Brian De Palma has created such absorbing films as Redacted, The Black Dahlia, Femme Fatale, Mission: Impossible, Carlito's Way, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Casualties of War, The Untouchables, Wise Guys, Scarface, Blow Out among others and is usually a dependable craftsman of tightly woven movies that explore the mind of crime. So why is this film such a mess? Perhaps it is his re-writing of Natalie Carter and Alain Corneau's fine French film "Crime d'amour" with Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier that is at fault or the strange casting of Rachel McAdams and Noomi Repace (both usually fine actresses) in the lead roles, but whatever happened it makes for a very non-De Palma movie - and a thudding predictable bore at that.
Ruthless executive Christine (Rachel McAdams) brings on Isabelle (Noomi Repace) as her assistant, and she takes delight in toying with the young woman's innocence. But when the protégé's ideas become tempting enough for Christine to pass on as her own, she underestimates Isabelle's ambition and cunning -- and the ground is set for all out war. The use of the now infamous spying cameras and computer manipulations are stale, as is complicating the story with a love triangle with the drunken Dirk (Paul Anderson) and a vying for same sex attraction among the two women and Isabelle's protégé Dani (Karoline Herfurth). The clues to the silly crimes committed are offered in the first part of the film only to resurrect in the end in a vapid conclusion. Professional women who care about their perception as leaders will be appalled by this flimsy, thoughtless, poorly paced tale of humiliation and revenge and murder. Strange because McAdams and Repace are usually so fine when they have good material. Grady Harp, August 13