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The Riddle (2008)

Vinnie Jones , Derek Jacobi  |  PG-13 |  DVD
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Vinnie Jones, Derek Jacobi, Julie Cox, Vanessa Redgrave
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019X3YTG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,704 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Riddle" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A brutal string of murders spurs reporter Mike Sullivan (Vinnie Jones, Snatch, X-Men: The Last Stand) to search for the cunning killer in this supernatural mystery. But to stop the killings, he first must solve a century-old murder hidden inside the pages of a newly discovered Charles Dickens manuscript. Co-starring Derek Jacobi (Gladiator, Underworld: Evolution) and Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement), this intriguing thriller takes an unusual twist guaranteed to surprise you!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madness, Murder, and Literature: a Classic Combination August 29, 2008
Though it might not be considered violent compared to many thrillers, the acting, casting, and dual-story plot make this one of the most intriguing thrillers I've seen in a while. There is a subtle interweaving of stories fom the Dickens manuscript and the modern-day murder case-- some actors play double roles, which adds to the supernatural quality of the mystery.

This film does draw very loosely on events in Dickens' life and marriage, though it "re-writes" much. More interestingly, it brings out the darker side of the Victorian author's work with quotes from Oliver Twist, reference to the murders in Our Mutual Friend, and an almost Poe-like narration of a tale of madness and murder.

Derek Jacobi is versatile as ever, portraying both an insane (though well-read) homeless man, and the author/narrator of the newly discovered Dickens manuscript. Mel Smith (The Princess Bride, Alas Smith and Jones, Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night)has a brief but amusing appearance as the enthusiastic (and athsmatic?) authenticator of the manuscript.

Not big on action, but definitely worth watching for the sake of a good story. An added bonus is that, unlike the young and beautiful Hollywood sterotypes we are so familiar with, this cast can really act.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not many thrills in this thriller September 10, 2008
British footballer Vinnie Jones is cast as Mike Sullivan, a London sports writer who wants to tackle hard news. When Sadie, an old friend with whom he exchanges riddles is found murdered, Mike is thrust into the investigation, despite a detective inspector who'd rather he go away. While renovating her pub, Sadie came across what could possibly be an unpublished manuscript of a dark story of murder by Charles Dickens (though it appears they had Dickens confused with Edgar Allan Poe). When Mike discovers the manuscript, he and police officer Kate read the manuscript hoping to find clues to solve the crime with the help of a homeless man (Derek Jacobi, who also narrates the manuscript as Dickens in a dual role). What they discover is a lot of corruption.

Unfortunately, the director chose to portray half the story in present day London and the remainder in Dickens' Victorian era story which coincidentally mirrors the current events (many of the actors besides Jacobi have dual roles also). It makes the rest of the movie confusing and distracting and had me nearly comatose at times. It might have sounded good on paper but the finished product was pretty boring and contrived. They even managed to make Jones, who is usually such an energetic presence in his roles seem pretty darned bland. Not worth a purchase; put this one in your Netflix queue instead.

© Tracy Vest, September 2008
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Piece May 10, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I liked this film a lot. The nuances make it great for several viewings. The acting is superb, and I loved the writing and directing with authentic set production. This film has a classic concept with it's combined mystery and social justice theme, yet it is packed with original writing and ideas, with plenty of exciting twists and turns. It's a must watch, I am glad I bought this film after randomly reading a review touting it's quality.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Riddle August 6, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Riddle stars one of my favorite actors, Derek Jacobi, so I thought the movie was good, although as Brittish movies do, it was kind of choppy and hard to follow, and ended stupid. My rating of the site I got this movie from was 1st rate. It arrived in perfect condition, and the C.D. is great. I'd give them 5 stars, plus it was only a week or two in getting here. Thanks!!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy, Intriguing, recommend! December 12, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved the "history", the film was well done and I enjoyed the characters - I felt like I got to know them well. It was a fantastic ending! I'm buying it for my personal library.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK June 29, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Other than the hot lead male actor I was sorta lost regarding this movie....Decent film. Again, lead actor kept me captivated not the plot.
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By MadMacs
Love Vinnie Jones doing something other than badass thug.

He delivers an excellent performance as Mike Sullivan, a hustling sports reporter who dreams of moving into hard news. And the story that might make his career: Investigating the mysterious murder of a local pub owner. Unbeknownst to him is that this is no average street crime. It might just be the tip of a very ugly iceberg, possibly threatening the government itself. And the powers-that-be aren't going to let that happen.

Unfortunately that wonderful performance was stuck inside this bizarre little film.

Attempting to blend two completely incongruous tales - the plot I described above and, hold onto your seats, a lost story by Charles Dickens. An unpublished manuscript which is explained by Dickens himself (Derek Jacobi) during the turbulent period following his wife's undiagnosed mental illness, which one presumes to be schizophrenia.

It's the constant flipping between 'today' and the Victorian England past that makes this such a quirky production. Had this been a straight thriller I honestly believe it would've been quite excellent, on par with something like "The International".

Unfortunately, that's not what happened.

It's difficult to review this without giving too much away - as I never want to play spoiler, even if the film is a steaming dung pile.

That's not the case with The Riddle - it's decent for a purely will-only-watch-this-once-in-my-life category type of flick.

But I so wish that Jones is given more roles like this one; he can do so much more than a frowning bloodthirsty hulk. In this film he convincingly portrays vulnerable, sweet, and even self-deprecating. And Jones' enjoyable non-thug performance is the only reason it rates three-stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Vinnie Jones and SDJ Solve The Riddle
Great tale starring the usually underappreciated Vinnie Jones.Whether he's working with Guy Richie or starring in Mean Machine remake of The Longest Yard,he's proven he can act. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ellen
1.0 out of 5 stars More a 'Confuser' than Thriller
I persevered to the end of the movie and feel I should be given some kind of award. Whatever the director (and scriptwriter) was thinking does not translate into rewarding... Read more
Published on July 6, 2012 by B. R. Livingstone
1.0 out of 5 stars The Riddle
This movie was order incorrectly. The movie I wanted was called Riddle with Val Kilmer starring in it. I didnt like this movie. It was boring and didn't make much sense.. Read more
Published on October 25, 2011 by cherimae
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately Cannot Be Unseen Once Viewed
Director/Writer Brenden Foley continues to flog ex-footballer Vinnie Jones in disastrous film after disastrous film for who knows what unfathomable mystery. Read more
Published on August 15, 2010 by California Will
1.0 out of 5 stars horrible
A rather bad thriller with a fake dickens story woven into it. The dickens story had no real relevance to the thriller and continuously interrupted the flow of the movie. Read more
Published on December 6, 2008 by TB
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst movies I've seen
The story is completely uninteresting, the acting is poor, much of it wasn't believable, and the music was completely inappropriate for the scenes they were in. Read more
Published on September 21, 2008 by Blaise J. Sciurba
2.0 out of 5 stars Hiding Riddles in Plain Sight
THE RIDDLE was written and directed by Brendan Foley in what appears to be an attempt to pull the mysteries of the Charles Dickens' novels into a contemporary story, but that... Read more
Published on September 8, 2008 by Grady Harp
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