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Rachel Weisz in Complete Unknown.

1.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Complete Unknown
Written by
Joshua Marston and Julian Sheppard
Directed by
Joshua Marston
Starring
Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon and Kathy Bates
Genre
Drama
Classification
14A
Country
UK/USA
Language
English
Year
2016

Complete Unknown is the perfect case study of what happens when bad movies rope in good actors. In this case, it's Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon, two of the most talented performers working today, who get sucked into writer-director Joshua Marston's vortex of nothingness.

The film – mostly a two-hander that doesn't earn its theatrical pretensions – examines what happens when straight-arrow Tom (Shannon) encounters an alluring woman named Alice (Weisz), who might not quite be who she says she is (or even named Alice, for that matter). But what is set up as a tense mystery is quickly solved in the film's first half-hour, leaving Shannon and Weisz to merely wander around for the next hour as their characters attempt to parse feelings that aren't as nearly complicated as Marston thinks they are.

But as Complete Unknown is only getting a whisper-quiet limited release, it's doubtful this shrug of a film will do any lasting damage to either Shannon or Weisz's careers. Crisis (mostly) averted.

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