surrounded it, they ended up portraying it as a psychological thriller, if they had stayed true to the story and advertized it for what it was, a beautiful romance, I think it would not have died as it did. Shame on the publicity people for burying such a fine film.
  • Do you remember the previews for Angel Eyes? Many of us don't. What few of us remember is a 30 second preview that ran only a handful of times that showed Jennifer Lopez as a female cop. That was it. Na drama, no emotion, the previews told the audience a story about a female police officer, nothing else. This is probably the biggest reason why nobody went to see this movie when it went to the cinema. Only when it hit the video stores, did people start wo watch. A beautiful film, Angel Eyes is a romance. Dealing with redemption, it deals with many degrees of love and hope. In fact, many people detail Jennifer Lopez as "Angel Eyes." This is not true. Take a deeper look and you will see that James Caviezel is the true Angel Eyes.
  • I have to admit two things, one is that I'm not a big Jennifer Lopez fan. Secondly, she's very good in this film. The film opens at the scene of a car accident and a female police officer (Lopez) is telling the survivor who is all banged up that everything will be okay and to look at her. Then the film shifts to a year later and Officer Sharon Pogue is a Chicago cop who doesn't relate well to others except other cops and hates the whole dating process. While in a diner with her fellow officers she notices a man (James Caviezel) across the street looking at her and then suddenly a car drives by and starts shooting the place up. Sharon takes chase after the car crashes and chases a youth down into a secluded area when she is ambushed and the youth gets her gun and is ready to kill her when out of the blue the man who was staring comes out and saves her.

    *****SPOILER ALERT*****

    Later in a bar she meets him again and talks to him. She asks him his name and all he says is "Catch". She's intrigued by him and he says he likes her but he says very little about himself. He wanders the streets a lot and also helps a handicapped woman named Elanora (Shirley Knight) with groceries. Meanwhile, Sharon has family trouble and her parents (Sonia Braga and Victor Argo) are going to renew their vows and she's not sure if she should go. When she was a young girl she called the police on her abusive father when he was beating her mother and after all these years he still has not forgiven her.

    This film was directed by Luis Mandoki who also has shown in earlier efforts that he has a good flair for portraying relationships with believable emotional attachments. The problem is the area of the story surrounding Catch. We know right from the get-go who he is and what he's hiding. The film goes just a tad too long and of course there is an upbeat ending. I think it would have been totally appropriate to have a more open ending with some questions on the future of the characters. But the film is enhanced by a very good performance by Lopez. Not only is she believable as a tough cop but we can understand her emotional problems dealing with others. Its a performance that rings true and reminded me of why so many people are intrigued by her. Her character is the core of the film (not Catch) and she does a terrific job of balancing her emotions between the tough cop and the lonely and vulnerable woman. This isn't a great film by any stretch of the imagination but it is an underrated one. One of Lopez's shining moments.
  • This was a truly touching film, and an excellent performance by both Caviezel and Lopez. My view of Lopez has gone up a lot since seeing this film. It made me cry, which is a rare occurrence when I watch movies. The scene with Catch at his family's grave was just beautiful, the words were right from the heart straight to mine. Caviezel should do more films like this.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have to say, I thought this was one of the best movie's I'd seen in a long time back when it came out. It's a shame the producers chose to use perhaps the worst marketing ploy in the history of film.

    Sharon Pogue (Jennifer Lopez) is a lonely woman in Chicago with no real life to speak of. She is estranged from her family, has problems with insomnia, and her only friends are the people she works with. Enter Catch (Jim Caviezel), a shy, quiet man who saves Sharon's life. They both seem to have problems with insomnia and reclusive behavior. They start a cat and mouse game - she brings him to her apartment, he seems to want to leave, he wants to come back, she tries to kiss him, he doesn't want to be kissed. She stands him up, he gets upset, then he doesn't seem to care; so, she follows him into his apartment, etc. It seems like it would get repetetive, but the story is actually quite good.

    Lopez gives a good performance, probably second only to her portrayal of Karen Sisco in Out Of Sight. Caviezel is good at these sort of parts, and seems to be in danger of being stereotyped as "the guy that weird stuff happens to". People often complain that the two of them have no chemistry together, not realizing that this is the whole point - their relationship is made intentionally akward by director Luis Mandoki, most likely to make it seem all the more impressive that they still want to be with each other.

    I have one big problem with the advertising, and two smaller problems. They tried to make this seem like some sort of cop thriller - it is not. You'd think by watching the trailer that Catch is a menacing person, the opposite of what the character really is. They should have made this film out to be what it really is - a chick flick about an unlikely couple with no chemistry who love each other enough to stick with each other anyway. Consequently, the film only brought in about $24 million.

    Which brings me to my second problem, the budget. Why did this take $38 million to make? I noticed that this was released by Warner Brothers, and distributed by two different production companies, internationally. That was unnecessary. They could have easily made just as good a film for a lower budget. Even with Lopez's $9 million paycheck, the rest could have been shot for $5 million, putting the total budget at $14 million.

    Also, Catch seems a bit too spacey. There perhaps should have been more attempts to humanize him, which could have been done without killing the aura of despair around him. I also didn't get the sex scene - the character didn't seem like the type to have sex with someone after only a few weeks.[End spoiler]

    Despite these last few problems, I rated this film very highly, as it is one of my favorites. I just noticed the bad parts from watching it so many times. Don't be fooled by the advertising - is it worth seeing.
  • Surprisingly moving film with Lopez proving she is more than just her looks for a change. It's an early chance to see the guy who was later to play Jesus Caveziel. The director creates a touching scene when they are at the relative's graveside. Lopez plays a woman alone in Chicagio with no real friends until the shy man (Cavaziel) comes into it. They form a rapport over their shared insomnia. They start a disastrous relationship as it is afflicted with a cat and mouse game with both playing hot and cold. Because of their isolation and loneliness, the film is concerned with the need with forgiveness of self and others, reconciliation and redemption through a relationship. This is demonstrated through Cavaziel's previous secret life which he is running away from like the Lopez character. I can recommend this movie as I really enjoyed an intelligent and psychological work that had the courage to direct Lopez in something more challenging than popcorn liked Anaconda. Prior to this the most convincing thing I'd seen her in was in a couple of sketches by the actor Stephen Armourae and that was just pencil, paper and pastel. I hope she continues to be cast in these more demanding roles.
  • I found this movie really engaging, even though it's imperfect directorially. Much of my admiration, though, may be because I fell madly in love with Jim Caviezel and his quiet, handsome, troubled but gently noble character (so bear that in mind!)...

    Jennifer Lopez did very well - a sparky performance as always. Her police officer role appears to come very naturally to her, and the pairing is interesting with the initially mysterious Caviezel character.

    Overall this movie may not win awards, but the lead characters are well drawn and their developing relationship is engaging, unpredictable and endearingly life-like. It's a nice romantic movie which draws you in.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Angel Eyes" differs from the usual mindless summer film fare. Audiences under age 30 may classify this brooding, lethargic, romantic mystery with Jennifer Lopez and Jim Caviezel as downbeat, impersonal, and tiresome. Neither "Message in a Bottle" director Luis Mandoki and "Sharkey's Machine" scenarist Gerald DiPego cater to neatly tying up all the loose narrative threads at fade-out nor pander to erratic attention-deficit style editing to ingratiate audiences with their lachrymose cops & lovers yarn. Instead, every scene in "Angel Eyes" portrays life as an experience where people sometimes cannot resolve conflicts. Mandoki and DiPego dole out plot details like bread crumbs to string us along, and this piecemeal strategy maintained my attention.

    "Angel Eyes" will either intrigue you or will infuriate you entirely with the way they draw out the inevitable. They give their characters room enough to develop, and a gifted, first-class cast exploits every opportunity. Admirably, much of this provocative, above-average, but uneven 'chick flick' springs from the characters and their reactions to the obstacles thwarting their desires. Unwisely, Mandoki and DiPego rely on some plot contrivances that undercut credibility but deepen dramatic impact.

    "Angel Eyes" opens in Chicago at the scene of a tragic traffic accident. Windy City cop Sharon Pogue (Jennifer Lopez of "Maid in Manhattan") comforts an accident victim until the paramedics arrive. Mandoki and DiPego create an intriguing aura of mystery early on in the story, because the victim remains anonymous. Cleverly but effectively, they capture the action from the perspective of the injured passenger. A year elapses, and the main plot gradually begins to unfold. "Angel Eyes" depicts Sharon Pogue as a tough, resourceful, fearless police woman who can handle anything that the criminal element can dish out. She tackles one big hoodlum, body slams the dastard against the hood of her police cruiser, and the cuffs and stuffs him. Later, at the precinct house, the thug gives her lip and grabs her. Pogue roughs him up without a second thought, only to have her partner Robby (Terrence Howard of "Iron Man") reprimand her. "Don't bust my balls," Pogue complains irritably as if she were a guy.

    Indeed, shunning her glamorous pop diva persona, Lopez delivers a persuasive, rock-solid performance as a dedicated but lonely, insomniac cop with a woebegone past who prefers the graveyard shift. Basically, Sharon jailed her abusive father Carl (Victor Argo of "The Yards") ten years ago for beating up her mother Josephine (Brazilian actress Sonia Braga of "The Rookie"), and bad blood has existed ever since between them. Essentially, her father disowned her after his arrest. Surprisingly, her mother invites her to attend a ceremony where they plan to renew their marriage vows. Sharon's working class brother Larry (Jeremy Sisto of "The Suicide Kings") isn't overjoyed about seeing his hard-nosed sister. Eventually, Larry batters his own wife Kathy (Monet Mazur of "Mystery Men") in a fit of rage. Arriving at the scene, Sharon slugs Larry in the mouth in front of her own brothers-in-blue! The cops refuse to arrest Sharon when Larry cries police brutality.

    Later, Sharon is hanging out with fellow cops at a diner when black gunmen in a car wheel up and unload a fusillade of bullet at them. The fleeing gangstas wreck their car, and the cops chase them. Sharon pursues a lone gunman, and the suspect ambushes her. Shooting her twice in the chest, he takes aim at her face when a mysterious stranger intervenes. This unshaven Samaritan knocks the assailant off Sharon and saves her life! When Sharon recovers, she learns that her dark-haired hero in a trench coat calls himself Catch (Jim Caviezel of "Frequency") and just happened to be across the street when the gunfight erupted. An awkward relationship blossoms from their chance encounter. Catch behaves as if he were suffering from amnesia. Despite Sharon's attempts to draw him out in conversation, he refuses to talk about himself. Aimlessly, he wanders the streets at night and performs good deeds at random. For example, Catch spots a car with its headlamps burning. Opening the door, he reaches inside to switch them off. Just as he does, the angry owner accuses him of stealing. Catch decks himself out in a wardrobe like the Nicholas Cage character from director Brad Silverling's "City of Angels," but he is a flesh-and-blood entity, not an angel.

    Eventually, Sharon and Catch date. At a state park on a picnic, they frolick in the lake, then get intimate on the beach. Unlike most citizens who ask Sharon how many people she has shot in the line of duty, Catch praises her for her unselfish sacrifices. Their oddball but believable relationship endures its share of ups and down like most real relationships. Specifically, Sharon comes clean about herself with Catch, but he retreats into silence or anger about himself as if he were playing hard to get.

    "Angel Eyes" rarely strays from the issues at hand. This character driven drama deals with sudden death, dysfunctional families, and spousal abuse, but it offers no facile answers. Like Mandoki's earlier effort "Message in a Bottle," "Angel Eyes" shows that life gives those a second chance at love that wants to take it. Like his even earlier movie "When a Man Loves a Woman," "Angel Eyes" shows that some of life's problems lay beyond our reach to resolve them. Wow, how many movies seize life by the horns anymore? The romance between Sharon and Catch has depth with occasional interludes of comedy. Lopez and Caviezel share a chemistry that makes their affair seem not only credible but also interesting, too. They don't behave like brainless, sugar-coated, naive lovers. Pop tunes don't blare on the soundtrack while the principals ride around in product placement sports convertibles. Indeed, "Angel Eyes" takes itself seriously and gets away with this sober attitude more often than not. Only when the coincidences seem really contrived, such as when Catch jumps Sharon's assailant, does "Angel Eyes" blink.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Possible Spoilers

    Although Sharon Pogue, the central character in this film, is a Chicago police officer with a beat in one of the city's roughest districts, this is not a traditional 'tough cop' thriller. Rather, it is the story of a romance between Sharon and a mysterious stranger named Catch, which begins when he saves her life while she is confronting a violent criminal. Catch is a strange figure who lives alone in a deserted building and who wanders the streets performing acts of kindness to strangers. Sharon finds herself emotionally drawn to this baffling young man, who appears simple-minded but gentle, fey and vulnerable yet nonthreatening, and the two begin a romantic relationship.

    As the film progresses, we realize that Catch had a previous life very different to the one he leads now. We learn, for instance, that his real name is Steven Lambert and that he is a talented jazz musician. There are also hints of a secret in his past which has left him with an overwhelming sense of guilt; we eventually learn what that secret is, although I will not reveal it here. Sharon also has psychological problems arising from her difficult relationship with her family, particularly with her abusive father, which started when she reported him to the police because of his violent behaviour towards her mother.

    The main themes of the film are the need for forgiveness- of oneself as well as of others- reconciliation and redemption. We see how Sharon and Catch deal with the shadows of the past which are threatening to destroy their chances of happiness. Unlike some, I did not see Catch as a Christ-figure (possibly those who did were influenced by the fact that the same actor, Jim Caviezel, also played Jesus in Mel Gibson's recent 'The Passion of the Christ') or the film as an overtly religious one. The themes of forgiveness and redemption are capable of being understood in a secular way as well as a religious one. It is, however, possibly a spiritual film, and certainly a poetic one. Certain scenes- such as the one where Catch and Sharon realize their love for one another while swimming in a disused quarry and the one in the nightclub where Catch rediscovers his love of jazz- struck me as having a particularly haunting quality.

    I was also impressed by the two leading actors. This was the first of Caviezel's films that I had seen, other than 'The Passion', and I was touched by his portrayal of the lonely, guilt-ridden but kindly Catch. As for Jennifer Lopez, I was pleasantly surprised. On the previous occasions I had seen her in films- such as the truly appalling 'Anaconda'- she struck me as being not so much an actress, more a singer who had wandered into the movie business because someone - probably her accountant- had told her it would be a good career move, without her having much idea of what would be required of her. In 'Angel Eyes', however, it seems that, by and large, J-Lo has at last realized what this acting thing is all about. Although some of her lines are occasionally indistinct, the overall impression is one of emotional and psychological truthfulness. That, in fact, can be taken as my overall impression of the film as a whole, not just Miss Lopez's performance. 7/10
  • Mandoki's 'Angel Eyes' is one movie that I had walked out on, twice. But for some reason, I stayed through the whole film during the third viewing, and I'm glad I did. Now, the problem with 'Angel Eyes' is the incoherence during the entire first hour. The story unfolds into something different each time while not staying within the frame of the main story. It's confusing. It's misleading. That works for some movies but not for 'Angel Eyes'. The reason why I had walked out earlier was because at some point the movie really drags but once the characters confront their own pain, the conflicts are presented and somewhat resolved. I appreciate Mandoki's attempt in telling the story of two lonely characters: One who is traumatized by a past event that changed his life and the other who has been neglected (almost disowned) by her family because she did the right thing. In spite of the mess in the beginning, he gets most of it right towards the end. The confrontation scene between Sharon and her family at the 'vow-renewal party' and the scene where Catch visits his wife and child's grave are very well executed. I liked the chemistry between Caviezel and Lopez. James Caviezel delivers a quietly subtle performance. It seems as though the part was made for him. Jennifer Lopez is a mixture. While she was terrible in some scenes, there were some shining moments of excellent acting, especially in the beginning and the latter half. She also carries off the copper role very well, just like she did in 'Out of Sight'. So, I guess it wasn't such a bad watch as I had thought earlier. Just needed some patience.
  • rsgeorge520 November 2007
    I saw this film for the 2nd time last night with some friends, and we all enjoyed it. I kinda have a soft spot for J.Lo, I think she is a little under-rated, I loved her in films like Blood & Wine, Out of Sight and recently Bordertown. In Angel Eyes she is beautiful, aggressive, soft and hurt ... I think Jim Cavaziel helps bring her down from any 'Star Scene Stealing' - he is so calm, and dashing here, I think she was as transfixed as us! It's a gentle film, that doesn't feel the need to rush proceedings, letting the audience sit and figure out the mystery, and even if like us you figured it out at least 30mins before the end, I think you will still want to stay with it and see how the characters wind up. Check it out, and curl up with this engaging drama. 6/10
  • I must say that Jennifer Lopez delivers a believable and real performance here. As a Chicago cop, on the front lines, we see the stark reality and violence she seems to live on a daily basis.

    Jim Cavieziel also delivers an excellent performance as 'Catch', a man who is emotionally damaged but this is not revealed until the latter half of the film.

    There are some excellent scenes as Lopez begins to open up, dating him, and views his trumpet playing in a city jazz club. She looks tearful as she realizes that Catch is more complicated and sensitive than he appears.

    There is also a parallel family issue of estrangement with Sonia Braga as the disapproving mother that also adds a twist to the interesting story.

    Overall, an excellent film that is highly recommended. 8/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Out of all the JLo movies made so far, this is the only one that seems to... dig deeper than the surface of human emotions. The writer, and maybe the director, must've had more than a vague idea of where they were going with this film. Some scenes cause me to tear up, which is a rare commodity for any simple romance made in the last... 10 years.

    Jennifer Lopez is asked to play more here than the typical pretty girl who makes her way up, in one way or other, like the movies she normally lands. This took quite a bit of insight and understanding on her part, possible even an emotional connection to the movie to nail the part. Keeping all that in mind, the male main character seemed to get an even better idea of what's asked of him. The way he carried himself was almost dead-on, though possibly even overdone at times (but I blame the director for that).

    That said, what worked even more is the chemistry the two had going on. Never before have I seen Lopez's eyes light up the way they did with James. It seemed like they'd truly sunk into their roles, and the interaction between them felt chillingly real.

    What was truly underdone, however, is the family abuse issues that Lopez's character's family was going through all through the plot. This didn't seem like a movie about civil issues, and therefore the parts where they went into detail about family violence seemed a bit... off- the-wall to me. At the very least, if there was a serious connection between violence and maybe the reason Sharon became a cop in the first place, they sure failed to show it.

    This movie, hands down, I believe, needed more insight and more beyond-the-surface conversations. It needed less words and more visuals. It was mostly well-written, but needed some touch-ups. The transition of Catch from his old life to the estranged new one was very meekly done. There could've been more about his family, how good a father he was could've been shown, even in flashbacks. More details for the backgrounds of both characters could be in order.

    But mostly, though this film is very underdone, and some parts made me laugh at them more than with them, I end up seeing it again and again, and it still acts as a tear jerker to me. I'll say it again - Lopez seemed to find herself in the right place here, where much more than her natural charm was put to the test. Give this movie a try, it's.. not like the rest, not like many movies made today.
  • dewar310 February 2007
    The scene when Catch is playing, "Nature Boy" on the trumpet at the jazz club is just so genuine & touching. A big applause to the real musicians that were playing the tune.

    The Director might have made it a little less subtle of how Steve takes the name, "Catch" after the accident. It is the last word he hears his son say as he is throwing the toy in the car before he is killed. "Dad...'catch'."

    The way the film deals with domestic violence & how it can tear a family a part at its foundation but then is glossed over for appearances seems to be right on the mark. And despite the renewal of her parent's wedding vows, the underlying problem isn't going to go away.
  • newyguy19 January 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    I never liked Jennifer Lopez, but she is excellent in this movie. Although you spend a lot of time wondering about 'Catch', Lopez shines in every scene she is shown. It's ironic that each has saved the others lives, but it's when they heal each others heart and soul that they find each other. Both characters have pasts they are trying to deal with, both hide those pasts from each other and refuse to speak of them. But, when they can't handle the past and present, they always turn to each other.

    If you don't like Jennifer Lopez, watch this movie and you may change your mind.
  • I first saw this film with a friend of mine, and in my opinion, ANGEL EYES is a romantic, heart-warming, and thrilling romantic thriller. If you ask me, Sharon (Jennifer Lopez) and Catch (James Caviezel) made a perfect couple. One of the things I liked most about this film is when Catch played the trumpet when he and Sharon went out to the nightclub. I thought that he sounded really good when he played for Sharon. In addition, if you ask me, Sharon made a good cop. They made the perfect couple, if you ask me. In conclusion, I highly recommend this romantic, heart-warming, and thrilling romantic thriller to all you Jennifer Lopez fans who have not seen it. You're in for a real treat, so go to the video store, rent it or buy it, kick back with a friend, and watch it.
  • I urge everyone to distrust the low rating this film got on IMDb and try and see it somewhere. Perhaps, you will be surprised to find what a solid and impressive drama "Angel Eyes" is.

    Jennifer Lopes is notorious for a bad choice of films she plays in with her rather limited acting ability. But this movie is a nice exception. Here, she is very comfortable in the role of a slightly boorish and internally disturbed policewoman and, with this performance, she really hits the mark. Her co-star James Caviezel also gives an excellent portrayal of a man who is recovering from the loss of his family.

    The storyline itself is well-rounded, consistent and believable, leaving no blurred moments or gaps. Although the assumptions of the film may seem too melodramatic, in fact the film is not in the least cheesy or mushy. On the contrary, what we see is a very realistic and uneven development of a relationship between two complex characters with an open (not sleazy happy) ending. The message of the film is also very sound and clear - life is not a smooth simple line and you never know what will take you to your destination.

    The film delivers this message softly and is, definitely, worthy of your attention.
  • There are many films in the past years that are so under appreciated, tossed

    away from theaters and dismissed by the masses. Films like Donnie Darko and

    Rounders fall into this category. And Angel Eyes follows their path. It's a very well-written, well-acted drama with the unstoppable Jim Caviezel and Jennifer Lopez. As many have said, this IS Lopez's best film to date and she truly shines. And Caviezel is amazing. He's one of my favorite actors and his performance,

    like all of his other films, is utterly spectacular. The dialogue is flawless and although the story takes a while to progress and the pacing is slow, Angel Eyes is worth checking out.
  • I have to say I can't believe some of the reviews I've read of this film here. I thought this film was extremely well acted, had an original story line, and a quirky but interesting script. I'm impressed by Jennifer Lopez's acting, James Caviezel's interpretation was fantastic and there was great chemistry between them on the set. I was intrigued right throughout. It was well-paced, and just had a good feel about it, something which I find is missing in 95% of films being made these days. 9 out of 10.
  • Once again, Jennifer Lopez proves that she is a wonderful actress. Ms. Lopez truly the star of the movie. Also, the story itself is good and there is a strong performance by Jim Caveziel. This movie explores some very sensitive subjects ... death, loneliness, grief ... as well as renewal, restoration and redemption. At times the movie borders on sentimentality but manages to avoid that pitfall as Ms. Lopez's fine performance transcends any weaknesses contained in the script and transforms this movie into something special. A man experiences devastating personal loss, a woman has unrequited anger, both are alone yet both overcome their personal issues to come together and move forward in their lives. When managed correctly and respectfully, these themes are the ingredients that make for a good movie and in this case it works.
  • So this is what Jennifer Lopez can do when she tries! She is well cast as a tough Chicago female cop. I once had a friend who was a female cop in Washington, DC, I hung out with her cop pals sometimes, took part in their banter about their latest arrests, was even taken to see them in the cells, and all of that sort of thing is completely accurately portrayed in this film. This is obviously very much Lopez's own natural element: street life and all that goes with it. I can actually believe that she could have become just such a policewoman. She should play more such roles with true grit, as they suit her better than normal romances. She actually looks completely natural when she is punching people in the face and laying them out cold. (I hope she doesn't do that at home.) Apparently she insisted that the mysterious man in the film must be played by Jim Caviezel, which was the perfect choice, and her instinct was spot on. Caviezel does a wonderful job, and his mysterious eyes are just right for someone who does not actually know whether he is dead or alive, and could be either. The deeper purpose of this film is to show the dark, swirling psychological whirlpools of Lopez's family story on the one hand and Caviezel's tale on the other hand. Lopez is superb at conveying her searing emotional turmoil, which is constantly erupting above the surface as rage. Both her father and her brother are uncontrollably violent wife-bashers. She did the right thing as a girl by calling the police when he was beating up her mother, and had him arrested. Not only did the father never really speak to her again, but the mother could not forgive her either, which is of course typical of many battered wives, who suffer from the psychological sickness of not wanting to put a stop to it, and who have married these men on purpose (subconsciously, of course); the sister-in-law is another one who is just the same. Really, there is nothing more annoying than a battered woman who secretly wants it. The irony is that Lopez herself, in going 'to the side of the law' and becoming a policewoman, ends up using her fists a lot herself, but this time to stop crime, not to beat up a spouse. This shows how violent impulses can be turned away from the bad and be used for the good sometimes. (However, special forces soldiers, who are an extreme version of this, generally end up as psychological wrecks, and I know some.) Caviezel's dilemma and the coincidence of their double meetings border on the supernatural, and talented director Luis Mandoki and equally talented writer Gerald di Pego (they earlier collaborated on the excellent 1999 film 'Message in a Bottle') stress all the most mysterious angles in this tale, which makes the whole film more profound than it might otherwise have been, without ever descending into affectation. Shirley Knight gives excellent acting support, and the whole cast are good. This is a highly worthwhile film, which takes a star who often does superficial films and puts her into something real, with excellent results.
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