(director/writer: Adam Cooper; screenwriters: Bill Collage, based on the novel The Book of Mirrors by E. O. Chirovici; cinematographer: Ben Nott; editor: Matt Villa; music: David Hirschfelder; cast: Russell Crowe (Roy Freeman), Karen Gillan (Laura Baines), Marton Csokas (Joseph Wejeda), Pacharo Mzembe (Isaac Samuel), Thomas M. Wright (Wayne Devereaux, janitor), Harry Greenwood (Richard Finn), Tommy Flanagan (Jimmy Remis); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Deborah Glover, Pouya Shahbazian, Bill Collage, Henry Winterstern, Arun Kumar, Mark Fasano, Adam Cooper; The Avenue; 2024-Australia/USA)

“Forgettable even if you don’t have dementia.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A slow paced, laborious and dull crime drama about a murder case that’s been questionably resolved and is reopened because of new evidence. It’s helmed by the first timer Adam Cooper, who asks if you should allow sleeping dogs to lie. The film is based on the 2017 novel The Book of Mirrors by E. O. Chirovici, and is co-scripted by writers Cooper and Bill Collage. The story is handicapped by a ridiculous story, undeveloped characters, clunky dialogue and too many heavy-handed contrivances

Retired homicide detective Roy Freeman (Russell Crowe) looks is sporting a white beard and a shaved head with medical implants in his scalp. He was fired several years ago after charged with drunk driving. Years later he’s undergoing experimental medical treatment for loss of memory due to Alzheimer’s.

At this time, new evidence over a love triangle murder case is reported, one in which Roy was the lead detective investigator. It involved a mysterious academic femme fatale (Karen Gillan) and a deceased writer, the former assistant of the vic (Harry Greenwood), who are both implicated in the murder through a paper the assistant wrote. Thereby Roy and his retired partner Jimmy Remis (Tommy Flanagan) are forced by the Clean Hands advocacy group innocence project to re-open the ten-year-old case they investigated regarding the murder of the noted college professor Joseph Wieder (Marton Csokas). 

The detectives are accused by the death row convicted murderer, Isaac Samuel (Pacharo Mzembe), of tricking him into confessing when he’s innocent.

I found no one is innocent in this absurd crime drama.

The story is forgettable even if you don’t have dementia.