The Flock

2008

The Flock

Critics Consensus

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TOMATOMETER

Total Count: N/A

32%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,326
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Movie Info

A hypervigilant federal agent, while training his young female replacement, must track down a missing girl who he is convinced is connected to a paroled sex offender he is investigating.

Cast

Richard Gere
as Erroll Babbage
Claire Danes
as Allison Lowry
Avril Lavigne
as Beatrice Bell
KaDee Strickland
as Viola Frye
Ray Wise
as Bobby Stiles
Russell Sams
as Edmund Grooms
Kristina Sisco
as Harriet Wells
Dwayne L. Barnes
as Vincent Dennison
Matt Schulze
as Glenn Custis
Ed Ackerman
as Louis Kessler
French Stewart
as Haynes Ownby
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News & Interviews for The Flock

Critic Reviews for The Flock

All Critics (2) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (1)

  • Hong Kong crime specialist Andy Lau of Infernal Affairs fame, makes his English language directing debut with this solid thriller set in New Mexico

    Nov 14, 2008 | Full Review…
  • While not exactly a gift-wrapped present, it's safe to say that Flock will certainly appeal to television cop drama junkies and those who love to see Claire Danes cry, which would now include every film she's ever made.

    May 20, 2008 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Flock

  • Jan 09, 2012
    With unsuspecting twists and turns and solid performances by Richard Gere and Claire Danes, 2007's "The Flock" turned out to be quite the underrated psychological thriller from Wai-Keung Lau that never got the wide release it deserved. Anyone familiar with Hong Kong cinema would recognize him as the director of the brilliant "Infernal Affairs" series. "The Flock", Lau's English language film debut, is equally as riveting in action and mysterious in its cinematography as his popular works.
    Chihoe H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2010
    Despite being predictable, the performances of Richard Gere and Claire Danes make this film worth seeing. They have a good on screen chemistry. Even Avril Lavigne is good in her small role. The film reminded me of films like Seven and Silence of the Lambs. The pacing was off too. Still worth checking out for Gere and Danes.
    Sol C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 08, 2010
    Allison Lowry: Tell me about your double life. What do you think about? Erroll Babbage: I think about a girl who didn't come home... what I might've missed... and if I miss something again, who's next. Although THE FLOCK has some pretty good acting by veteran Richard Gere, and some okay shots that might harken some back to THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS days, the movie stretches credibility to the breaking point and destroys itself against a plot that really leads nowhere. The film is about Erroll Babbage (Gere) who works for the department of safety and is preparing to retire. His office thrusts upon him his replacement, Allison Lowry (Claire Danes, STARDUST), who quickly discovers that Babbage is obsessed with his job. And that job ain't very fun. He monitors hundreds of sexual offenders who are on parole in his jurisdiction. Allison goes with Erroll on many calls to check up on his "flock" of offenders and learns that he is in desperate need of retirement. But Erroll is good at his job even if his methods aren't. He taunts sexual predators and even has physical conflicts with them. Erroll justifies his actions by bringing up these deviants' pasts. It is this "good justification" that challenges the audience on some level, letting us see how brutal Erroll is and yet how out-of-touch he's become (by being too close to his job). When a teenage girl goes missing in Erroll's "area", he immediate leaps to the conclusion that she was abducted by one of his flock. But how could he know? Is Erroll that good at his job? Allison challenges him and Erroll pushes back. Their battles become as fierce as Erroll's need to find this missing girl. Although the set-up for the story was okay, it didn't have any umpf! I will give credit to Richard Gere, however, who plays the Erroll character very well. Battling retirement. Worried about everyone who's near his flock. Disgusted with those he's responsible for overseeing. Disgusted with himself for having to do some of things he does. Quite a change in character portrayal for Gere. But beyond him there's not much else. Some of the sets are okay (dark and dangerous) but there are so many other problems as to be laughable. I'll be the first to admit that suspending disbelief is a requirement whenever watching films. But that suspension has limits. The biggest push against those limits is the destruction of EXTREMELY vital crime scenes. Someone as meticulous as Erroll would KNOW that moving a body would be a huge no-no. Or trampling through a crime scene. Or moving evidence. It went beyond and hurt the film to no end. The other damaging part of this film is that we never get into Clair Danes' character, Allison. She's almost dropped by the wayside at the end of the film and we're never privy to what her intension might be: Will she stay or leave? Will she end up like Erroll if she does stay? This isn't a horrible film as it does touch on some uncomfortable moral ground, but the story as a whole needed to be tightened up. "The Flock" is a bit hard to judge. Starring Richard Gere as Errol Babbage, an employee of the Dept. of Public Safety, and Claire Danes as Allison Lowry, his replacement-in-training, we are shown a view of how convicted sex offenders are still just as capable of committing their criminal acts. Interestingly enough, the film also presents the opinion that the Dept. of Public Safety is, to be blunt, worthless. Gere's character comes off as very cold, lonely, and impersonal. Despite having Danes under his tutelage he treats her indifferently. It is understandable in a sense because he feels responsible for the death of a young girl - had he looked in the closet of a convicted sex offender (cso), he'd have found $3,000 worth of young women's clothing and led to the connection. Danes' character, however, comes off as very out-of-place. The job is not one of PG/PG-13 rated material; it isn't the kind of job where a person simply visits a CSO, asks a few questions, then leaves while making note of their status. It's the profession wherein danger is personified by the CSO - it can never be known if he/she has reformed. As Lowry, she always displays a timidness, a kind of frightful nature that just doesn't fit with the job. How can she expect to confront these CSOs when the mere thought of the savage, brutal things they've done in the past cause her to flinch and become frightened? The rationality of both characters is also brought into question when, in one scene, the two visit a run-down apartment that is used for fetish sex (e.g. a man being spanked by a dominatrix, a woman chained on a wall with a photographer taking pictures, etc.) and Babbage proposes the always-brilliant idea of the two of them splitting up - never mind that they're searching for a CSO who has potentially abducted a 17-year old girl and is more than capable of killing. The incompetence, too, of the Dept. of Public Safety is also a constant theme. It is said that their job is simply to locate and keep track of CSOs according to state/federal law. So when any connections are made between a CSO and a/the kidnapped girl, do they care? Nope! They all pass Babbage's conclusions as pure conjecture - nothing more than the ravings of an crazed man; incredibly disappointing is one scene in which he reveals a shocking revelation to Lowry and all she can do is cry and scream and not care that such a finding could lead them to the missing girl. Oh no, it's not their job, you see. It's only to find and make note of CSOs regardless of whether or not any information they uncover could lead to saving a kidnapped person's life. I feel that making a fair assessment on "The Flock" is hard because it means well; its intention is to warn people of the dangers of convicted sex offenders (regardless of them being registered). Maybe even its opinion on the state of the Dept. of Public Safety is a bit too harsh (or not harsh enough?). My problem with the movie is that it spends over an hour (and this is a 1hr 40min film) setting things up, only to have Babbage (Gere) come off as the conspiracy-nut (akin to Fox Mulder on "The X-Files") whose efforts are noble, but in vain due to no one truly caring to take the job beyond what's expected of them. Yes, he technically isn't suppose to be doing what he does and he should instead have been an FBI agent or something, but it just makes you wonder why no one picks up on the same idea as him that primary law enforcement officers (the police and investigator) aren't the only ones who can find clues to a missing person. The paranoid registrant administrator of the Department of Public Safety Erroll Babbage is forced to an early retirement due to his abusive behavior against the sex offenders that he should monitor, and shall spend his last eighteen days training his replacement Allison Lowry. When the seventeen years old Harriet Wells is considered missing in his area of work, Errol is convinced that her disappearance is related to one of his parole sex offenders. However, his superiors do not believe on his investigations and he convinces Allison to follow him in the sick underworld of pornography and perversions trying to find the missing girl. This film is about a hyper-vigilant employee of the department of public safety who, while training his young female replacement, has to track down a missing girl who he is convinced is connected to a paroled sex offender he is investigating.
    Sergio E Super Reviewer
  • Jan 15, 2010
    This is a story about a diligent Department of Safety employee who has the nasty job of monitoring convicted sex offenders who are on parole in his jurisdiction. As it happens, a perverted sex killer is on the loose and with a 17-year-old girl is missing, (Richard Gere) Erroll Babbage is convinced that the missing girl is linked to one of the flock of deviants he monitors. His boss gives him his marching orders (in the disguise as an early retirement plan) because of his obsessive behavior on the job so along comes Claire Danes' Allison Lowry who is brought in to replace Babbage but Allison is somewhat naive about the job in the beginning and as Babbage says, "She wouldn't last two months." (She didn't impress me much in this movie at all) The subject matter is very disturbing and derives its personality from its sexual deviancy background but if you can handle the sexual abuse topic, then you'll enjoy this suspenseful and very interesting movie.
    Deb S Super Reviewer

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