Edge of Darkness marks the return of Oscar winner Mel Gibson to the big screen. He’s been active behind the scenes directing such films as Apocalypto but this is the first time he’s stepped in front of the camera in seven and a half years. In Edge of Darkness he plays a grief stricken cop looking for answers regarding his daughter’s murder. What appears to be a senseless act of violence barely touches the web of lies and deception brewing beneath the surface…

The Players:

The Plot:

Thomas Craven is a single, Boston Detective whose life is shaken to the core when his only child, Emma (Novakovic) is brutally murdered on his front porch. When he’s unable to find a logical reason behind her death, he decides to do some detective work on his own time, and on his own terms. He interrogates, follows, and harasses whoever he has to in order to find out the truth. When all clues lead back to a top secret research facility where Emma worked, people end up dying left and right and most of them are by his hand.

The Good:

  • Mel Gibson: It takes a moment to adjust to Gibson’s thick Boston accent in the film, but once you do he takes you on a vengeful and thrilling ride. His performance is brutally honest and he makes the character’s drastic decisions seem somewhat justifiable no matter how insane they are.
  • Screenplay: Much like The Departed, this film has multiple layers with a lot of characters interweaving with one another. Every person plays a role in the bigger picture, which helps push the story and keep us interested as an audience.
  • The Direction: The overall look of this film was gritty, but the right angles at the right time made it visually stunning.
  • Relationships: The relationship between Tom and Emma Craven was shown throughout the film even after her death, and it unfolds in a way that causes you to get invested in them. You begin to understand why he’s as angry and resentful as he is because of this great loss.

The Bad:

  • The Shootouts: This is the one problem I had, and without giving too much away, there are a few scenes where guns seem like the only option, even though they’re really not. Rather than show some type of legitimate resolution, a person just gets shot in the chest. That’s it.


Edge of Darkness is a well written thriller that keeps you entertained and guessing simultaneously. Even though there’s enough action to gain your attention, the strong story is what will keep it. Mel Gibson is back, and it feels like he never left.

Rating: 9/10

Edge of Darkness opens in theaters nationwide on January 29, 2010.



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