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  • Katie Holmes is well-cast as an intellectual college student in this intellectual thriller, a strange bird of a movie to sit alongside the current batch of "teen" horror films (did you know that in this one the students actually - gasp!- study?). Admittedly it moves at a measured pace (some would say "like molasses"), and doesn't really take off until the last 2 minutes or so (!), when it presents a final twist which I, for one, did not see coming, and which saves the entire picture. All through the film you get the feeling they have something to show you at the end, and indeed they do, but perhaps they shouldn't have waited so long to get there. Excellent score and cinematography. (**1/2)
  • wes-connors18 November 2011
    Upwardly mobile Katie Holmes (as Katie Burke) tries to concentrate on her college thesis while thinking about a career after graduation. Understandably a little stressed, Ms. Holmes has occasional flashbacks about beautiful blond ex-boyfriend Charlie Hunnam (as Embry Larkin). A rich bohemian artist-type, the charismatic Mr. Hunnam disappeared two years ago. Holmes has had no steady lover since then, although tree-hugging Gabriel Mann (as Harrison "Harry" Hobart) shows interest. Meanwhile, recovering alcoholic detective Benjamin Bratt (as Wade Handler) is assigned to investigate Hunnam's mysterious disappearance as Holmes is frightened by a stalker who looks just like him...

    Multi award-winning writer turning director Stephen Gaghan gets good, steady cinematography from Matthew Libatique. However, the positioning of actors and set direction is sometimes obvious and distracting. Holmes has the messiest imaginable room but likes to straighten Bratt's pictures. Matches her psyche. Getting Holmes crotch-level with therapist Tony Goldwyn (as David Schaffer) matches the script. So, there is cohesion. However, you care more about what happened to poor "Harrison" than the lead characters, who come together for the predictable surprise ending. There is life-sustaining support from friendly Zooey Deschanel, mousy Melanie Lynskey and clean-cut Mark Feuerstein.

    ***** Abandon (3/1/02) Stephen Gaghan ~ Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt, Charlie Hunnam, Gabriel Mann
  • B-

    I was a little hard on this film when I initially reviewed it upon its release. After watching it on DVD again I realized that there is a very clever and beautiful story to be told but problems in the script prevent it from truly taking off. The performances, cinematography, and music are all great but it just can't seem to find a solid direction.

    A film's trailer is a gateway to success and sometimes failure. In the case of Abandon, it proved to be the latter. The film was marketed as a non-stop psychological thriller but to be honest the thrills are few and far between. Abandon is more a character study with the atmosphere of a thriller. The film's main priority is to tell a story and I think audiences were really disappointed when they saw a movie that was short on thrills. That could explain its not so great $10 million dollar box office gross.

    Abandon is about a beautiful young girl named Katie Burke (Katie Holmes) who is nearing her graduation from a very prestigious school. She has a nice future ahead of her, including a potential job at a top New York firm. However, things begin to unravel when Katie's past comes back to haunt her. A police detective, by the name of Wade Handler (Benjamin Bratt), is investigating the disappearance of Embry Langan (Charlie Hunnam), Katie's wealthy and sometimes eccentric ex-boyfriend. Embry has not been seen or heard from in 2 years, and the lawyers for his estate want to know whether he's alive or dead. When the detective begins to bring up several events from the past, Katie begins to see Embry around campus and other various locations. Has Embry come back for love or revenge?

    Abandon has a lot of positives but a thriller it certainly is not. Abandon falters when it tries, at great lengths, to scare and surprise its audience. Stephen Gaghan, who won an Oscar for writing Traffic and is directing for the first time with this film, can't seem to properly direct scenes that are suppose to keep us on the edge of our seats. However, He does a good job of making us wonder if Embry is really back or if Katie is seeing things. Most of his encounters come about when she's half asleep or frustrated and the possibility of these two different outcomes are one of the scripts strengths. Another scene that resonates involves a truly alarming surprise for our main character when she's alone in the library. Other than that, all the thrills are by the book or non-existent.

    Abandon's biggest strength is what isn't shown in the trailers. First and foremost this film works as a very deep character study. As a character, Katie is very interesting and her past experiences with men (including her father) who have left her plays an important part into the mysterious disappearance of Embry. The character is well developed and several scenes give us great insight into her inner struggles. We learn about her relationship with Embry through beautifully filmed flashbacks that are probably the best aspects of this picture. The flashbacks are backed by a very moody score and a sense of realism that make for really good scenes. We learn through these sequences that Embry and Katie were a very happy couple, with a possibly nice future ahead of them. When the film switches back to real-time we realize why his disappearance has hurt her so much. There is also an interesting tidbit about how she attracts men and doesn't even realize it. This part of the story establishes many key points in the plot that I simply can't reveal here. Needless to say Katie's development as a character is far more interesting than the thrills, or lack thereof, that are present in this film. More emphasis should've been placed on the characters and not on what might scare us.

    I must give major kudos to Katie Holmes for conveying all the emotions necessary to establish Katie Burke as a very interesting character. Katie Holmes proves that she can carry a film all on her own. Holmes usually turns in adequate performances in supporting roles such as in Wonder Boys and The Gift. In this film everything is on her shoulders and she comes out of it on top. A crucial scene during her job interview for the law firm is not just a statement of power for the character, but for Katie Holmes as well. The scene shows us that Katie Holmes is ready to play a WOMAN and is prepared to leave the fickle role of Dawson's Creek's Joey Potter behind. She carries herself so well during this film it makes you wonder what she can really do in a movie that has a better focus. Another asset that Katie brings to the role is a nice mix of naivety and sex appeal. Katie Holmes has a look of pure innocence but she carries herself with a sex appeal beyond her years. This works for the character during several key scenes. After Dawson Creek comes to an end this year Katie will be one of the few to have a flourishing movie career once the Creek dries up. The cast members should get in touch with her agent.

    > Benjamin Bratt is stuck in a thankless supporting role that isn't much of a challenge for the actor. This is essentially the same part he played on Law & Order and in Miss Congeniality. I heard that he displayed a great deal of range in the critically acclaimed Pinero so maybe he should focus more on leading roles instead of throwaway supporting roles. I will say that I did buy the relationship between he and Katie that developed during the film. Some critics found it unbelievable but for this story I felt that it worked on a certain level.



    Charlie Hunnam has a very difficult task of making Embry an interesting character. Since Embry is only shown through flashbacks and his few "return" encounters with Katie it must've been really hard for him convey the emotions necessary to make Embry the eccentric character that everyone describes him as. Hunnam is quite adequate in his few scenes. He does a good job of making Embry into a very spoiled and eccentric personality but there is something about this that hurts his character development. Half the flashbacks show him as a pampas asshole. The entire time they were trying to figure out if Embry just left town or if he was dead I really could care less. When a character is mostly unlikable it's very hard to care about what dastardly deed was committed against them.

    Supporting performances from Gabrielle Union, and particularly Zooey Deschanel are quite good. Deschanel provides the film with much needed comic relief. When the film begins to lag she brings it back up with a very sharp delivery of some funny lines.

    I guess the most disappointing thing about this film is that Stephen Gaghan's directorial debut is flawed, mainly because of his very own direction. There is a more compelling story to be told here and I think if he would've explored it more this film could've been much better. His script lays down the foundation for some great ideas but his direction doesn't allow them to shine through. He did some great work with the complex Traffic screenplay, creating interesting characters and interesting circumstances for them to fall back on. This is what makes this muddled effort a minor letdown. While watching a making of feature on the DVD I learned that he had never even picked up a camera to record anything as he was growing up. Maybe some more experience could've helped him as he was making this picture.



    Technically the film is almost a masterpiece. The cinematography paints a very moody and effective atmosphere for the film. The cinematographer also did work on Requiem for a Dream and some of the brilliant work he did on that film is evident here. The use of beautifully lit backgrounds and scenery paint a perfect portrait for the flashback scenes and his use of dark blues and muddy greens provide set the mood for the darker themes of the story. For instance, there is a scene where Katie first sees Embry's return in a room that consists of a strobe light. The scene is so well done that it's one of the scenes that generates any tension. It's a scene that proves that atmosphere is key. The music, which was composed by another Requiem for a Dream team member, is also great. The score supplies a unique voice for the main character and almost serves as a way to get into her mind. There is a scene where Katie ventures back to Embry's country house for the first time since his disappearance and the scores soft yet moody use of the piano during this scene is enough to convey the emotions that the character is feeling.

    I also was a bit hard on the film's ending when I first reviewed it but upon second viewing I think it actually works. It is a bit cliché but the acting throughout this sequence makes it bearable.

    I recommend Abandon only if you're willing to accept the film for what it is: a character study that is light on the thrills. If you're going in expecting something that's going to keep you glued to your seat in fear then you may be disappointed.

    B-
  • The surprise ending and the amazing supporting cast could not save this movie. For starters, the movie was promoted as a Katie Holmes thriller. The movie does have several moments of thrilling, on the edge of your seat moments with terrific direction to make the movie a good (almost horror like) movie. Still, the movie drags ans drags and drags that you don't care what happens to any of the characters or whether or not the mystery is solved. Katie Holmes tries, but fails to carry the movie. Even though with strong supporting roles from Fred Ward and Benjamin Bratt, Katie Holme's eye candy only goes so far until you begin to lose interest. The love scene between Bratt and Holmes was not only sad but not believable. The thirteen year old age difference could have had something to do with that. Also, you don't see much during the love scene accept for some close ups and the post-sex scene. The transitions between scenes do nothing to keep the audience drawn in to the film's conclusion. With that, nobody is left to see the end of the film because they have fallen asleep somewhere in the middle.
  • I went with my younger sister for the sole purpose to see the lovely Katie Holmes. I didn't expect much. But trash, the movie was not. I was very impressed with the story, the acting, the Hitchcock-like suspense, and the turn that occurred at the end. My favorite part was the library scene with the eyes behind the bookshelf. A big stepping-stone for Katie Holmes, who I think will continue to get starring roles and turn into a Natalie Wood like star. She is both beautiful and a good actress. This film is definitely a renter, and should have been better accepted when it was released, critic-wise and box office-wise. *** out of ****. Watch it and enjoy.
  • Abandon is a very average movie. It's nothing that's going to blow the viewer away, but it's not a terrible movie either. Katie Holmes does a good job playing Katie Burke a student nearing the end of college, trying to get her thesis done and land a good job. The movie focuses on the investigation by Wade Handler (Bratt) into the disappearance of Katie's boyfriend two years earlier. Although the film had some good twists and wasn't really predictable, most of the characters other than Katie Burke came off as kind of flat and boring. Embry Larkin played by Charlie Hunnam as Katie's ex-boyfriend was made out to be a wonderful, highly talented genius, but he didn't seem anything special to me. I didn't think Wade Handler, the police officer investigating the disappearance, came across as an very interesting character either. Overall, I'd say that this is an all right movie, but I'd only watch it if nothing else better was available.
  • Caught this on cable last night and I liked it. I thought Katie Holmes did extremely well with a very tricky role, and I thought there were a lot of well written exchanges between the characters, excellent atmospheric touches, and enough psychological ambiguity to allow me to figure out what was really going on before the ending, but this didn't make the film predictable - it made it clever. And the title is a good one - extremely telling, a clue in itself. Of course, it's not a perfect film by any stretch; there's too much stuff that really doesn't need to be in the movie but I still give it a 6 (my IMDb equivalent of *** - a decent premise, decently executed).
  • oddjob9914 October 2002
    I wasn't sure what to think of this film during the first hour. I thought it was unfocused and a bit confusing at first. But sit through this one, once you get to the end, you will see there is a reason for the unfocused quality of the film. I will not say anymore about the story than that. Katie Holmes is fantastic in this film, I will watch her movie career with interest. Her acting is somewhat reminiscent of Ashley Judd, but not completely. It may seem to some people that this film is slowly paced, but stick with it. It's worth it. 8/10
  • mostly i found this movie non-believable,pointless and confusing.i didn't find it really predictable,but most people probably will.the acting was OK,but not great.Zooey Deschanel was the only bright spot,in my opinion.Benjamin Bratt appeared in the movie and was adequate.Katie Holmes was supposed to be the star,i think.i found her sub par,as usual.i don't really like her that much,and have yet to see he in a good movie.or rather i have yet to see her put in a good performance in a movie.the ending was something most people will probably see coming a mile away.it's not something i predicted,but it wasn't surprising either.my vote for Abandon is a 4/10
  • I thought this movie was great! I'm surprised I never saw it, as I love Gabriel Mann, Katie Holmes, Zoey Deschancel, etc.

    This movie has a 4.9 right now and I can't believe that. It is more artsy than perhaps people were ready for back when it came out, but now I think it's a really great movie. "Slow" maybe but not more than a hundred films in the 2000s and 2010s that got much higher ratings. It's not horribly confusing either, although you do get to think during it to figure out what you think is going on. It's pretty good.

    I give this a 7.5.
  • oboigh22 May 2003
    2/10
    Time
    I want the 98 wasted minutes I spent on this flick back! Thank God cutie Charlie Hunnam was in it or I would have fallen asleep! I also thought there must have been some key scenes cut to make this film more compelling but even the deleted scenes from the DVD didn't help makes this mess into a watchable flick. Ben Bratt--you quit Law and Order for this? As Gomer Pyle used to say---SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!
  • When I went to see this movie with my husband, I honestly was expecting something more interesting and, well I guess scary. I was utterly disappointed. It is a somewhat interesting movie and I would recommend it for a boring night when you have nothing better to do. This is more of a rental movie.
  • PredragReviews15 September 2016
    "Abandon" plays out like a B-movie, but a very good one at that. It's not as polished as most Hollywood fare; it's gritty and dark, and I think this does the film a huge service (thought I was gonna say 'disservice' didn't you). 'Abandon' is at moments chilling and this is thanks in large part to Holmes performance. Katie has always had potential but it wasn't until just before she went cuckoo for Tom Cruise that she actually began to tap into it. The rest of the cast does a fine job as well. Benjamin Bratt does his best to stand out but doesn't fare so well. His scenes are smothered with Katie's commanding presence. Zooey Daschanel is funny and witty as Katie's friend Samantha and the beautiful Gabriel Union delivers as Amanda (although I really wish she had more screen time). The ending was great and left you in a state where you knew that there had to be a sequel.

    Stephen Gaghan's script is tightly woven and, while not exactly mind blowing and or original it manages to strike fresh blood; creeping us out as well as making us think. The only problem with "Abandon" is how it is a little slow at the beginning, and the scene when they are drunk or high at a party, I felt that that scene was a little too much. The film follows a very dark and ominous tone, everything done in dark color schemes, voice's low and images grainy, and that adds to the mystery bound to be unlocked. So, all in all, if you don't mind that the story develops very slowly, and that some things don't add up, then you might like this film!

    Overall rating: 7 out of 10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'd been putting this DVD on the bottom of my "to see" list at the library for a few weeks: I'm no fan of Bratt nor Holmes but I like Drama, and a critic who's usually worthwhile had some positive comments on the cover. And I was out of other movies to take a chance on.

    Wow. How is it possible for respected writer like Gaghan to direct a "thriller" with UTTERLY no suspense? Compare this to Michael Mann's Insider where he takes what could have quickly degenerated into a dry plowing-through of mounds of legal-scientific documents and turned it into an EXCITING DRAMA. Maybe after writing the very successful Traffic Gaghan had an automatic Green Light for whatever he wanted to do, so he hauled this script out of his own slush pile.

    Actually the final twist itself was pretty good. (But then failing to see twists coming is my weak spot, or perhaps strength.) But that's a skill some directors have in spades: building suspense. It's certainly not Gaghan's forte.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, this time-waster is quite obtuse in its intelligence. The characters wander around seemingly with no direction or idea what they are doing or where they are going...which is nowhere with THIS script.

    The screenplay attempted to be clever and edgy, but it failed miserably and while the characters were somewhat interesting, regardless of their inability to keep a single coherent thought, they were about as deep as the bowl of a spoon.

    Only after the entire first half of the movie, does it become even remotely interesting, and then...it stops being interesting and borders on pure drivel. The acting, instead of being dramatic, tense, fresh, edgy or even remotely scary, grows infantile and even campy.

    I liked Benjamin Bratt, and I like most of what he has done, but even he doesn't redeem this "work." He couldn't possibly with the putrid direction he was given.

    This is probably one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It is highly overrated, as if the cloned sheep of the world believed the hype on the box as a "...spellbinding psychological thriller with ingenious plot twists that will keep you guessing until its electrifying conclusion..." That could not be less correct! By the boring end, I didn't CARE who did what to whom, or for how many cookies!

    It was unintelligent to the point of insulting the audience! The box also claims that this movie has "... pulse pounding suspense and riveting performances ..." If that isn't intentionally misleading, nothing is. This "movie" was anything BUT suspenseful and riveting.

    There was one bright and shining performance in this cast (besides Benjamin Bratt). They were Melanie Lynskey (Stephen King's Rose Red, Coyote Ugly, Detroit Rock City, among many others) as Mousy Julie. She was a rose on the screen.

    Again, the directing was atrocious! I mean it stank UP the place! The horrid use (and over use) of strobe lighting was obnoxious and just wrong, the camera angles and flash-backs and flash-forwards were distracting and demonstrated a lack of maturity, art, and any sense of style.

    About the "twists" it promises? They were so predictable that we had it figured out about 1/3 of the way through the movie. So completely not any fun to watch.

    Extremely disappointing.

    It gets a 0.0/10 from...

    the Fiend :.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *WARNING, SPOILERS BELOW!*

    Okay, I'm not going to outline the plot for you here, because I assume that if you're reading this, you probably already know what "Abandon" is about.

    That being said, I try not to be completely mean when commenting on a movie, because usually there's always some good point, no matter how small. So that's where I'm going to start, with the "good" stuff.



    The Good:

    • Nice cinematography. I thought that the scenes were well shot.


    • Charlie Hunnam is quite good looking.


    • Benjamin Bratt did the best he could with the script given.


    ...and I'm coming up short on anymore good points.



    Now, for the bad:

    • Through out the movie I found myself watching in astonishment, not because the story captivated me, but because I really couldn't believe what I was seeing. The characters actions and reactions were so grossly inappropriate that it defied logic.


    • The pacing was a bit slow for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a nice leisurely little movie, but at times it felt like this was just going through mud in terms of its slowness.


    • Very sparse character background information. Sure we know that Katie grew up in a little town and her father left as a child, and we know that Embry was a rich orphan, but aside from that, they give us little else to go on. How can we be expected to feel for characters when we hardly know them? I mean, why did Katie's father leave? Who raised Embry once his parents died? I could go on with more questions, but it's of no use, because they'll never be answered.


    • The "twist" ending was not much of a twist at all. Someone else watched the first 20 minutes of the movie with me, and before they left due to boredom, they said to me, "I bet she killed him". I mean seriously, they were able to deduce this by only watching the FIRST 20 MINUTES! That should tell you something right there. And as for the other half of the twist, the part where we realize she was just imagining Embry coming back to her, that wasn't very shocking at all. That same basic idea was used much much MUCH better in "A Beautiful Mind" and "Fight Club".




    Going back to my first complaint, I really felt that the characters did things that made no sense at all. The roommate Samantha was one of the worst offenders. Zooey Deschanel did a fine job in her portrayal, but the character itself was just, for lack of a better term, mentally deficient. Maybe I'm off the mark with this, but I felt that she acted as though she was hepped up on some kind of drugs. At one point her actions seemed so seriously bizarre that I wondered why they even included it into the movie. The scene I'm referring to is when she talked to the cop and inexplicably invited him up for a drink! There were also several other moments where Samantha seemed not quite right to me.

    And Katie. Okay, I'll buy the whole abandonment issues thing with her, but didn't it seem a little strange that supposedly before Embry she was a virgin, and yet the first moment they are alone she willingly hit the sheets with him? I don't say this to be a prude or anything, I say it because I couldn't believe a girl without prior experience would just give it up to a guy she hardly knew, especially a girl who seemed as intelligent as her.

    Also, I take issue with something else that happens in the aforementioned sex scene. Embry casually throws her books out the window...and she appears to have NO problem with it! Now I don't know about you, but if a guy cockily threw anything of mine out a window, I'd be kicking him where it counts so fast his head would spin, not boinking him! It made NO sense to me at all.



    Basically, there was a lot more bad than good in "Abandon". There were so many things that just seemed illogical and confusing to me. Like why didn't Katie remember killing Embry? Had she blocked it out? What compelled Embry to act like such a jerk in the first place (and don't give me the rich kid excuse)? That whole bit with Wade, the cop, at that meeting where he talked about hitting something with his car...was it a person he hit, or just an animal? I know it's supposed to be implied that it was in fact a person, but if that were the case, how is he now a police officer? If you commit an offense such as vehicular homicide, wouldn't that bar you from joining the force?

    I have many more questions besides those above, but it would take too much of my time and the site's space to list them all.

    So, if you want to take a chance, then go ahead, watch this movie. But if you'd rather spare yourself, just pass on it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The protagonist of the film is Katherine "Katie" Burke, a hotshot financial consultant with a mysterious past. The strength of "Abandon" is the rich detail in the characters and the carefully crafted screenplay. There was a fascinating variety of interesting roles drawn with care. This includes such secondary characters as Katie's best friend, Samantha "Bad Sam" Harper, who do not even figure prominently in the main narrative.

    As the film progresses, it becomes clear that nearly everyone loves Katie Burke! From her past, there is Embry Larkin, the charismatic performance artist whom Katie calls "an arrogant, preening bore," who had suddenly disappeared after his graduation. Then, there is the kind cop named Wade Handler, who simply cannot resist Katie after she tells him he has "kind eyes." There is the tag-along, tree-hugging environmentalist, Harrison "Harry" Hobart, who has been infatuated with Katie for years and finally girds himself to declaring his love. There is Bob Hanson, the employer and work supervisor from her first job with the distinguished financial firm of McKisson. Finally, there is Dr. Jack, the psychiatrist who can't keep his hands off Katie. The little librarian, "Mousie Julie," has the distinction of speaking the best line in the film: "Guys are drawn to her (Katie) like bugs to a bug lamp."

    The film unfolds a suspenseful storyline around Queen Bee Katie Burke. The audience is kept guessing and the film pulls out all of the stops with a surprise ending. One of the most interesting details in the script was the background on Katie's relationship with her father.

    The film was loosely adapted from the novel "Adam's Eyes" by Sean Desmond. The novel was primarily a ghost story set in a haunted dormitory of Harvard University. Writer-director Stephen Gaghan, noted for the brilliant screenplay for the Academy-award-winning "Traffic," completely revised the novel into a much stronger thriller based the multi-dimensional protagonist played effectively by Katie Holmes. The work on editing and the camera angles added to the tension. Benjamin Bratt is also memorable as the sensitive, bookish cop.

    The Wikipedia article on "Abandon" refers to the film as a "fiasco." Although it was not a box office hit in 2002, twenty years later, it is apparent that the film is superior to today's run-of-mill potboilers. This was a carefully crafted film with enough suspense to fill a pond in a nearby abandoned dormitory full of mystery and lead the audience into the darkest caverns of the human mind.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film seems to have everything going for it, whilst nothing at the same time. A great cast including Charlie Hunham, Zooey Deschanel, Gabrielle Union and Katie Holmes as the protagonist, what could go wrong? It seems a lot, the film seems to not know what it wants to be - we know Hunhams character has gone missing but the film reveals barely anything about him other than he dated Holmes' character - so as the viewer, it's a struggle to care about what's going on. Holmes develops a very forced relationship with a police officer that is out of character and completely random - adding nothing to the plot or suspense of the movie. Speaking of suspense this film has barely any, it's way too slow to be a thriller then when the film does start to get intense it's meaningless and predictable. Holmes gives a reasonably good performance but she's given nothing of substance to work with. The ending is very anti-climactic after the film previously was already slow. I wanted to like it and I feel it could've been great if handled differently - but it's just not.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Intense, dark and desperate. Katie(Katie Holmes)is a college student that has about reached her stress level trying to finish her thesis while competing with her friends for job interviews to enter the corporate world. There is one other thing...Katie is haunted by illusions of her extravagant well-to-do ex-boyfriend Embry(Charlie Hunnam) who's been missing for two years. Things become very tense and more complicated when a reluctant detective(Benjamin Bratt)reopens the missing person's case. This sleeper almost gets the best of you; but right before nodding off...the finale explains everything. Drug and alcohol scenes plus some mild sexuality and violence earn the PG13 rating.

    Most of the interest is the young Holmes, who seems to beg for your protection. Bratt could have phoned this one in. Zooey Daschanel is very noticeable as the 'anything goes' collage girl. Also in the cast: Fred Ward, Melanie Lynskey, Gabriel Mann and Gillian Ferrabee.
  • Detective Wade Handler (Benjamin Bratt) is assigned to investigate the disappearance of the millionaire Embry Larkin (Charlie Hunnam), who vanished two years ago. Wade looks for Embry's former girlfriend, Katie Burke (Katie Holmes), in the campus of their university. Katie is under pressure, completing her thesis, disputing a job in a reputable and prestigious company and having sessions with her psychiatric, Dr. David Schaffer (Tony Goldwyn). Katie misses Embry, since she has no family, but she feels a great attraction for Detective Wade. During the investigation, Embry returns without any explanation and her colleague Harrison Hobart (Gabriel Mann) that has a crush on her disappears. Katie believes that Embry is the responsible and tells to Wade. But nobody can find Embry.

    "Abandon" is a predictable and forgettable low-budget movie. The storyline is interesting but the screenplay is boring and deserved to be improved. It is not difficult to foresee the plot when Embry returns. The conclusion is excellent. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "Sem Pistas" ("Without Tracks")

    Note: On 25 November 2015, I saw this movie again.
  • I liked this movie. It portrayed teenagers and college students in a far more subdued manner than normal and didn't animate any characters to the point of stupidity (IE Stifler is not in this movie and no one 'does it' with a dog covered in wedding cake). Almost everyone in is disconnected in some way and have feelings that do not show. It's a character driven movie that works thanks to delicate acting and atmospheric direction. I found the strobing scene to be particularly interesting, especially in retrospect now that I know the (pretty surprising) plot twist.

    Katie Holmes, though not remarkable, gives her role enough life to make the movie work but still cannot separate from her Dawson's Creek part. Only as the movie draws to a close does she really provoke any emotion from the audience. It's a difficult character to play but she just about makes it.

    The script is pretty weak but it's delivered in a deliberately empty way. We almost feel abandoned watching it. The movie is sparsely populated and makes us feel alone. It creates an interesting atmosphere that is the movie's saving grace. Without this edge it would be a waste of time. It's worth a rent, but only for viewing alone.

    The DVD has Audio commentary by Director / Writer Stephan Gaghan and Cinematographer Matthew Libatique, brief documentary, Deleted scenes with Director's commentary and a trailer. It is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and is in Dolby 5.1.
  • This movie is about a girl whose dad leaves her mother and her broke, and the pain of losing daddy just never goes away. The problem is that the pain is passed on to those who view this rather pitiful movie.

    They say that this is a thriller, but it lacks suspense, drama, cohesion and anything that would send the slightest thrill. The acting was sub par, the music was horrible and I had to fight to stay awake in the film. Another 5 minutes and I was going to take the DVD out.

    Do yourself a favor and abandon the notion of renting this movie. You will be glad you did.

    -- DP.
  • I had been looking forward to seeing what Katie Holmes really was made of, but to be honest I was very chocked. If that's her best performance she should find herself another job.

    About 30 some minutes in the movie, I had seen the plot. The suspense was purely build.

    Considering the director, Stephen Gaghan, the movie should have been much better.

    Well that's my two cents. :o)
  • The movie is really slow as you can see on my summary. It's not interesting until there's only 15 minutes to go, and then it just ends. Although Katie is doing some nice acting, the script was too easy to guess how it would end. They should have picked another character for murderer, like the psychologist or something. Really bad movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Warning, this review reveals the outcome. Please do not read it if you have not seen this movie. This film is much better than the reviews indicate but one has to deal with a subtle conclusion. We seem to have trouble with ambiguity in film narratives. Further, the point-of-view at the end of the film is like that of a modernist novel. I appreciate criticisms of "Abandon" but I think it deserves to be what it is.

    "Abandon" never lacks focus. If you follow closely, you read a coherent narrative. Katie Holmes' performance is the core of the narrative but fine production qualities, direction, and attention to details are also important. There are lapses, perhaps, though I will have to watch it again to know this. This is a quick review. The film deserves better.The clue is to hide as the victim even if you are not.
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