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A pact made with relentless fire that requires that, while some live, others die.

A modern spin on the Leopold and Loeb case, directed by Barbet Schroeder and starring Sandra Bullock as a cop with emotional baggage trying to prove that two high school kids (Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt) have committed what they think is the perfect murder - just for kicks, allegedly.

There's nothing exactly awful about the film, it's well performed by the principal players, engrossing in narrative, beautifully lensed by Luciano Tovoli and Schroeder layers the production with a suitable feeling of unease. Sadly there's no psychological depth given the two boys by writer Tony Gayton, which renders the whole motives and means, and the investigation of such, as being a shallow exercise in thriller film making.

Running at two hours in length doesn't help matters, because this further irritates that more meat was not written onto Gosling and Pitt's bones, while it also exposes just how hackneyed and clichéd the picture is. Which when the story should be psychologically profound, marks this out as a frustrating viewing experience. 6/10

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