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Suspect Zero (2004)



Average Rating: 4.4/10
Reviews Counted: 129
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 106

Other than Ben Kingsley, there's not much to like in this preposterous thriller.


Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 28

Other than Ben Kingsley, there's not much to like in this preposterous thriller.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 11,579

My Rating

Movie Info

Directed by E. Elias Merhige, Suspect Zero follows the disgraced FBI Agent Thomas Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart), who was transferred to a desolate area in Albuquerque, New Mexico as punishment for botching a procedure which ultimately led to the release of one of the most notorious criminals on the FBI's list. Mackelway is given an opportunity to redeem himself, however, when he is called in to investigate the strange murder of a traveling salesman. Mysteriously, the mark of a circle with a line


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Billy Ray, Zak Penn

Apr 12, 2005


Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (133) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (106) | DVD (23)

Slips on the banana peel of exaggerated fear factor, falling facedown with the introduction of an über-creep serial killer (Ben Kingsley) grimly stalking some hapless prey.

August 31, 2004 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] visually jarring, psychologically daring trip that explores terror in a fresh, if crazy, manner.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its junkiness shines through its posh patina. Exploitation is just no fun anymore, now that it's all so damn tasteful.

August 28, 2004 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A grisly, depraved and wholly uninvolving exercise in empty mannerism.

August 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Suspect Zero is that rare case of a dull idea redeemed by sharp talent.

August 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A violent, depressing and often ridiculous waste of time.

August 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Essentially an X-files episode that wishes it were as disturbing and visually arresting as David Fincher's Seven (it's not).

October 11, 2006
Christianity Today of those seemingly foolproof flicks that just doesn't work...

April 30, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

The self-consciously arty thriller is a sort of one-size-fits-all audience horror orgy, with an intriguing mix of fixations

November 2, 2004
Long Island Press

A poor man's 'Silence of the Lambs' crossed with 'Insomnia.' And that makes it at least a decent popcorn movie.

November 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Mercury
Las Vegas Mercury

The whole thing would have been over a lot quicker if they had only called in Mulder and Scully.

October 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Suspect Zero is trying so hard to be deliberately stylish that it forgets there's an interesting premise underneath all that vanity.

September 27, 2004 Full Review Source:

Merhige treats the laughable plot as if it were high existential drama. He smothers what might have been a solid B picture in relentless art-house pretension.

September 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)

The film is undeniably flawed, yet the things that work do so beautifully.

September 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

The mood is spooky, the murk ominous.

September 10, 2004 Full Review Source: PopMatters

...bogged down by stereotypical characters and haphazard direction.

September 4, 2004 Full Review
Talking Pictures (U.S.)

Another serial-killer mystery in which no one gets out alive, least of all its clueless leads.

September 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

Merhige gets plenty of mileage out of these visions and the creepy, metallic sound design and score, almost managing to snuff out the film's more ordinary attributes.

September 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The real drama of the story is pretty much background for a conventional thriller.

September 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Call it, Payoff Zero!

September 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals | Comment (1)
Cinema Signals

Suspect Zero hits the middle ground, with a modestly compelling storyline ...

September 2, 2004 Full Review
Atlantic City Weekly

In the end, Suspect Zero is more interesting as filmmaking than it is as a thriller.

September 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Is it a masterpiece or a bore?

September 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

What a mess. What in the world is this stupid miasma supposed to be?

September 1, 2004 Full Review
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Another in a long line of second-rate serial-killer flicks.

September 1, 2004
Fresno Bee

Dramatically, Zero is a fiasco, recklessly bouncing around logic and coherence like a pinball.

September 1, 2004 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Suspect Zero

Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Ben Kingsley, Carrie-Anne Moss, Harry Lennix, Kevin Chamberlin, Julian Reyes, Keith Campbell, Chloe Russell, Ellen Blake, William B. Johnson, Jerry Gardner, Daniel Patrick Moriarty

Director: E. Elias Merhige

Summary: A killer is on the loose, and FBI agent Thomas Mackelway is on the case, sifting through clues to uncover the criminal's identity. But there's one unusual twist: The bloodthirsty felon's victims of choice are other serial killers.

My Thoughts: "Although it was a new take on serial killing and one I thought was very interesting, the film just wasn't great. Far from it. There is no thrill in this thriller and it needed it. The casting is great, its the writing and directing that leaves something to be wanted. The idea of the film is unique but unfortunately it wasn't executed as well as it could and should have been. A miss that could have been a hit."
March 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

While Aaron Eckhart and Ben Kingsley bring great performances, it is not enough to overcome the sappy writing that includes the "I slept with my partner" sub plot that adds nothing to the story more than the cliche former lovers working together drama. Too much fiction in the science fiction part of this story does not help either.
December 18, 2010

Super Reviewer

Suspected it to be good but got a real ZERO for that. Surely worth a miss!!!
June 9, 2009

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Suspect Zero

    1. Benjamin O'Ryan: We were wired right into it. The five of us. Darkness, the pit itself, and no one ever taught us how to turn it off.We saw things men shouldn't see.
    – Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
    1. Icarus Trainer: Stay objective. do not identify with the victim.
    – Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
    1. Benjamin O'Ryan: Nobody's told me how to turn it off. And you're going to help me. Help me turn it off.
    – Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
    1. Thomas Mackelway: How do you find something you can't see?
    – Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
    1. Thomas Mackelway: You want me to see what you see.
    – Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
    1. Thomas Mackelway: There's an association here. You have a circle and a lidless eye that's always open. Seeing,seeing or making sure that we are seeing.
    – Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
View all quotes (6)

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