Tyler Perry has taken a break from writing and directing to star in Rob Cohen‘s Alex Cross. It’s the big screen adaptation of one of James Patterson’s most popular characters. Unfortunately, the film sells the source material short. Alex Cross is nothing to write home about.

The Players

  • Director: Rob Cohen
  • Writers: Marc Moss, Kerry Williamson, James Patterson (novel)
  • Cast: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Jean Reno, Edward Burns, John C. McGinley, Rachel Nichols, Carmen Ejogo, Cicely Tyson, Giancarlo Esposito
  • Cinematography by: Ricardo Della Rosa
  • Original Music by: John Debney

The Plot:

Homicide detective and psychologist Dr. Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is tracking a serial killer called Picasso (Matthew Fox). After a string of grisly murders, Cross is pushed to the limit when the case hits too close to home.

The So-So:

  • Giancarlo Esposito: This film’s only saving grace is a short appearance by Giancarlo Esposito. In true form, he brings his charisma and talent to a thankless role in a forgettable film.

The Bad:

  • Cinematography: In terms of action, Alex Cross’s is hard to follow. The term shaky-cam would be an understatement. It’s the most evident during the film’s climax where the action is completely unintelligible. You can’t tell who’s throwing punches, let alone who’s landing them.
  • Performances: Cross has an impressive cast, but they’re completely wasted. Perry never owns the title role. You can’t help but envision someone else like Idris Elba filling his shoes. Fox’s villain is beyond cartoonish and his acting choices are more comedic than horrifying. As for the supporting cast, they all seem to be phoning it in. Burns is the stereotypical sidekick, who’s sole purpose is to explain the plot to the audience, which we don’t need because it’s paper thin.
  • Character Development: Is Alex Cross really that great? He’s not painted as the legendary character we know and love from the novels. He makes rookie mistakes by underestimating his opponent. He’s supposed to be the best of the best but is portrayed as mediocre.
  • Editing: This goes hand and hand with the cinematography. There was no visual cohesion. There were heavy flashbacks inter-cut with the present, plus a weird prism effect that appeared every time Picasso made a kill. Instead of enhancing the scene it distracted from it.


Alex Cross is a major disappointment. If you’re a fan of the literary character, don’t expect too much from this film. This is not a version of the detective/psychologist you want to see.

The Rating: 1/10

Alex Cross opens in theaters October 19.

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Will you be seeing Alex Cross this weekend?