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Taking Lives - Director's Cut (Widescreen Edition) (2004)

Angelina Jolie , Ethan Hawke , Tony Scott , D.j. Caruso  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)

Price: $7.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $9.71  
DVD Widescreen Edition $7.95  
Other Unrated Director's Cut [HD DVD] $14.99  

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Product Details

  • Actors: Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Kiefer Sutherland, Olivier Martinez, Tcheky Karyo
  • Directors: Tony Scott, D.j. Caruso
  • Writers: Hillary Seitz, Jon Bokenkamp, Jon Bowenkamp
  • Producers: Bruce Berman, Dana Goldberg, David Heyman, Mark Canton, Bernie Goldmann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JMWP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,344 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Taking Lives - Director's Cut (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Unrated Director's Cut contains six additional minutes of footage
  • Gag reel
  • 4 making-of featurettes:
  • "The Art of Collaboration" - cast and crew
  • "Profiling a Director" - interview
  • "Bodies of Evidence" - cast secrets
  • "Puzzle Within a Puzzle" - with editor Anne V. Coates

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A psychological thriller, Taking Lives is the story of an FBI agent who becomes involved with her key witness while tracking a prolific serial killer who assumes the lives and identities of the people he kills. She finds herself surrounded by numerous suspects and no one to trust.

DVD Features:
Additional Scenes
Documentaries:Four probing documentaries with the Cast and Crew. * The Art of Collaboration: How the filmmaking team came together * Profiling a Director: Inside D.J. Caruso's Mind * Bodies of Evidence: Stars confess their secrets of working on an ultra-intense thriller * Puzzle Within The Puzzle: The teamwork of Caruso and veteran editor Anne V. Coates
Outtakes
Theatrical Trailer

Additional Features

More sex. More violence. That's what you get in the unrated director's cut of Taking Lives, which ought to tell you where director D.J. Caruso's priorities lie. The hot scenes between Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke are extended (offering a bit more nudity for Jolie's lecherous fans), and the fate of Gena Rowlands's character is considerably more graphic, but none of the added footage makes the movie any better or worse. That said, this cynical director's cut is the only version worth buying if you're looking to fill out your serial-killer-thriller collection (or your movies-in-which-Jolie-gets-naked collection), and you might as well enjoy the gag reel outtakes because they contain the only footage on the entire DVD in which Jolie cracks a genuine smile. The four featurettes are really just one standard-issue promo reel chopped into thematic categories with a pretentious CSI vibe, and while they offer little of substance, seasoned film buffs will welcome the appearance of veteran British editor Anne V. Coates, who briefly explains her approach to cutting high-tension scenes. The rest is routine at best, but given the choice between the full-screen DVD and this steamier, more gruesome widescreen version, well, it's no contest. Jolie and her breasts await you. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IDENTITY CRISIS August 27, 2004
Format:DVD
Angelina Jolie is to be commended for taking on so many different kinds of characters from her Oscar winning turn in GIRL INTERRUPTED, to the athletic Lara Croft in those two movies, to this suspenseful, if predictable, serial killer thriller. She plays an FBI agent/profiler called in to help the Montreal police in trapping a serial killer. This particular nasty has been killing for over 20 years, and we find out early in the film who he is when he's a youngster, but what about now? Who has he metamorphosized in to?

Director D. J. Caruso gives us a probable suspect, but it's really a red herring, and the true identity should be detected early on. That doesn't spoil the movie, though; it actually makes you feel like a detective because you figured it out.

Along with Jolie's competent performance, Ethan Hawke does well as artist James Costa; Gena Rowlands gives a good performance as Mrs. Asher; and Kiefer Sutherland, looking a little older and heavier, does a usually good turn as a mysterious neighbor of Hawke's. There's a couple of jump out of your seat scares and overall, despite the predictability, TAKING LIVES is a good entry in the ever growing serial killer genre.
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47 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Potentially Good Film Ruined By A Lousy Ending! October 4, 2004
Format:DVD
"Taking Lives" stars Angelina Jolie as FBI profiler Illeana Scott who is assigned to Montreal, and the case of a particularly vicious serial murderer. The killer has been taking lives for 20 years, since his teens, assuming his victims' identities with each crime. There's a line in the movie to the effect that he's "like a hermit crab - when he grows out of his shell, (home), he moves on." OK! So it's not brilliant dialogue, but until we reach the film's halfway mark it is forgivable. After the 1st hour, or so, this scary, chiller-thriller loses its edge in a serious way. The last scenes are really contrived - just not believable by any stretch of the imagination.

Jolie is her usual sexy self as the loner, fast-track agent from Washington, DC. She is welcomed by her old friend and colleague, Captain Hugo Leclair, (Tchécky Karyo), of the Montreal Sûreté, but is resented by macho detective Paquette, (Olivier Martinez), who is handsome in a surly kinda way. Illeana's approach to crime solving is extremely intuitive and unconventional, to say the least - but her unorthodox methods get results, and this case is no different. She quickly comes up with some leads that her Canadian counterparts have missed. Then art gallery owner James Costa, (Ethan Hawke), an actual murder witness, steps in to help the detectives. Costa, who has some artistic talent, is able to sketch the suspect. The hunt picks up speed, and the plot begins to twist, turn and occasionally surprise. I had at least one major scare! There's a decent car chase, a steamy love scene, (super steamy in the Director's Cut), and an unusual take on Illeana's character - all pluses.

The cast is excellent. Ms. Jolie is good here and she develops her character well.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised at how good this movie was! April 25, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I must say, "Taking Lives" started out as the usual hum-drum serial-killer thriller, and I wasn't expecting it to be very interesting but like many others I have seen. Was I wrong! I found it hard to tear myself away, as the movie became more and more interesting as it went along. Angelina Jolie played her part well. Eathen Hawk was great. And the ending, which I thought was predictable, turned out to be quite the contrary. Good Blu-Ray quality. Very good acting!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relative experience? October 17, 2004
Format:DVD
I just saw this movie last week, and it stunned me in ways I never expected. Reading many of these reviews, I think it must simply be where you are in your own interests and experience in life when you see this film. It disappointed on some levels, but it astounded me on others. In the end, the acting and chemistry of Hawke and Jolie are so delicious I have to give it 5 stars.

Warning: SPOILER follows, so if you don't want to know, stop here.

A true crime buff who has studied serial crime for about a decade, I viewed the film from that perspective and found it wanting. Profilers don't "intuit" so much as was implied here by lying in graves. They use solid data culled from 30 years of studying and interviewing actual criminals. So Jolie's character is somewhat misleading in how she "represents" that whole process. I found the direction wanting in the cheap thrills stolen from a litany of classic thrillers. I also agree that the sound editor should have been replaced before this movie was released. I think some of the disappoints of the film are based in not understanding much of what is being said (though I got a second copy and the sound was much better, so maybe there was a bad run of dvds). The most jarring false note in the movie is after the car chase, before the car blows up. Not plausible.

But on another level, the acting is sublime. The arc of Hawke's characterization is the real pleasure of watching this film. The killer's transmutation is mind-bending. The final scene, in which his inner life is revealed, is breathtaking. It is the whole point of the movie, a major plot twist you don't see coming: in order to conceal the true identity of the killer, the director obscures the killer's pathology for most of the movie, reducing it to a few sound bites.
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