The Bone Collector

Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah

Directed by Phillip Noyce
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
November 5, 1999

Abandon all hope of logic, you who enter here. You could say this cop thriller is hard to swallow . . . you could say the same thing about Double Jeopardy, which is on its way to a $100 million blockbuster gross. So if audiences, especially women, are willing to suspend disbelief for Ashley Judd in her allegedly legal quest to kill her creep husband, why not cheer Angelina Jolie as Amelia Donaghy, a street cop who outsmarts the guys on the beat, not to mention a serial killer?

Jolie has the action edge on co-star Denzel Washington. As NYPD mastermind Lincoln Rhyme, Washington does all his acting while confined to bed. A rescue accident has left Lincoln paralyzed in his New York apartment with a nurse (an underused Queen Latifah) and an elaborate computer setup. To counter Lincoln's suicidal depression over life as a quadriplegic, the police call him in on a case involving a serial killer and a victim Amelia has found with one finger scraped to the bone.

Then, as the corpses pile up — one rat-eaten, all disfigured — Lincoln uses the rookie Amelia to do his legwork. The situation suggests Hitchcock's Rear Window, but the standard-issue script that Jeremy Iacone has fashioned from Jeffrey Deaver's best seller is way out of that master class. The chills come in watching director Phillip Noyce stick characters in tight corners — he performed wonders on a yacht a decade ago in Dead Calm. Washington spars expertly with new star Jolie, but the flirty stuff is a reach. Lincoln has feeling in his shoulders and one finger, and the babe cop touches those areas with sensual playfulness — getting a real rise out of that finger. It's harder to get a rise out of the deep silliness of The Bone Collector, given the true villain of the piece: aching familiarity.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »