Costner delivers in “CRIMINAL”

Release Date: April 15, 2016

Running Time: 1 hour 53 minutes

Directed by: Ariel Vromen

Rated: R for strong violence and language throughout.

Grade B

Jericho Stewart has been in and out of prison most of his life. He has a total lack of empathy. He feels nothing.

Bill Pope is a CIA agent who has hidden a Dutch programmer, Jan Stroop, who is seeking asylum in exchange for not working with an insane terrorist by the name of Heimbahl. Heimbahl has advanced technology that allows him to access the government’s systems and was hoping to use the Dutchman’s genius computer skills to launch missiles across the globe. When Pope is brutally murdered in order to gain the location of Stroop, the CIA desperately attempts to transfer his memories into the body of an extremely dangerous convict, Jericho Stewart. Dr. Frank is a neuroscientist who has worked on memory transfer for 20 years but has not begun trials on a human until now. Stewart is chosen because he has frontal lobe syndrome which is extremely rare and is the perfect conduit for memory transfer. CIA Chief, Quaker Wells, is disappointed when the transfer appears to be unsuccessful. Jericho Stewart’s lack of impulse control and inability to calculate the consequences of his actions may just be the skill set that the CIA needs to recover Stoop and stop Heimbahl’s better way to run the world.

They messed with me. They thought that they knew what they’d get. They were wrong.

Nestled in the year of DC Universe reboot, Criminal’s cast includes six actors from DC Comic movies. Similar to an action packed comic book movie, this one contains a plot that requires one to imagine what it would be like if technology caught up with the ingenuity and creativity of the human mind. Kevin Costner leads the seasoned cast in a role that we have not seen him in before and he excels at it. Reunited with his fellow JFK actors, Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman, not only all step out of the box in their roles, but also, the trio brings heart-pounding suspense and action to the big screen. Fresh from her role as Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot adds the extra human touch to the brutal nature of the story and aids in the transformation of Costner’s character. When I heard that I had the opportunity to screen a film with these amazing actors, I was intrigued and had high expectations. I was not disappointed. For an intelligent choice in spending entertainment funds, please capture this one before it leaves the big screen! ~Movie Buffette

Criminal is an action thriller drama written by the late Douglas Cook and David Weisberg. Filmed in London, Criminal is a collection of amazing thespians, including Academy Award winners Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones and Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman. The screenplay intrigued me. It is part science experiment and part espionage.

The premise involves a quasi-Frankenstein concept in a high-tech spy world where we have the technology to transfer memory from one individual’s frontal lobe to another. It raises plenty of morality questions. Director Vromen does an excellent job balancing all the elements in this adult action thriller. In a role you don’t normally associate with Costner, he shines as the criminal with the damaged frontal lobe Jericho. Criminal is a film for mature audiences due to the brutal violence, adult language and gory medical scenes. It is also a film about redemption and the power of emotion to transform.~A.S. MacLeod


Kevin Costner as Jericho Stewart

Gary Oldman as Quaker Wells

Tommy Lee Jones as Dr. Franks

Ryan Reynolds as Bill Pope

Gal Gadot as Jill Pope

Alice Eve as Marta Lynch

Antje Traue as Elsa

Michael Pitt as Jan Stroop

Jordi Molla as Hagbardaka Heimbahl

and Lara Decaro as Emma Pope




About Leigh Ann Rassler