The Gift (2000)
When a local woman goes missing in a small country town, a widower with a gift to do psychic readings has a vision of where the woman died. When the woman is found drowned in a pond belonging to a notorious wife beater, he is put on trial for the murder. However, it isn’t long before the seer is convinced that the killer is someone else still loose in the town.
The Gift was made by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider-man, Drag Me to Hell) about 15 years ago and definately feels like a crime movie from the 90s. It is chock full of stars that were just launching their careers at the time such as Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves, Kate Holmes, Giovanni Ribisi, Greg Kinnear, and Hilary Swank. Other notable actors in this film include J.K. Simmons, Chelcie Ross and Gary Cole who are all recognizable today. The atmosphere, story, and overall feel of the film is similar in every way to many other crime stories told at this time such as Just Cause, Stir of Echos, and What Lies Beneath. If you like these kind of stories, you will enjoy this without a doubt.
As far as a movie goes, The Gift is well told and decent to follow, however, I think watching this movie 15 years after it came out has made me numb to the twists it produces. It almost feels like a “been there, done that” movie because I knew what was coming and how it was going to play out. I was glad to be watching so many huge stars in one movie, but I feel that Cate Blanchett plays a role that she would never touch nowadays. I’m not saying that is bad, it just doesn’t showcase her talents very well.
All in all, you know if you are the type of person who will enjoy this kind of movie. It has murder, deception, tension, suspense, and a typical story full of clichés and predictable moments. Could this be a product of me seeing it 15 years later? Maybe, but it could also be a product of me seeing a lot of films just like this and I won’t fault it for that. If you do end up seeing this, don’t expect greatness but expect an interesting and entertaining movie. Co-starring Kim Dickens and Michael Jeter.
6/10 Stars – It didn’t impress me with its cliché twists, but overall, it fits in well with a genre and time period that had many of these kinds of films.