Director John Maybury’s strange and melancholy psychological thriller — based on the Jack London short story of the same name (also known as “The Star Rover”) — is a first-rate exercise in how tone and atmosphere can make even the most seemingly incoherent and fractured narrative just feel right (a la Donnie Darko). Adrien Brody‘s naturally sad and wounded-looking face brings a lot to his role as a Gulf War veteran who experiences time travel during a radical psychiatric experiment involving him being bound in a straight jacket, injected with some sort of drug and put into sensory deprivation (in this case, a morgue drawer). Keira Knightley is also excellent as the lost soul he meets on his strange trip (she even gets to try an American accent here, and pulls it off wonderfully). Add Brian Eno‘s dreamy score and you’ve got one of the most mesmerizing — and underrated — thrillers of the past decade.
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