After a brief career break following Kate & Leopold, Meg Ryan returns to the big screen in one of her very few...thrillers! In the Cut is a slick thriller with first rate performances and plot turns galore. Fans of the stars (especially Ryan and Mark Ruffalo) may object to seeing them in a dark movie like this, yet many should consider it one of the better thrillers on the rental shelf.
Ryan steps aside from her "sweet girl" routine to play Frannie, an English teacher and writer in a grim high school in Manhattan's lower side. Torn with teaching difficult teens and several loose ends of her own, her situation becomes even more tedious when she becomes involved romantically with a hunky detective hot on the trail of a serial killer. A witness to a dirty act seeming to involve the same perpetrator, she becomes compelled to risk her own safety and grows instantly flirtatious with not only him, but other men who come into the picture (she is a bit slutty, actually). But will her knowledge and bravery lead to the end of this sicko and the gruesome murders, which claimed the life of her best friend and possibly others to come?
This kind of story is awfully tough to take and could use some work in the storytelling department, though it certainly is compelling, nevertheless and is performed with expertise by the whole cast. The steamy sex scenes may be considered a highlight for some perverted viewers and reveal several full frontal nude shots of the leads...though only the unrated version on DVD contains most of this. Based on a novel and directed by Jane Campion, who appears in a cameo as a waitress. Nicole Kidman originally was going to play the lead, but decided to co-produce instead. Look for Kevin Bacon in an unbilled role.