Gothika | Chicago Reader

Gothika

Halle Berry plays a psychiatrist specializing in the criminally insane who finds herself incarcerated for an act of criminal insanity in this dopey, violent horror thriller. Director Mathieu Kassovitz and screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez are so bent on keeping spectators glued to their seats that they don't mind violating plot or character credibility, a tendency already evident in the opening sequence when Penelope Cruz, as one of Berry's patients, shifts gears emotionally right in the middle of a monologue. The movie seems equally inclined to natural and supernatural solutions for its mysteries (apparently whichever is closer to hand), and the natural ones are almost as outlandish as the supernatural ones. Robert Downey Jr. supposedly costars, but the dominance of Berry's action sequences reduces him to a prop. R, 95 min.

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