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on September 5, 2004
One thing I've learned is that just because I love something that doesn't mean that everyone will love it. Heck they may not even like it. What's that old saying? "One person's Treasure is another's Trash"

Despite that I was genuinely surprised when I noticed that a few (just a few)reviewers actually trashed Kiss The Girls. One or two reviewers said it wasn't like the book while another said something really crazy, that it was just like The Silence of the Lambs, so it wasn't worth seeing. Well let me tell you, comparing Kiss the Girls with The Silence of the Lambs is like comparing the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Monument because they're both monuments. This reviewer took the common denominator, serial murderers, and said they're both the same. By extension, all movies about serial murders are like TSOTL and not worth seeing and then perhaps all action movies are like Die Hard also are not worth seeing and so forth.

As for the comments about not following the book, thats why they write screen plays. Every book cannot be put into visual form without some modification, some more, some less and Kiss the Girls was definitely less. Now I have read Kiss the Girls and Silence of the Lambs too. If something was left out, so be it. That's the case in most movies. You can't cram six hundred pages of story into two hours. Now I didn't read it just before or just after I saw the movie but as I remembered it, I thought it followed the book pretty well.

The Plot

The Durham Police Department has problem. Pretty college co-eds are disappearing from area college campuses. Additionally a couple of the women have been located in the wilds tied to a tree, exposed to the elements and wild animals. A note was found at each crime scene that said "Cassanova". Whether the remaining captives are alive or dead the investigators can only speculate.

The latest victim happens to be the niece of Dr. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) a well reputed forensic detective and author from Washington. He has assured his frantic sister in law that he will do everything in his power to find out what happened to Naomi.

When Cross arrives in Durham he gets a tepid response from the authorities, being a famous big city cop nosing around in their business. But since this is family, this is personal and Cross will not be deterred. He discovers that there are six other victims, two of which have been found dead and that there is already a task force investigating.

Dr. Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) is a remarkable woman. She is an Intern at a local hospital whose hobby is kickboxing. She is beautiful, bright and talented, just the way Cassanova likes them. Kate will make an excellent addition to his collection.

The investigation is going nowhere, the investigators are stymied and need a break, when words comes that two boys found a woman on the bank of a river. It is the break they needed for it is the newly kidnapped Dr. McTiernan who apparently escaped from Cassanova but she is in the hospital and something is wrong with her.

With the help of Alex Cross, Kate recovers from the drugs that Cassanova had given her, however she is of limited help.

She is able to tell authorities that the other victims are alive and being held at some undisclosed location.

Conclusion

Well let's see, the movie is based on James Patterson's greatest novel and Ashley Judd is my favorite actress and Morgan Freeman is my favorite actor. The acting by all is superb, especially Judd and Freeman but everybody did an outstanding job. The directing was great, the story flows well and is extremely suspenseful. The camera work is also excellent as were the sets and the setting. The movie has no flat or dull spots and keeps you guessing full time and there are some unique plot twists that I haven't mentioned, that is the real genius of the story.

Do I like the movie? Da.... are you kidding, I love the movie, in fact it's one of my ten favorites.
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HALL OF FAMEon September 16, 2002
While others may argue that this action thriller was a "Silence of the Lambs' wannabe, I found both the plot and the characters to be far more compelling and plausible than in most contemporary suspense films. Of course, having someone as good at presenting the merits of forensic scientist as Morgan Freeman certainly helps, as does the strong performance by Ashley Judd, fresh from her star turn in "Heat" playing opposite Robert DeNiro and Val Kilmer. She is smart, sassy, and more than the match for the serial killer she must face alone here, and shows how well she can play an urbane, well-educated, and resourceful modern woman.
And such talents are required by the somewhat convoluted plot spun from author James Patterson's gory novel of the same name. Filmed in somber tones, much of the action takes place in a makeshift subterranean lockup the serial murderer uses to such gruesome effect. Yet other scenes contrast this muddy environment by depicting the upscale area of the lovely area around the "Research Triangle" area of North Carolina near Duke University and the University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since Judd's character is a surgeon also doing important pediatric research, it shows a number of familiar scenes that denizens of the area will certainly recognize.
After Judd manages to escape from the killer and make her back to the world, she agrees to help Freeman find him. Of course, this is when all hell breaks loose, and a number of unexpected plot twists make this a suspenseful thriller that had me at the edge of my seat for the last half hour. It is a fast-paced movie, one that is fairly intelligent in its approach, and as relatively straight-forward `bang-em-up' entertainment it works quite well. Enjoy!
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on March 26, 2004
Washington, DC police detective Alex Cross (Freeman) receives a call that his niece Naomi has been abducted from the Durham area, and he decides that he needs to go there to help find her. Once he gets there, he is informed that one of the women abducted has been found dead tied to a tree. He, along with Nick Ruskin (Elwes) and Davey Skes (McArthur), the two Durham detectives heading up the task force, head out to the location. Alex is fearful that it's his niece, but is relieved that it's not her.
Meanwhile, we meet Kate McTiernan (Judd), a doctor at the local hospital. Not only is she a doctor, but she's also a kick-boxer. But that does her little good when she discovers a stranger in her house, who knocks her unconscious. When she comes to, she finds herself in a small room. And shortly after regaining conscious, the person who has abducted her appears at her bedside. She manages to get out of the room and escapes by jumping into a river. After she recovers, she decides to help Alex out with his investigation, against his protests. But he realizes that she's his best opportunity to find his niece, so reluctantly agrees.
The abducter starts taunting the police, sending them notes about the women. He signs his notes as Cassanova. Cassanova was a great lover, and Alex deduces that he isn't a killer, he's a collector. He only kills when the women disappoint or cross him. After some more investigating, he finds a connection between Cassanova and a plastic surgeon on the West Coast. It seems that there are also a string of abductions there, but these women all turn up dead, with one of their feet missing.
I can't say any more without giving away too much of the plot. KISS THE GIRLS has a good story, with very good acting by all involved. When Judd's character of McTiernan is in her cell communicating with the other girls, she's so convincing that it's like she was actually there. Morgan Freeman is very good in the role of Alex Cross. The supporting cast is pretty good, as well.
**SPOILER** The only real problem I have with KISS THE GIRLS is that the story, which is good as I said above, is just too similar to a lot of other movies in the thriller genre. It's really frustating to see movie after movie with the "killer is someone we met earlier" plot-line. It might have been clever at one time, but now it is just so common-place, that the viewer almost automatically look for clues as to who the killer is. I had this one pegged not too long after we first meet him.
Based solely on the story of this movie, I would give it a three. It's basically the same movie the viewer has seen before, but with a different twist on the plot. But I have to give it a four because of the acting, especially Freeman and Judd. If Freeman has made a bad movie, I haven't seen it yet. I recommend this movie, but if you pay attention, you can figure out who Cassanova is without too much difficulty. Story rates a three, but the acting pulls it up to a four. Go check it out.
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on June 12, 2014
The novel Kiss the Girls was creepy, offering up a frightening scenario with an even more frightening kidnapper/rapist/killer. This Hollywood adaptation takes the all-too-easy step back from that riveting plot to turn itself into a generic horror film. In the book, we get an idea of what sort of "prison" the kidnapped women are being held in and what their captor, a man wearing various masks and calling himself "Casanova" does to them, but in the movie, we see very little of that. Most of it is implied through dialogue and some is omitted altogether. That's not really scary. Overall, the killer in the movie is just watered down and simplified from his counterpart in the novel. Thankfully, they were smart enough to leave in the second killer, but he barely got any screen time and very little was ever known about him. Again, the book showed us just how cruel this man was to his victims. I understand that there will always be changes made when a book is adapted for the big screen, but there's "making changes" and then there's taking away what made the book great. Granted, the cast were all decent and Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd can do no wrong in my eyes, but it's just not enough to save this picture. All it does is keep it slightly above the fate of becoming completely generic...could you imagine if Silence of the Lambs had taken that route? If you're an Alex Cross fan like myself, you might not be thrilled by this adaptation of our beloved detective/psychologist's adventure in North Carolina. But I've seen worse adaptations of books I've read and liked. Enjoy.
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on May 9, 2011
This is one of Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd's best performances. It will draw you in and hold you in gripping suspense. The creep factor is there too and the movie will keep you guessing at who or whom the bad guys are. This one will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. Awesome!!
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on April 1, 2016
My husband and I really enjoyed this movie. We had seen it once a long time ago but after watching MAM (Making a Murderer) on Netfilx I wanted to watch it again. I decided to rent it. I was not disappointed. It brought back some feelings of nostalgia. Besides that who does not like Morgan Freeman in any movie he has been in. He is a very good actor and I have watched several of his movies over the years.

My son had never seen the movie before and even though it is hard to get him to sit down with us the night turned into a family affair. At 16 he definitely had some opinionated feelings about the movie.
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on March 12, 2016
Coming from someone who read and loved the book, this movie did not even come close to doing the story justice. If I were able to ignore the fact that I read the book, the movie might have been alright. In my opinion, there were too many plot holes and questions left unanswered at the end. The second half of the movie seemed rushed and left out several important details. This is definitely one of the worse book-to-movie stories I've come across.
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Kiss the Girls is a disturbing, well-crafted movie that exceeded all of my expectations. It is not what I would call horror per se, but there are certainly some realistic scenes of violence in it. This movie pulls no punches; any ghastly images are there not for shock value but for the simple reason that the story demands them to be there in order for the film to be as powerful as it is. Someone is kidnapping young, attractive girls in North Carolina's Research Triangle area; three have been found dead in the woods, but the rest remain missing. One of the missing is the niece of Washington, D.C. forensic investigator Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman), and he goes to Durham to help find her. Soon thereafter, medical doctor Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) is kidnapped from her home. She wakes up to find a masked man telling her how much he loves her; this self-named Casanova has assembled a harem of sorts for himself, keeping the missing girls locked up in separate rooms in an unknown stone-walled location. McTiernan is the only victim to break her captor's rules and survive, and she becomes Cross' greatest asset in his hunt for the criminal. The eventual outcome is somewhat complex, but the terrific script allows for little misunderstanding on the part of the viewer. Most importantly, the conclusion is both spectacular and largely unforeseen; Kiss the Girls triumphs in delivering a thoroughly satisfying ending, a fact which distinguishes it from the majority of action/thriller/psychological horror movies.
Is there a better actor in Hollywood than Morgan Freeman? His virtually perfect acting is greatly complemented here by Ashley Judd's own superb performance. The role of Casanova is also played extremely well, guaranteeing the high-impact drama of the incredible conclusion. As a native North Carolinian, though, I would like to say that the accents of the Durham policemen were not really accurate. I have no other complaints at all. Some may be interested in knowing there is no nudity in this film, which is somewhat refreshing. If you like a suspenseful thriller along the lines of Silence of the Lambs, you will almost certainly enjoy Kiss the Girls immensely.
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VINE VOICEon June 4, 2012
This is the story of a psychopath who thinks of himself as the consummate lover and proceeds to terrorize women in order to prove it. The story is gritty and has an abundance of pathos and anger as it plays out.

It is not a family movie and should not be watched by the young or sensitive. The movie is a study in depravity and shows the depths to which mankind can descend when notions of morality are lost. The story focuses on Dr. Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist with the Washington D.C. police who goes to North Caroline to search for his missing niece. Although there is minimal gore and bloodshed the movie displays acts of depravity which are not uplifting; in other words this is not a feel good kind of movie although there is some satisfaction when the bad guy gets caught.

It is effective in building suspense and the identity of the kidnapper is not revealed until the end and is one most will not suspect. If you are up for a rather dark police detective kind of movie this one does a good job doing that which is why I gave it four stars. Morgan Freeman does his usual competent job as Dr. Alex Cross.
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on October 24, 2015
Great acting, with excellent plot development. I like the characters. Unique twist ending. Actually, I owned an original copy but like many of my movies went missing-probably my children again. If you like the mystery suspense genre you will enjoy it. Beware it is often dark because you are dealing with a serial killer. I probably will buy the Blu-ray version when it is released next month.
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