Twisted Philip Kaufman

Twisted Philip Kaufman
At first glance, Twisted seems predictable. There are all the makings of a middle rate movie: the damsel in distress (Ashley Judd), the caring mentor (Samuel L. Jackson) and the wild card (Andy Garcia). Halfway through though things start to shift, as they always do, and the movie twists into a well laid out trip through the mind of an obsessive killer.

Ashley Judd tackles the role of a serial killer's daughter trying to make amends by becoming a police officer. Being mentored has brought her a promotion to Inspector and she appears to be well on her way to success. Her first case though will show that not everything seen is to be believed, and suspicion and doubt start to cloud the budding relationship between her and her new partner.

The first victim turns out to be a man she had a one-night stand with. When word gets out in the precinct, all eyes turn to Judd as the killer. Underneath that though lays a deeper problem: she is picking up strangers in bars and having sex with them. Apparently this isn't the type of behavior cops are supposed to exhibit, especially female cops. Not only does she have to deal with the stress of her first case where she knows the victim, she also has to deal with sly remarks in the station about her nighttime antics.

Brilliantly laid out with believable characters is a tough combination to find in movies. Strong female roles like Judd's are difficult to play because of the deeper commitment needed to pull it off effectively. She's playing a serial killer's daughter who may have homicidal tendencies of her own, but she's also playing a sexual woman who has needs and gets them fulfilled when and where she wants. The balancing act, although one that many women tackle every day, is great to see on the big screen. (Paramount)