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In the Shadow of the Moon - Film Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published October 26th 2019
How do you catch a killer who won't stay dead?
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In 1988, several people in Philadelphia suffer simultaneous fatal brain haemorrhages. Thomas Lockart, a police officer, wants to investigate, hoping that the case could be his ticket to becoming a detective. He notices that each of the victims have similar wounds on the back of their necks, suggesting they have been poisoned with some unknown substance. When he chases down the young, female suspect in a subway station, she is killed by a train. Everybody thinks that is the end of the matter until 9 years later the killings begin again. The police assume the latest killings to be the work of a copycat, but whoever it is has knowledge of the murders that were never made public. Lockart hopes to track down and stop the killer, but his obsession with the case takes a toll on his family.

In the Shadow of the Moon is an exciting sci-fi thriller directed by Jim Mickle, the director of the horror films Mulberry Street and Stakeland. It stars Boyd Holbrook (from Milk and Gone Girl) as Tom Lockart, and Cleopatra Coleman (who I remember from the Aussie kids' TV show Silversun, so weird to see her all grown up) as the assassin. Michael C. Hall (Dexter and Six Feet Under) plays Tom's brother-in-law, a senior detective.

While it sounds like a straightforward murder mystery, it becomes clear pretty early on that time travel is involved. The plot reminded me of Twelve Monkeys (both the 1995 movie and the 2015 television adaptation), which involves people using time travel to try and prevent a global catastrophe. There is nothing very new here in terms of the story, but it's well told, with great performances, and really captures the '80s vibe in the first third of the film.

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Cleopatra Coleman as the assassin.

I thought the protestors had an excellent point regarding the excessive use of force by Tom in the subway station, which made it a little hard to like him as a character, but he does eventually redeem himself.

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2006 Tom is a little the worse for wear, and looks like a white Jesus.

In the Shadow of the Moon is a dark, sci-fi thriller that is well worth watching. It began streaming on Netflix in September 2019.
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