The Jacket
2005
Accused of a heinous killing, a Persian Gulf War veteran suffering from amnesia realizes he must find a way to prove his innocence. Desperate to unearth clues about his past, he seeks a controversial treatment that allows him to go back in time.

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

[Spoilers!] Considering the wealth of story-telling possibilities they allow, it's a shame so many time-travel movies wind up with the same three or four plotlines. I'm sure that's due to the usual restrictions of making art this expensive, but it's no less disappointing when an idiosyncratic and sharply acted thriller like this succombs to the conventional necessities of its budget. Adrien Brody and a grunged-out Keira Knightley suggest the depth of their bond after an incident that neither can forget, and there's an urgency to their romance that most films are simply not able to muster. I even appreciated the firm sense of timing John Maybury was able to bring to the film from his music-video background, making the hallucinations trippy but not over-the-top, and inventing an end-credits animation so fascinating it gets its own explanatory bonus feature on the DVD. But these strengths are diluted by a deadened atmosphere, as if the film dreads its mandatory ending and is stalling for time until then. It's a mishmash with some uncommon qualities that I'd like to recommend, but on the whole it's too much of a long, limp letdown for me to do that.

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