Complete A-Z list

Perfect Stranger


Stars: Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Portnow

Director: James Foley

Halle Berry gets the chance both to wear a fabulous wardrobe and display some smart acting talent in this otherwise rather stodgy thriller that just about holds your attention until the (admittedly well-concealed) twist.

James Foley, though, can't supply the snappy brand of direction that's required. as Rowena (Berry), quitting her newspaper job after seeing a sensational scoop squashed by those in power, is further shocked by the bizarre murder of her childhood friend Grace (Nicki Aycox).

Knowing about Grace's liaison with ad exec Harrison Hill (Willis), Ro, with the help of techno-geek Miles (Ribisi), who has a crush on her, becomes determined to hack into the secrets of Hill's computer. Meanwhile, Ro's boyfriend (CSI's Gary Dourdan, with star billing but very little to do) turns out also to have 'known' Grace, as do others in the story.

Naturally, this is a film about concealment of intentions in which little is what it seems, but the development is on the slow side and its suspense scenes use timeworn techniques. Berry, though, is right on the money as Ro, and has never looked lovelier. Aycox is also excellent in her brief part, and appears worthy of lengthier leading roles.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Technicolor.
109 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 13 Apr 2007