Perfect Stranger (2007) Poster

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2/10
What's the point of guessing if the movie doesn't play fair?
keiichi7315 April 2007
After viewing Perfect Stranger, I went on the film's page at the IMDb, and found out that there were three different endings filmed, each one with a different character being guilty. This does not surprise me at all. This is a movie that jerks us around simply for the sole fact that it wants to jerk us around. It doesn't want us to figure it out, and it doesn't play fair. When I realized that there was no point in following the clues and the movie simply plays to the demands of the filmmaker and which ending worked best with test audiences, it made me hate this shallow and silly excuse for a thriller even more.

The film centers on an investigative journalist named Rowena (Halle Berry) who specializes in going undercover and exposing corporate and political frauds with the help of her creepy best friend and co-worker Miles (Giovanni Ribisi) who seems to have a certain unhealthy obsession with her that is painfully obvious to the audience, yet Rowena seems blissfully ignorant to. Rowena's having a tough time after she quits her job due to one of her stories falling through and a childhood friend of hers named Grace (Nicki Aycox) turns up dead. The two women just happened to have a chance meeting in a subway shortly before Grace's murder, and she told Rowena about how she had been having an on-line affair with a powerful New York ad executive named Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis). Grace had mentioned that their relationship had recently soured, and that Harrison was no longer talking to her. When evidence pops up that Grace may have been pregnant, Harrison becomes all the more suspicious to Rowena, especially since the man is married and has a long history of past affairs. Deciding to investigate on her own, Rowena turns up at Harrison's corporate office as a Temp and tries to get close to him, with Miles trying to dig up more dirt on the guy. Naturally, things are not what they seem, and the movie has more red herrings than a fresh fish market to keep us guessing in sheer futility.

There's nothing exactly wrong with the concept behind Perfect Stranger, and director James Foley certainly gives the movie an attractive look. The problem lies with the screenplay by Todd Komarnicki. He seems to be trying to make an erotic murder thriller along the lines of Basic Instinct, but the movie is not very erotic nor is it very thrilling. The pace is leisurely to the point of being nearly stagnant, and the few sex scenes contained within the film are completely and instantly forgettable. I guess we're supposed to be enthralled by the twisting plot that casts everyone who plays a major role into a shadowy light. The movie stresses time and time again that everyone has dirty secrets, and yes, many secrets are exposed. The problem is almost all of these secrets exist simply to throw us off course. Not one leads to the correct answer. The answer exists simply in whatever of the three endings worked out the best. A thriller like this has to be planned out and lead to one true answer, not whatever answer the filmmakers feel like.

Long before we find out that the movie doesn't even want to play fair, Perfect Stranger never truly captures our attention to start with. The characters are murky at best and, as previously mentioned, exist simply to lead us in multiple directions. They are victims of a plot that knows it's clever. They have no personality and no real motivation other than to act as red herrings. A good example is the character of Harrison Hill, who is slimy simply because he is supposed to be slimy for the sake of the story. He cheats on his wife, he threatens his business enemies, and when he finds out that one of his employees has been leaking info to an outside source, he physically abuses him right in front of all the other employees. None of these actions truly matter. They have no motivation and they do not drive his character to any sort of goal. We can't become attached to these people, because they're not even human to start with.

Since winning the Oscar for Monster's Ball, Halle Berry seems to be on a strange single-minded quest to kill her career. Chalk up another loss for Berry. She's passable at best, but just about any other actress could have filled her shoes, and she brings nothing to the character. Same goes for Bruce Willis, who has absolutely no charisma, and we cannot understand why he is such a ladies man except for the fact that the movie tells us he is. The only performance that does stand out is Giovanni Ribisi as Miles, and it's for all the wrong reasons. He is immediately suspicious to us, because Ribisi plays up the weirdness of his character almost from the instant he walks onto the screen. This makes the fact that Berry's character does not even seem the least bit unnerved by him make her come across as a total idiot.

I will not reveal the ending of Perfect Stranger, but I will say this. When the ending comes, did you personally see anything during the course of the movie that could have led us to the conclusion it wants to lead us to? We don't get the full story beforehand. All the clues, all the evidence, all the paths it had led us down had nothing to do with anything. The movie is a great big exploding cigar that laughs at us when everything blows up in our face. There are no right and wrong answers. Just one very uninteresting movie that doesn't even have the nerve to play fair.
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2/10
Just another twist movie with an uncreative storyline
nonefornow11 April 2007
I watched Perfect Stranger at a preview at my local theater this past weekend, and next to the scantily clad Halle Berry, there was no reason to go watch this movie. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with movies with twists, but as long as they're done with thought, taste, and creativity. The problem in this movie is writers have all the freedom in the world to guide a viewer's mind and place where the twists lie. It is too easy for writers to trick the audience, and to some audience members, the simple trick in itself is good enough to make the movie "great." Well, this doesn't cut it for me. I want a movie that connects, makes me think, has me connect with a character, or even teaches me something. Perfect Stranger lacked meaning, taste, and creativity and is just another one of those "movies with a twist." FYI: The movie was a long advertisement with way too much product placement. Even if the movie does bomb, the movie industry would have made up for the loss with the amount of advertising they put in the movie.
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6/10
ludicrous ending
antoniotierno19 April 2007
"Perfect Stranger" is quite thrilling but the finale simply absurd, moronic. It doesn't lack thrills and pshycology, being it a phsycological thriller. Played intensely, with moments of entertainment not delicious but decent though, everything's spoiled by the foolish and outrageous ending - the mystery resolution is too convoluted. It looks like a pre-packedged thriller, "homogenized" I'd say, with much part of it taking place in chats. Bruce Willis and Halle Berry have acted much better in past, but are watchable regardless, as well as Giovanni Ribisi; suspense thriller is made bearable but eventually degenerates..
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3/10
Weak and disappointing
bruno0411 April 2007
What in the world has happened to Halle Berry? Can't she act any more? Judging from this movie I'd say: Yes - she can't... And Bruce Willis is ... well, he's Bruce Willis. And why does she have to participate in a mediocre thriller like this one? Because it is very mediocre. The beginning is quite promising, and I was ready for a nice, clean thriller. But what followed was like a bad version of some Michael Crichton novel. Oh, and the filmmakers filmed three different endings to the film, each with a different character as the killer? Then they must have chosen the worst ending. The film is not creative, not inventive, implausible, sometimes ridiculous. No, it's not a disaster. But a major disappointment.
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8/10
Noir-ish surprise
the_Poppuns13 April 2007
I've read all the negative comments and I'm starting to think someone who hates Halle Berry has created multiple accounts. I hadn't intended on seeing it, I just felt like going to the movies this afternoon. The movie I wanted to see didn't start until later so I said 'what the heck, I'll give it a try'. This movie was a pleasant surprise for me.

I called it noir-ish because that's the feeling I got from it. And I have to say that sitting in the theater I thought, 'Gee, it's nice to see a movie with two real live movies stars in it.' You get all kinds of weird combinations these days with stars and starlets and rap artists that it's no wonder that most movies are awful.

In this case you have a story about a woman played by Halle Berry who is an investigative reporter for a major newspaper. She has a great story that her paper decides to not use. In anger, she quits, and at the same time a maybe even more important story, involving an advertising giant played by Bruce Willis, falls in her lap. So the movie is about her trying to get to the bottom of this story along with the help of her friend/colleague, played by Giovanni Ribisi. Now I'm purposely not including any spoilers because I personally like to know as little as possible going into a film.

I think a good number of people who like movies like The Usual Suspects or Lucky Number Slevin will like something like this. Now where I think we can really tell is if you also saw and didn't hate the Black Dahlia. A lot of people didn't like it. I loved it. But being very specific there were people who didn't like it because they felt the ending was too quick and that there was no way you could have figured it out with the information at hand until the movie explained it for you at the end. I disagree but those people may have a problem with this. Anyone who wants to figure mysteries out before the end and doesn't want to go along for the ride may have the age old complaint of "how are we supposed to figure it out if they only told you (insert important plot point) at the end?" I'm not one of those people. I like to go along for the ride. That being said, I do think there is enough info that if you really want to guess at the ending you could do it.

The acting was great. I'm not that big on Halle Berry but she did the best job I've seen her do in a while. Bruce is becoming someone I definitely trust with my money. And, imo, it's Giovanni Ribisi who stole the show here. He's getting better all the time.

This movie is for adults, not that it's too much for a teenager to handle. I just don't really think it's something your average teen would be interested in. And it's an R for a couple of reasons. So I'm going to recommend it for older mystery and/or noir fans who don't mind not being able to figure out the ending.
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7/10
Computer thriller, what's the big deal?
DSP91914 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I think the relentless attacks on this movie particularly by critics are just totally unfair. Reviews are running about 10-1 against it in some major publications. It is frequently referred to as "conventional" or clichéd. In the first place, they criticize it for pandering to public interest because it is partially about computer sex, and also about a congressman who has illicit affairs with boys, and an investigative reporter who tries to find the lowdown on a powerful ad executive who is cheating on his wife. The Congressman/boy scandal actually happened last year in Washington,D.C. In many movies nowadays computers and cell phones play a role ("The Departed" for example) and at least two recent highly-praised movies ("Me And You and Everyone We Know" and "Hard Candy") are specifically about computer sex. Sex always sells (there are numerous sexual references as well in "Blades Of Glory", but this is just Will Ferrell showing his Saturday Night Live! background, it is funny, and to a large extent "Blades" rises above this) and to criticize "Perfect Stranger" for being sleazy for this reason is hardly fair. Then they criticize the acting performances. I think Halle Berry should be allowed to do her thing. With this movie, she should become an even bigger box office draw.

The movie's fast pace really impressed me. It was somewhat like "The Departed" in this respect, and "The Departed" won an Oscar for editing. You have to stay on your toes to understand what is happening. I thought the detail about Harrison Hill's wife's connection with belladonna was interesting, and it is historically accurate that serial killers have used atropine for years to kill people. I thought Giovanni Ribisi's character as a sleazy computer geek who has his secret lust for Rowena was well-done. There being all types of abnormal psychology, from multiple personality to neurotic, this one seems somewhat middling, perhaps above average, on a scale of 1-10. and the movie has many interesting minor characters, like Rowena's mother, who in the end plays a significant role. I enjoyed the arrest, trial and conviction of Hill--but things are not as they appear to be. Certainly not a movie for rubes or farmers or children, I think this is a sophisticated New York thriller worth the $6 price of admission, though not perfect. I also enjoyed both "Premonition" and "The Reaping" which movies were likewise trashed by critics for the same reasons.
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5/10
Perfect Stranger
rajdoctor15 April 2007
Perfect Stranger I had read really bad reviews of the movie on the internet and I was not sure whether I should go to see this movie or not. I had to choose between a 1918 Austrian silent movie and this. I chose this, just because it was a new movie.

The story is about a journalist – played by Halle Berry, who does sting operations on rich powerful businessmen. With one mission unsuccessful due to politics and power-play in not covering the sting by the news industry and she quitting her job; she pursues Harrison Hill – played by Bruce Willis – to expose the murder of her friend. She takes the help of her colleague Miles – played by Giovanni Ribisi. I would not disclose the expose and let the last frame suspense let out.

The movie is quite engaging throughout, and I found the reviews a bit harsh and lopsided. It is not such a bad movie as made out to be by film critics. The mystery quotient shifts from one character to another, I had guessed one when the murder took place, but due to the course of engrossing events and incidences – I lost that thought; only to re-emerge as the mystery I had guessed in the first place.

The ending was a bit lame, and there are lots of loose ends hanging. Halle Berry looks good and tries to act sincerely. At times she has captured some emotions perfectly. Bruce Willis does not have much to do and as usual he mumbles his way through the movie and at times displays his whimsical temper. The surprise pack was Giovanni Ribisi – as the colleague and close friend of Halle Berry – who has a huge crush on her and manipulates Halle's effort to solve the mystery.

James Foley – the director, lost the plot in the end, but leaves behind an engrossing story overall.

(Stars 5.25 out of 10)
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3/10
I don't know why the movie was even released.
CDoswell23 April 2007
The only reason i can see for this movie to be released is because celebrities are in it. But, Halle Berry over-acts a choppy and shallowly developed character. I spent the whole movie waiting for the plot to really get going, but instead what i got was a whole bunch of disconnected plot points and irrelevant characters. It is supposed to be suspenseful, but mostly i just wanted it to be over. When the end came, yes, it was a surprise, but by that time I did not care about the story at all. And it was only "surprising" because the whole story is random events all loosely, very loosely connected to the end. It was almost...amateur. The story does not give enough background on most characters to evoke sympathy, emotion, or interest...ESPECIALLY Willis' character. It's a movie that is good in theory, but wasn't focused enough to be held in the same esteem as other psychological thrillers. The most developed and well acted character is really Ribisi's. His performance is noteworthy and enough to warrant the 3 out of 10.
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7/10
Everybody Has a Secret
claudio_carvalho21 October 2007
In New York, the investigative reporter Rowena Price (Halle Berry) sees her scoop about a gay senator spiked by her editor. She quits her job in the newspaper and meets with her childhood friend Grace (Nicki Aycox) by chance in the subway. Grace tells Ro that she had just been dumped by the powerful and wealthy owner of the greatest New Yorker advertising agency, Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis), and she was threatening to tell his wife about their affair. When Grace is found dead, Harrison becomes Rowena's prime suspect. With the support of her hacker friend and former colleague Miles Haley (Giovanni Ribisi), Ro is hired for a temporary work in Harrison's agency to get close to the executive and investigate his life.

"Perfect Stranger" has a good story, with a surprising twist; the lead cast has the names of Halle Berry, Bruce Willis and Giovanni Ribisi; unfortunately, the screenplay does not work well since it does not create an empathy of the viewer with the characters, which have dirty secrets. In the end, this film is a good and forgettable entertainment. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "A Estranha Perfeita" ("The Perfect Stranger")
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2/10
A complete waste of time (and that's an understatement)
puzgolac30 September 2007
I've never commented movies here but I just had to write a word of warning to anyone who's planning on watching this. The movie is slow, boring, without suspense or tension. The story is lame, nothing new nor original, nor even interesting. One is under the impression that they just threw ideas on paper not bothering to shape them into a coherent story (and I use the term "idea" in the broadest possible meaning). Hence all the holes and illogic places in the plot. Sorry guys, but a few close-ups of Halle Berry's ass aren't going to make up for the terrible story. The characters are so underdeveloped that they are not even two-dimensional. Acting is just terrible and even though none of the actors did well, Halle Berry must be singled out as absolutely the worst of them. She just can't act. Even when she forces herself to change facial expression nothing really changes in her acting. She might as well be reading the phone book out loud. Scenes which should be dramatic and emotional are just plain ridiculous. Plus, she's too old for the role she was playing here. Curiously enough, she's not the one wearing the most makeup in this movie. Cue Bruce Willis. He is now running neck to neck with Sylwester Stallone in the "who's wearing the most makeup" race. Apart from that, he's just being there doing his thing, being exactly the same as in any other movie he's acted in. One wonders why they even bother to change the name his characters, because he portrays them all in the same way.

As for the "twist" in the end, it would be equally sensible to blame it all on the Monty Python's killer rabbit. No, wait, that would actually make more sense.

I was going to give this movie 1 star but I'm giving it 2 so that people wouldn't say that my only goal was to lower the movie's rating. If you're into masochism don't watch this movie. Hurt yourself in a more humane way.
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7/10
Not mindblowingly good but not that bad...
julie_bartholemy11 June 2007
I went to see this movie because well...I had seen everything else that could possibly interest me. So I got my ticket, sat down and expected a really really bad movie because everything I heard about this movie was 'that' bad. And to my surprise it wasn't 'that' bad.

Sure it's not what one might expect from an Oscar winning actress but still, not that bad! People should really give this movie a break, I have seen much much worse over the last 18 months. This movie is just a nice easy to watch movie, if you're looking for a real bad thriller that tries to be sexy try to watch 'Basic Instinct 2' and I say try because that movie is 'that bad'.

So put in perspective, 'Perfect Stranger' delivers enough to be entertaining in it's genre, it's not the best thriller ever but it sure isn't the worst, far from it.

Say what you will, I enjoyed it :)
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4/10
Mediocre start and finish, fair middle
gridoon20 April 2007
Before seeing "Perfect Stranger", I was hoping for another hidden gem like "Twisted" (2004), which was also a murder mystery with a female lead and other big names in the cast and also got bad reviews; sadly, this film isn't it.

The film starts off poorly - it's a whodunit, but the victim is a character who appears in just one scene before getting bumped off, so we don't have enough time to like or even hate (as it usually happens in, say, the Agatha Christie mysteries) her; so it's harder to find a reason to care who killed her. The film improves somewhat in the middle, with a couple of tense scenes (like the one in the car with Willis suspecting Berry of being a spy, or Berry's entrance into Ribisi's "secret room"), and a few interesting (if brief) views of the net-chatting world. But then the ending comes, and it's a cheat - the perfect planning required for it is simply too far-fetched (IMDB trivia says they filmed three alternative endings with three alternative killers: the one chosen in the final cut was probably the worst).

Halle Berry is GORGEOUS in this movie - I personally think this woman is getting more beautiful every year - but her acting is a bit forced, especially at her "big" moments. Bruce Willis has a couple of good scenes, but the rest of the time he pretty much sleepwalks through his role. Another problem is that both their characters are not very interesting, and yet another one is that there is no erotic heat between them, because Bruce is too old for Halle - although their age difference is only 11 years, he would even be more acceptable as her father than as her lover! In a supporting role, Giovani Ribisi is marginally more interesting than the two leads.

All in all, this movie is between a 4 and a 5 out of 10, mostly rental material.
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2/10
Unconvincing and boring !
swissmanager30 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Half way through the first half of this dreary film I knew I had goofed and seriously wondered whether I could slip out and go and see the Reaping instead.

The film literally plods along and really lacks any conviction whatsoever. The ending was a surprise but by that time I was too keen to leave the theatre.

The films revolves mainly about the three main characters who are, along with every other character in the film, a bunch of devious, debauched, lieing, shallow personalities - there are no heroes or heroines in this story.

The online chatting is so outdated and obviously phoney, the script so weak, the antics of the computer boff Miles nonsensical, and when Hill finds out that he has been duped by Ro his reaction is unbelievably infantile and naive for such a supposedly dynamic and creative high flying ad exec.

A big yawn here folks.... give this one a miss... I was totally disappointed.
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8/10
Its good gripping thriller
jignesh5686 December 2007
Movie is good.I liked it,as well as enjoyed it till end. I saw with least expectations but it turned out to be good suspense thriller which holds your mind through.I don't wants to watch heavy social issue containing,powerful performances movies all the time,Halle berry does good job as lead actor so the rest of the cast.

Starts up well,keeps us busy what will be next ,maintain the mood of movie ,ends with startling Climex. Halle berry fired from the job due to her story on politician(it happens in U.S.too..)enters Bruce willis company as employee to expose him to save her friend.Not for the awards but to thriller its tight script with added feminity of Halle berry , its fun to watch.
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10/10
Excellent Movie
DJGilby16 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was outstanding and one of the better movies I have seen in a while. It was a refreshing thriller which kept you guessing until the very end. The acting by everyone in the movie was great. Throughout the entire movie I was trying to figure out if Harrison Hill was the bad guy or if it was Miles or the wife. It was so unexpected that Ro was the killer. The end is what tied the whole movie together and I do not understand why so many people hated this ending. All of the twists kept the movie from never getting boring. I also liked the fact that everyone in the movie had both a kind side and a dark side to their personality. This movie was one of the best this year, so I obviously recommend this movie.
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5/10
The Hemingway daiquiri
jotix1009 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This must have been a vehicle designed for Halle Berry, an actress that had her fifteen minutes of fame in "Monster's Ball". After all, in that film she had several things going for her, namely, her director, Marc Forster, a meaty role, and Billy Bob Thornton who showed great chemistry with Ms. Berry. Bruce Willis seems to have been an after thought since he doesn't have much to do in this film.

"Perfect Stranger" alas, is a manipulative film that doesn't make sense. As directed by James Foley, this movie asks us to stretch our imagination in believing that our heroine, who is a nasty piece of work, can do the things she does. From threatening a politician who has been involved in an unsavory situation, she goes into an overkill mode in trying to avenge the death of a childhood friend, a situation that we don't believe from one second.

"Perfect Stranger" dwells in the world of the New York media with its glossy setting, steamy sex and double entendre situations. It is also a film that shamelessly show two prominent brands, Victoria's Secret and Reebok. Then there is a question of credibility in which our heroine, who is not computer savvy is asked to get into her would be lover's computer without any knowledge in how to go about it. Also, for that matter, the case against Harrison Hill is pure fantasy as it is based on circumstantial evidence that any trial lawyer would be able to dismiss in no time.

Halle Berry is a beautiful woman. That said, she shows no chemistry with her co-star Bruce Willis even in their steamier scenes. Creepy Giovanni Ribisi does another of his weird interpretations as the hacker who should have known more about his friend, but paid a dear price for not realizing who he was dealing with.
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5/10
A quiet B-movie, worth watching for those who like to follow murder-mystery plots
Chris_Docker16 April 2007
Have you ever met someone who you didn't like at first but, after you made an effort, they kinda got your attention?

I had to make the effort with Perfect Stranger. It is not an easy movie to like. Its direction seems pedestrian, the camera-work and editing wanting, and the acting wasted. The characters are not very nice people, but not evil enough to be anti-heroes.

But let's work backwards. It has a killer ending. If you worked hard to follow the complex plot, your efforts pay off. That makes you feel good. Like listening to a person you can't get away from who has droned for an hour and a half and then suddenly what they are saying makes a warped kind of sense. The plot might be convoluted, but I have to admire the way it fits the horrible, cynical pieces together. An hour afterwards, it reminds me of old B-movies that you might dig up and pick little gems from their rotting carcass.

So what's it about? Well, it could be about anything - no, that's me being too disingenuous. It's a mystery thriller. A whodunnit. It has Halle Berry moving through several personas and Bruce Willis being quite disgusting and yet getting our sympathies. She's an investigative reporter. He's the head of an advertising agency. Then there's some fabulous shots from the newly-completed 7 World Trade Center, the first of the new buildings on the former WTC site. Look out for stunning wraparound views of Lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, and New Jersey.

Annoyingly, the film doesn't glamorise its strengths. A key early conversation between Halle Berry (Rowena) and her pal Grace is almost overpowered by the background noise of the subway trains. Almost, but not quite - are you paying attention? The views of New York are more impressive when you think back to them. But at the time we see them, we are trying to figure out what kind of game Harrison Hill is playing. Similarly, an early scene of outrage that could have grandstanded Berry's acting talents is subsumed into a very ordinary establishing shot. But condemn it early on at your peril. Dismiss it and you forego the enjoyment of a well-constructed mystery, even if it doesn't live up to the star ratings its big names might suggest. This film doesn't follow the 'good' rules, you long for something to spice it up. Some flashy camera-work, fancy edits maybe. Or something sexy with Halle Berry's legs? And you don't get much of that. Does the story have you by the balls yet? Probably not. "Stroke a man's (beep), you get him for one night - stroke his ego and you get him for life." Grace's comment only hits us after we leave the cinema. It might not be that simple, but Rowena, like any good journalist, only does 'sexy' here for effect.

Rowena's pal winds up dead. Very dead. Horribly, bloated, facelessly dead. At this point, I was still thinking how they 'should' have directed the movie to give it more impact. Later on, I appreciate the understated style. It also leaves you free to follow the plot more carefully than if you are having clues and red herrings rammed down your throat.

Rowena takes on another identity to get a job at Harrison Hill's agency, as well as some more online personas. The powerful Mr Hill seems to have been in everyone's pants (even though he has a genuinely stunning wife). Yet Willis plays the role with such honesty that we almost don't want him to get caught out. He might be a sleaze but Rowena's co-investigator, Miles, is a sleaze-ball of a different kind. Miles does online jiggery-pokery to find out stuff for Rowena. But he is also a different kind of twisted power-tripper and runs rings around her.

Perfect Stranger lulls us into moral condemnation. Its outlook of the world is totally cynical. "Show me a beautiful woman and I'll show you a man who's tired of (beep)ing her," confides a Hill employee to Berry. When you meet the perfect stranger do you assume the best? Or do you assume the worst?

"To a certain extent, everybody lives a double life," says Academy Award winner Halle Berry. "We're all complicated beings; we're different people all the time - for example, a woman might act differently at work than she does at home. We all hide something, even from our best friends. This movie highlights that and takes it to the next level, showing what we're capable of when we're forced to come to terms with it."

OK, we know that nothing and no-one is perfect, and we accept that they everyone and everything is 'packaged', right down to the Veronica Secret gift bag that the ad agency is giving away. But ultimately Perfect Stranger is packaged as carelessly as if it were wrapped in second-hand gift wrap. That makes it easy to dismiss. Or loathe. But its self-effacing, redeeming qualities are perhaps sufficient not to ignore. Mystery thriller geeks, get your ticket now, before it is condemned to obscurity.

(note - I have censored certain words from the quotes from the film for this site)
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2/10
Has the sexiness of a peanut
simonparker199013 April 2007
What happened to Halle Berry? A few years back she was the new thing, an actress with an Oscar, done a great supporting role in a Bond movie, had some other pretty credible roles, and starred in the blockbuster X-Men and X-Men 2. And then she went off to star in Catwoman. Why she signed on to star in that loathsome little movie is still beyond me, but she clearly learnt here lesson as she collected her Razzie for the movie in person. But after her little performance in this pathetic little Basic Instinct wannabe I am really not sure whether Halle Berry will ever be able to recover. In all fairness she is the best thing in this movie, she at least does make an effort. But I can't say that for the rest of the movie. I suppose the saddening thing here is that this could have worked, with a better script and with a little effort this movie might be good old dumb fun. Unfortunately instead its a plodding caper without an idea where its going and chucking so many red herrings at us it eventually realises it has none left and leaves us with the only other possible ending.

The first thing I suppose I will go on about is the acting. Halle Berry as I said is the best thing in this movie, she does her job efficiently. By no means is she good in the movie, but she comes out of the film with her dignity intact. Its amazing she managed to do this as her character is so badly written, so badly characterised that its a wonder any actress could give the character a sense of humanity. However, her opposite lead, Bruce Willis manages to come out of this mearlly sporting his ridiculous set of hair. Not only is his character poorly written, but Bruce Willis is also badly miscast. The role of Harrison Hill requires someone at least a bit younger, and also with a tiny bit of chemistry with Halle Berry. The scenes where the two try to be sexy to one another comes across as skin crawlingly unbearable. The supporting cast are if truth be told even worse. Halle Berry's friend and ally, Miles, played by Giovanni Ribisi just doesn't work. His character at least becomes a bit interesting in the end, but at first he just seems stupid. Basically everyone else is superfluous.

The actual storyline of Perfect Stranger could have worked, I mean its your typical sexy thriller and whodunit. These types of movie should play out pretty well, I mean all you have to do is stick to the set of rules that every other one has laid out and your guaranteed something passable. But what that requires is sex appeal, and unfortunately this movie has all the sex appeal of a peanut. While the thriller side manages to scrap average, the sex side of the movie drags the movies quality down to rock bottom. It tries to be slick, sexy, a bit of a Basic Instinct for a new generation. While Basic Instinct was no classic it still worked on certain levels. All of which Perfect Stranger fails pathetically on. The other major issue with the film has to be the plot twist. Now this might make some people like the movie, it will make others groan and moan about how increasingly stupid the movie gets. For me it seemed, well odd, but I suppose it works. I mean I wouldn't have chosen that ending, but I suppose in the end it was kind of inevitable. Doesn't come close to redeeming the movie though.

Perfect Stranger is a desperately dull movie lacking, charm, sexiness and anything remotely like a thrill. Halle Berry manages to save this from complete and utter disaster, but its still a very, very bad movie.
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8/10
High Octane Thriller
tl-film14 April 2007
If you enjoy drama and intensity you will love to watch this talented young lady portray a twisted professional in New York City.

Often this type of movie suffers from a withdrawn alter-ego facsimile that crunches the essence of plurality. Unlike older movies in the genre Perfect Strangers takes the viewer into the morbid underbelly of America with no apologies or explanations other than the story unfolds.

Let yourself and your family relax to this montage of unique characters expertly driven by secret motives and needs.

Warning this movie is too much for most viewers because it requires intellect and open-mindedness.
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7/10
Good Movie Coupled With Nice Twists
qmross21 March 2007
This movie is definitely one that you have seen before. If you watch a lot of movies you will notice the recycled plot. As I sat watching this movie in a invite only screener, I noticed in the first ten minutes that Halle Berry cannot act. Her acting was mediocre, but the actor Bruce Willis and Giovanni Ribisi saved this movie. Halle Berry is a beautiful face, but that is all she offered here.

This movie had some nice twists coupled with a nice elements likened to the game Clue. I say that because you constantly go through the assumptions of who did it, and how it was performed. I am glad I got to see it for free. It is worth taking a date to, but definitely will not win any awards. The whole viewing experience makes you think about how many times will Halle Berry play this role (Gothicka).

Happy Viewing
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2/10
Nothing can save this stinker from Bargain Bin
jleefe10 April 2007
This movie suffers from a weak script and bad performances. Although it holds mild interest in the initial stages, it quickly morphs into a manipulative, formalistic, contrived mess that does nothing to restore my faith in Hollywood. I am always amazed that credible actors like Willis and Berry agree to appear in this kind of stuff. Perhaps they either did not read the script or the almighty dollar caused them to shelve their artistic sense and act in a movie that is destined for the DVD "Bargain Bin" at Walmart faster than you can say "stinker". Enough said? (FYI, the reason I give it 2 stars is because of Berry's stellar looks (one for the body; one for the face).
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1/10
Awful - avoid wasting a CENT on this movie
stephenmatlock21 April 2007
I've walked out on two movies in my life - one was Laserblast, and now this is the second. Now I must apologize to Laserblast for holding them to too high of a standard - an industry that can release such dreck as "Perfect Stranger" means that any movie made or that will be made in the future 'til the sun explodes in a super nova will be better than this movie.

What's not to absolutely hate about this movie? Well, nothing. This is the kind of movie that you find out later that all the stars had been blackmailed into being in this film. Halle Berry and Bruce Willis, among others, play odious unlikeable characters in such a way that you dislike them from the moment you first meet them until the final moments when ugly things happen but not ugly enough to satisfy your need for punishment - for indeed anyone connected to this movie should be brought up on charges for criminal misuse of talent and resources.

Oh, and I really didn't like it, either.
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6/10
Lackluter thriller with A list stars
MLDinTN24 February 2008
This is a murder mystery; too bad there wasn't enough suspense or chemistry between the lead actors. Hallie Berry has picked some bad thrillers to be in lately. Berry plays, Ro, a reporter who does some investigating when a child hood friend turns up murdered. The friend had talked to her a week before her death and mentioned how she was having an affair with an ad executive, Harrison Hill. Ro decides to investigate Hill with the help of her computer geek friend, Miles. It turns out Miles is more of a freak than Ro thought. The investigation of Hill is supposed to be thrilling, but it really isn't. There isn't enough suspense. At the end Miles puts it all together and we get a montage of who committed the murder and how. Very sneaky. But not that great of a pay off.

FINAL VERDICT: If you don't see this, you aren't missing anything. There are better movies out there.
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5/10
The Imperfection of Perfect Stranger **
edwagreen23 February 2008
Something goes terribly awry in this film.

Bruce Willis seems to have really aged in this film. He could have played the father of Halle Berry. He's ruthless, cunning and a real stinker, but what's really going on with him, if anything.

There is a surprising excellent supporting performance by Giovanni Ribisi. The latter is an up and coming thespian who will be walking down the aisle one day with an Oscar in his hand. Trouble is that his acting talents are wasted here due to the end of this unconvincing plot.

The film starts off well. A reporter has the goods on a gay senator but everything gets dropped due to politics. Angry and embittered, the reporter played by a devilish Halle Berry, resigns but soon finds herself caught up in the murder of a childhood friend. The latter was carrying on an affair with advertising executive Bruce Willis.

You really don't expect Berry to turn out as the culprit. Nothing really led up to this.

Berry really comes off as a monster here. Was she emulating "Monster's Ball?" If so, it sure doesn't work.
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Good story and acting, but it sort of cheats the viewer in the end.
TxMike16 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Halle Berry is Rowena Price, hot-shot reporter who has been working on a big story. Everything is nailed down, she and her partner have all the evidence, and the front-page expose' is written. But her editor informs her the story will not be published, it is essentially vaporized. Seems that the target has connections to the newspaper and , well, there are certain things wealthy and powerful men do.

Rowena is naturally put off by this, and decides to approach a new target on her own. Bruce Willis is Harrison Hill a wealthy ad agency man, married, but who doesn't seem to take his vows too seriously. His jeopardy is compounded by the fact that his wife has the money position. A young lady turns up murdered, an old friend of Rowena's, and she thinks Harrison did it. A hunch. So helped by her friend Giovanni Ribisi as Miles Haley, they use email and chat rooms to focus in on Harrison. Plus Rowena gets a 'temp' job in Harrison's firm, and eventually starts up a romantic liaison.

Berry, Willis, and Ribisi are all good, but the story in the end cheats the viewer. Don't read my final comments below if you have not yet seen the movie.

SPOILERS, SPOILERS.

As the story unfolds Harrison looks suspicious and we begin to believe he is the murderer. But Miles also acts suspicious, and we find out he was on the other end of the chat pretending to be Harrison so we start to think he might have done it as part of his obsession with Rowena. However, in the end we find in a flashback that the dead young lady had witnessed something when the two were children, something bad, and Rowena had killed to forever silence her after it appeared she was a threat.
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