A truly excellent movie always manages to boil its story down to the essentials. It’s the mediocre ones that fumble around trying to figure out what they’re about. I won’t say what the bad ones do, but it often involves some hand lotion and a back issue of National Geographic.
Filmmaker Atom Egoyan shifts gears a bit with this evocative potboiler based on the novel by Rupert Holmes. His best known prior works, Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter, were notable for their somber tone and pacing that made glaciation seem downright snappy. You could probably criticize Where the Truth Lies for being conspicuously melodramatic, but I think you would be missing the point. This movie is sort of a thinking person’s Wild Things, only without the “full monty” from co-star Kevin Bacon.