Released in late 1999, The Bone Collector turns the pulpy indulgence of Jeffery Deaver’s novel into a slick potboiler that is grisly interesting. Director Phillip Noyce expertly builds palpable tension around a series of gruesome murders that lead us into the darkest nooks of New York City.
Now a bedridden quadriplegic prone to life-threatening seizures and suicidal depression, forensics detective Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) gets a new lease on life with a sharp young beat cop Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) who’s a wizard at analyzing crime scenes.
Donaghy does field work while Rhyme deciphers clues from his high-tech Manhattan loft, and as they narrow the search their lives are increasingly endangered. As this tension-building plot grows suspenseful, Noyce skillfully uses scenes to supply revelations of the murder scenes.
The cast does a fine job, and the sets are outstanding, adding to the intense atmosphere of the film. Supporting players are all strong, and Denzel is outstanding as Rhyme, with his electronic life-giving toys, his attitude, and his willingness to give up life as every seizure rocks his world.
Jolie brings life and depth to Amelia as an up and coming police officer who jumps career tracks within the department as it becomes clear where her talents lie.
Director: Phillip Noyce
Year of Release: 1999
Character to watch: Angelina Jolie as Amelia Donaghy.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?