Shailene Woodley (Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars) stars in this Silence of the Lambs wannabe procedural thriller as Eleanor, a young beat cop who finds herself in the center of a life-changing investigation when she’s called to the scene of a crime in Baltimore. Rather than do what she is supposed to do and shepherd people fleeing a mass shooting, she runs into the building and into FBI chief investigator Lammark (Ben Mendelsohn, Animal Kingdom, “Bloodline”). Initially admonished for being in the way, he soon sees that she has the right temperament to help him track down a dangerous killer.

As the film begins revelers are enjoying their New Years Eve partying in a fancy high-rise. Outside fireworks are going off, and everyone is having a great time. But suddenly it turns into a shooting gallery. Somewhere out there in another building, there is a sniper picking off the party-goers. When is it over, there are 29 dead, no wounded though, and zero clues as to the killer or a motive.  City officials are in a hurry to make the populace believe they know what’s happening, even pushing the police to go after a kid who had nothing to do with it. But Eleanor, being a broken person herself, has insights into the mind of the killer that Lammark appreciates, and he makes her his liaison with the police department.

There is another mass killing, but this time it is clear that it was not planned, and it gives the team their first real leads.  From there on it’s a standard procedural as clues about the killer’s identity move them towards him and the final confrontation.

Actors Woodley and Mendelsohn both elevate their roles. The script somehow misses being much deeper that one of my favorite TV detective dramas (I’m talking “Bosch” or one of those great Scandinavian series). And that is a shame. The director builds good tension and the characters of the leads are pretty well-drawn. But the story doesn’t really pay off, especially for Eleanor. I’d put this one in the “don’t need to see it in a theater, but do put it in your streaming queue” list.

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