Taking Lives (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Taking Lives (2004)



Critic Consensus: A stylish, but predictable thriller where the only thrills are offered by the sensuous Angelina Jolie.

Movie Info

A female detective on the trail of a psychotic killer discovers love in a dangerous time in this thriller, based on the novel by Michael Pye. Illeana Scott (Angelina Jolie) is a special agent with the FBI who has a reputation for using offbeat methods, but also boasts a strong record as a criminal profiler. Scott is called in by a former Quantico colleague (Tcheky Karyo) to assist two Canadian police detectives, Paquette (Olivier Martinez) and Duval (Jean-Hugues Anglade), who are on the trail of a serial killer who has been doing business in and around Montreal for close to two decades. The murderer has a history of assimilating many aspects of the lives of his victims after he kills them, but there's been a witness to his most recent crime. Art gallery owner James Costa (Ethan Hawke) saw the killer during an assault, and now finds himself working as an only marginally willing decoy for Scott. As Scott and Costa follow the killer's trail, they find themselves becoming attracted to one another, which is not necessarily a comfort to Scott as she finds her quarry moving closer and closer. Taking Lives also stars Kiefer Sutherland and Gena Rowlands. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: ,
Written By: Jon Bokenkamp, John Bokenkamp
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 17, 2004
Box Office: $32.6M
Warner Bros. - Official Site


Angelina Jolie
as Illeana Scott
Gena Rowlands
as Mrs. Asher
Tcheky Karyo
as Leclair
Paul Dano
as Young Asher
Justin Chatwin
as Matt Soulsby
Billy Two Rivers
as car salesman
Richard Lemire
as Québec city cop
Julien Poulin
as Québec city inspecto...
Marie-Josée Croze
as Medical Examiner
Christian Tessier
as Interrogation Office...
Brigitte Bedard
as French reporter
Alex Sol
as hotel manager
Shawn Roberts
as desk clerk
Martin Brisebois
as Henri Bisonnette
Nathalie Matteu
as Victim No. 2
Hugh Probyn
as Victim No. 3
Henry Pardo
as officer Mann
Henri Pardo
as Officer Mann
Judith Baribeau
as Mr. Costa's Assistan...
Anne Marineau
as woman in gallery
Eugenio "Kiko" Osori...
as Sandra & The Latin G...
Engenio Osorio
as Member of Sandra & T...
Jesus Alejandro Nino
as Member of Sandra & T...
Lisandro Martinez
as Member of Sandra & T...
Sandra Campanelli
as Member of Sandra & T...
Vince Grant
as Illeana's hotel mana...
Freddy Bessa
as Detective Roch
Andy Bradshaw
as officer Darabont
Steven Wallace Lowe
as Man at Moncton Stree...
Marcel Jeannin
as train man
Brett Watson
as Clive Morin
David Eisner
as committee head
Lois Dellar
as postal clerk
Paul Chatwin
as Soulsby, Justin
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Taking Lives

Critic Reviews for Taking Lives

All Critics (167) | Top Critics (41)

A couple of genuine thrills but not for kids.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Willfully stupid and obvious for most of its running time, this serial-killer thriller lulls the audience into one gasp-worthy, rug-pulling moment that, while stupid, isn't exactly obvious. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | May 20, 2009
Groucho Reviews

Could very well be mistaken for an Ashley Judd programmer.

Full Review… | December 29, 2008

A production which would rather scare its audience with gore than reel it in via a gripping whodunit.

Full Review… | April 25, 2007
Princeton Town Topics

The film's villain may take fictitious lives, but the film itself takes up real time that could be spent on better things.

November 2, 2006
Christianity Today

Taking Lives won't kill you, but it will steal precious hours you'll never have back.

Full Review… | May 4, 2005
Lessons of Darkness

Audience Reviews for Taking Lives


Angelina Jolie bringing the heat here as a FBI agent tracking down a clever serial killer. Its a by-the-numbers offering, the director DJ Caruso leading the audience shamelessly so that when the twist arrives its kinda tired as he's been hinting at it for over an hour. In the meantime, its Jolie that keeps your attention, those lips and all obscuring all thought otherwise. Ethan Hawke is okay, but only that.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A rash of films appeared in the late nineties and early aughts that had beautiful women facing down serial killers. Like Jolie's earlier "The Bone Collector" and the Sandra Bullock's "Murder by Numbers," "Taking Lives" follows a female law enforcement agent getting into the psyche of a killer. The entire film is thoughtless from beginning to end. They don't know the identity of this killer, or even if he actually exists, and yet they find his identity based on a tip from an elderly woman, which seems like an innocuous claim. The action is predictable, the twist isn't presented very well, there's really strange instances of adult content for no reason other than they needed nudity, our main character is completely one dimensional except that she's morbid, the ending is thoughtlessly horrible, and none of this film makes any sense. It's just really horribly done, all around. Nothing makes any sense, whatsoever, which is a serious problem, especially when the entire film revolves around the logic in solving a decade's long set of mysteries. Even as a time waster this is not a good choice, as its endless reign of immaturity will anger anyone who deems to watch it.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

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