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While it's better than a fair number of other adultery-fueled stalker films, Fatale fails to generate as much heat as the superior erotic thrillers it evokes. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After a wild one-night stand, Derrick (Michael Ealy), a successful sports agent, watches his perfect life slowly disappear when he discovers that the sexy and mysterious woman he risked everything for, is a determined police detective (Hilary Swank) who entangles him in her latest investigation. As he tries desperately to put the pieces together, he falls deeper into her trap, risking his family, his career, and even his life. FATALE is a suspenseful and provocative psychological thriller and an unpredictable game of cat and mouse where one mistake can change your life.

Cast & Crew

Hilary Swank
Detective Valerie Quinlan
Danny Pino
Carter Haywood
Sam Daly
Officer Stallman
David Hoflin
Officer Lowe
Geoffrey Owens
Bill Cranepool
David Loughery
Screenwriter
Marc A. Hammer
Executive Producer
David Loughery
Executive Producer
Dante Spinotti
Cinematographer
Peck Prior
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Fatale

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (31)

Audience Reviews for Fatale

  • Jan 19, 2021
    Movies like Fatale are made more often than one might think. Being released primarily by Lionsgate, in normal circumstances, this film probably would've had a wide release in theatres. Yes, it had a theatrical run last month, but I think being on-demand is where it will find its biggest audience anyway. It's films like this that usually end up going straight to streaming services or to DVD back in the day. I'm not going to sugar coat this review and find things I admired about the film very much, because it's just a bad film, through and through. Here are my thoughts on Fatale.  To put the premise simply, Derrick Tyler (Michael Ealy) is uncertain about the loyalty of his wife toward him, so on a bachelor trip, he decides to have a one-night stand with Val Quinlan (Hilary Swank). After one bad decision turns his life upside down, he now finds himself right in the middle of a police investigation. This film worked for me for the first 10–20 minutes, as it just felt like a fine throwaway B movie storyline. With that said, this film begins to show its true colours when the first act ends, becoming a film that tries way too hard to impress, even by its own standards. Oddly enough, I think the score of the film and the screenplay are the two biggest culprits here.  Having done very solid work on films like Disturbia or Christopher Robin, it almost felt like composer Geoff Zanelli clashed with some of the filmmakers behind the scenes. There were multiple occasions where the musical cues were so intense that it felt like the film was about to evolve into an action film. To clarify that statement, there is a scene where a character is walking up a staircase, looking for someone, and the score felt like something out of a horror movie, mashed up with something Hanz Zimmer would've done for a Christopher Nolan movie. Everything about the score of this movie took me out of the whole experience.  For writer David Loughery, his work has hardly ever worked for me if I'm being honest. From Obsessed to The Intruder, his screenplays always seem to be going for the big twists and surprises, but always seem forced. Now, giving credit where credit is due, I loved his work on the film Lakeview Terrace and I still, think that film is very underrated and deserves much more attention than it receives. At least to me, I know Loughrey has solid potential as a writer, I've just never been pulled in very much by his work. In the case of Fatale though, I felt like all of his weaknesses were on display here as a writer, which was really too bad. The film felt like it was always trying to outdo itself with twists so you sort of expected twists to follow certain scenes throughout the third act, and I just felt like they were all things that were done better in many other films, even written by himself. I truly believe that a different genre might suit his writing better.  Overall, with a cast that included Hilary Swank and Michael Ealy (in which I'm a fan of both), I was intrigued. Sadly, Fatale is the prime example of a film that bites off more than it can chew. Sure, the set-up provides intrigue and I was invested because I like the actors and actresses involved, but the movie devolves into something that it didn't need to be. For all of these reasons and more, I can't get myself to recommend this to anyone. It will absolutely hook viewers in the first act, but I would be surprised if they get anything out of the rest of the movie. Fatale is now available on-demand.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Dec 31, 2020
    There were many bad judgements when it came to developing Fatale, the first being that this erotic thriller was worthy of any sustained effort. I'm all for a guilty pleasure genre outing, and we've had enough distance from the heyday of erotic thrillers that a re-examination could be due, especially in light of the Me Too era. I was wondering if Fatale was going to present its chief crazy lady, played by two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank, as the one who was right all along, and instead of endangering the nervous husband Derrick (Michael Ealy) she was really protecting him. Or maybe the movie was going to posit that Derrick's perception of events was biased and built upon false assumptions and he was the real villain. Or maybe the Fatal Attraction-esque plot (Swank's loft even resembles Glenn Close's abode) would have more commentary on the fact that our resident crazy stalker was a police officer targeting a black man. I was holding out hope there would be something, anything to separate this movie from the glut of junk, but alas, it is merely a better assembled mobile of junk you've already seen far too many times in other questionable movies. There is nothing to surprise, to subvert your expectations. It's depressingly predictable. Amazingly, the writer is David Loughery, who also wrote Obsessed, Lakeview Terrace, and The Intruder, which suggests he's perhaps copying and pasting and re-arranging familiar story elements at this point. I didn't care about the plight of Derrick because the movie wants me to see him as a "nice guy" but he's really a dolt who doesn't deserve our sympathy. Swank (The Hunt) is badly miscast as a seductress. She comes on so strong so fast that I thought the movie was aiming for self-parody. The fact that Swank is listed as a producer further confounds me. I'm sure she felt playing a sultry villain would be fun, but Swank's performance needs to go bigger to leave the orbit of an otherwise forgettable and boring genre exercise that wastes everyone's time. Fatale deserved to be filled with no names and occupy a Cinemax slot between the hours of three and four A.M. Nate's Grade: C-
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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