The Deep End is an okay enough movie, mainly due to the style of the film, very reminiscent of the film noirs of the 1950's. The film comes off looking very professional due to the great cinematography of Giles Nuttgens, a hypnotic score by Peter Nashel, and the very fine performances of Tilda Swinton, Jonathan Tucker, and Josh Lucas. Unfortunately for Goran Visnjic and Raymond Barry, their characters were fairly non-sensical and as a consequence I don't think Visnjic had much to work with.
Despite the fine intentions of David Siegel and Scott McGehee to create a modern film noir, the film ultimately fails miserably due to a ridiculous storyline, which no matter how attractive the style, cinematography, and acting may be, a good movie still needs at least a plot that makes a little sense and in which the audience can at least find the motivations and acts of characters as consistent or believable.
There is no rational reason other than stupidity for the Swinton character to cover up an accidental death as if it were a murder, or even manslaughter. She doesn't bother to confront her son, who would have been the main suspect, even though it is quite obvious he doesn't have a clue as to what has occurred. The Visnjic character turns out to be a blackmailer with a heart of gold, which again seems incredulous since blackmailers in film noir are usually incorrigible scum of the earth. The Nagle better fits the mold of a traditional blackmailer, except for the fact that he comes across as a complete idiot, using violence for no rational reason that can be discerned by the audience and incompetently at that. Finally, at the end of the film the Swinton and Visnjic characters declare a platonic love for one another, and I say platonic since the film seems to imply that the Visnjic and Barry characters were lovers.
The film tries to express a kind of loneliness and sexual repression/vulnerability of the Swinton character, but one does not get that feeling watching Swinton perform. One simply sees strong women deeply devoted to her family and leading a fairly full life. To suddenly attempt to suggest otherwise is another example of how the film comes across as inconsistent in the presentation of its characters.
The movie is not a complete waste of time, but since there are so many better films to see, I would not recommend it except for the most serious film buff.