Taking Lives

March 19th, 2004


Taking Lives

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Still of Angelina Jolie in Taking LivesStill of Angelina Jolie in Taking LivesStill of Olivier Martinez in Taking LivesStill of Ethan Hawke and Angelina Jolie in Taking LivesStill of Ethan Hawke and Kiefer Sutherland in Taking LivesStill of Ethan Hawke in Taking Lives

An FBI profiler is called in by French Canadian police to catch a serial killer who takes on the identity of each new victim.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 5.9/10 (35,993 voted)

Critic's Score: 38/100

Director: D.J. Caruso

Stars: Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Kiefer Sutherland

The film starts in the early 1980s.Young Martin Asher took a bus for Canada.He meets another teen on the bus Matt Soulsby.When the bus broke they decided to rent a car and drive to Seattle.On the road the car gets a flat tire,and Matt starts changing the tire Martin comments on how he and Matt are about the same height and he quickly pushes Matt in the way of an oncoming truck causing a huge accident where Matt and the driver both die.He took Matt's guitar and left singing like Matt did. Twenty years later,a FBI profiler,Illeana Scott comes to Canada to help hunting down a serial killer Martin Asher who killed multiple men and lived by their identities.Martin's mother claims that she saw Martin in Quebec city and she tells the police that Martin is evil. The police also has an eyewitness James Costa who saw Asher kill his last victim...

Writers: Michael Pye, Jon Bokenkamp

Angelina Jolie - Illeana
Ethan Hawke - Costa
Kiefer Sutherland - Hart
Gena Rowlands - Mrs. Asher
Olivier Martinez - Paquette
Tchéky Karyo - Leclair
Jean-Hugues Anglade - Duval
Paul Dano - Young Asher
Justin Chatwin - Matt Soulsby
André Lacoste - Cashier
Billy Two Rivers - Car Salesman
Richard Lemire - Québec City Cop
Julien Poulin - Québec City Inspector
Marie-Josée Croze - Medical Examiner
Christian Tessier - Interrogation Officer

Taglines: He Would Kill To Be You.


Official Website: Warner Bros [France] | Warner Bros. |

Release Date: 19 March 2004

Filming Locations: Chemin du Lac, Knowlton's Landing, Québec, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $11,458,465 (USA) (21 March 2004) (2705 Screens)

Gross: $65,470,529 (Worldwide) (29 August 2004)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (unrated version)

Did You Know?

Screenwriters Nicholas Kazan, Hillary Seitz and David Ayer worked on revisions for Jon Bokenkamp's script.

Continuity: After colliding with Matt, the grill on the Suburban truck is broken. In the next shot, the truck is launched and spiraling in the air the grill is intact.

[first lines]
Cashier: Where are you going?

User Review

undistinguished thriller

Rating: 4/10

"Taking Lives" is a standard-issue, run-of-the-mill thriller about a serial killer and the FBI agent determined to capture him. When bodies start piling up in the Montreal area, the agent - an expert in serial killer profiling - is brought in to assist the local authorities in finding the culprit. The perpetrator's modus operandi is to target men roughly his own age and build, murder them in cold blood, then assume their identities. Once he grows tired of living their lives, he proceeds to his next victim. Ethan Hawke plays a man who's witnessed the most recent of the killings and who may now be next in line on the man's hit list.

"Taking Lives" sticks pretty much within the confines of its overworked genre. We have the disgruntled local cop who resents interference from a hotshot outsider; the prime suspect who turns out to be just another of the killer's many victims; and the double twist resolution which really isn't all that hard to see coming twenty minutes or so into the movie. Jolie gives her usual wooden performance as the FBI agent, barely managing to register a single convincing emotion throughout the course of the film. Hawke does his best with the material, though there really isn't much he can do with it apart from going through the motions, which he does reasonably well. Gena Rowlands and Keefer Sutherland are also on hand to lend their talents, but since their roles are fairly miniscule, they don't have much of a chance to display their wares as actors.

Although watchable, "Taking Lives" feels like a weak-spined, half-hearted effort in an already played-out genre. It is an instantly forgettable film.


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