Derailed: A Hitchcock Thriller Style Movie

 

This website was originally created to promote the release of the 2005 film Derailed starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. Once the movie was released and all the hype quieted down the domain's registration was allowed to expire and the site disappeared from the internet. You will see from the various reviews below that the critics from Rotten Tomato generally panned the movie giving it an all over tomatometer reading of a lowly 20%. The audience was more forgiving,with a 58% rating. But let's face it, Derailed was not the critical success that the producers The Weinstein Company expected. If you were a Clive Owen's fan you might have been disappointed if you expected his tough guy rotten persona. Here he plays Charles Schine with a quiet, sad passive acceptance of his own bad fortune. It's rather intriguing. And Jennifer Aniston does an interesting twist with the way she portrays her character by not being a stereotyped sexpot, but still being irresistible. I enjoyed the movie when it was released, giving it 3 stars. The next time I rented it from Netflix. I didn't get to watch the full movie the first night that I slipped the disc into my dvd player, because my new puppy decided that my oriental rug was the perfect place to take a piss. Was this an accident or did the little fuzzy want some attention. At the time it didn't matter. What was important was cleaning up the mess. I thought I had done a good job, but you could still smell the urine the next day. OK, it was time to find a New York rug cleaning company that specialized in persion/ oriental rugs. Fortunately for me I found a great family run company who had been cleaning oriental rugs for more than thirty years. One of the owners came by to inspect the rug. He assured me that they would be able to remove the smell. A week later the rug was delivered and quite honestly it looked better than when it had left. Plus rthere was no smell so Danza woiuldn't think that she could take another piss on the same spot. In fact there hasn't been an accident since that movie night. I had never considered this idea, but perhaps Danza was really just letting me know what she thought of the film! I felt that was a harsh critique. I obviously like it enough to rent it on dvd.

Recently I discovered that the site's domain was available, so I bought it with the goal of recreating as much of its original content as possible from archived pages. Unfortunately there was little to work with so I have used outside sources, including the reviews. I was more concerned that someone else might purchase the domain and re-purpose the site for something that had nothing in common with the original DerailedTheMovie.com website.

Since the site will not be exactly as you remember it, please be indulgent.
Now let's take a nostalgic stroll back to 2005 and the release of Detailed.

Synopsis

(Clive Owen) Charles Schine, and (Jennifer Aniston) Lucinda Harris, have noticed each other on the commuter train before. One morning the conversation leads toa flirtation which, turns onto an evening drink and then, before either one can stop it a passionate one night stand. But suddenly a stranger explodes into their world, threatening to expose their secret and lures them into a terrifying game with more surprises than they saw coming and more danger then they may survive.

Written By: Stuart Beattie
In Theaters: Nov 11, 2005
On DVD: Mar 21, 2006
Box Office: $35.9M
Runtime: 1 hr. 47 min.
Release date  November 11, 2005 (2005-11-11)
Based on Derailed by James Siegel
Writer  Stuart Beattie (screenplay), James Siegel (novel)
Cast: Clive Owen (Charles Schine), Jennifer Aniston (Lucinda Harris), Melissa George (Deanna Schine), Vincent Cassel (LaRoche), Addison Timlin (Amy Schine), Sandra Bee (Train Conductor)

  He never saw it coming.

 

 

AUDIENCE REVIEWS FROM ROTTEN TOMATOES

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4 stars
Nicki Marie | January 4, 2008
Rewatched last night after many years. I actually could remember the twist in this one, and actually it's glaringly obvious anyhow, which I don't recall it being first time around.

Still a good movie. Jennifer Aniston does a good job here. And quite different to some of the fluff she's normally associated with (not a criticism - I've enjoyed a lot of it over the years. I actually do think she's a good and quite versatile actress).
I did have to suspend disbelief quite a few times with some of the things that happen- seemed way too easy. Particularly what happened at the very end - as if someone would get away with that. Ditto to the hotel scene (second one).

But decent thriller. Well cast and looks good.

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3 stars
Kevin M. Williams | April 23, 2008
The fear of the inner city dirt and grit and slime exploited bigtime with this cautionary tale about a innocent and naïve businessman (?!?) seduced into an affair that explodes in his face quite literally. Everyone performs okay, only wanting for common sense from the script in this okay thriller.

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4 stars
Lady D'arbanville | August 3, 2006
Thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish, good performances alll round, particularly from Vincent Cassel, but more shockingly, a good performance from Jennifer Aniston as a serious role.

I watched this film, knowing nothing about it and having not even seen a trailer and I'm glad, because I had no expectations of it and it left it unpredictable.

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3 ½ stars
Jens S | June 13, 2006
This thriller starts out really slow, showing how two strangers are so curious about each other that they risk their marriages and start an affair. Everything beyond that is quite a surprise. Not only do things speed up and take quite a few twists and turns, it's just extremely entertaining to see the noose tighten around Clive Owen's neck, who is giving another very convincing performance as leading man. Another big asset of the film is Vincent Cassell who is a really threatening bastard once again. The regularly recurring theme of trains and trams is interesting to follow as well. The surprising and clever ending finishes a satisfying thriller experience that may not reinvent the genre but delivers what it is setting out to be.

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3 ½ stars
LorenzoVonMatterhorn | August 2, 2007
This is a finely crafted thriller with a great story, believable characters, evocative settings and scenery, and yes, even a few well-placed chuckles. The acting is, for the most part, quite good--Jennifer Aniston did not once make me think of Rachel Green from 'Friends,' and the Wu Tang Clan's RZA as Winston was a welcome surprise.

'Derailed' has received many unfairly negative reviews, in my opinion. Check it out and decide for yourself.


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2 Stars
Drew S | May 13, 2007
A serviceable thriller/star vehicle. This movie would be a fart in the wind without Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston, and neither of them are really at their best here. I mean, Clive Owen can do no wrong, but the character is just too ordinary.

The plotting is usually strong, but there are some fundamental issues with character logic that really drain away your sympathy. So Jennifer Aniston doesn't wanna come forward with the whole situation - okay. But when Clive Owen's family is put into the crossfire, do we really believe that he's going to endanger them to help this woman who is a relative stranger? It just doesn't make sense. Stuart Beattie, the screenwriter, did a good job dancing around a tricky premise, but he does trip up here and there. The characters just have stupid tendencies - no questions asked.

It's a relatively well-done movie, but I'll be damned if I remember it a week from now.

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CRITICS REVIEWS FROM ROTTEN TOMATOES

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1 ½ star
Derailed (United States, 2005)
A movie review by James Berardinelli | Dec 6 2005
Spoilers – sort of: Although this is not a spoiler-heavy review, there are implied spoilers. While specifics are not revealed, anyone good at reading between lines may learn more about the movie than they want to. Those in search of a "virgin" movie experience are hereby warned.

Derailed is yet another in the seemingly endless line of stupid, generic thrillers that Hollywood foists upon the movie-going public. Tedious and predictable, it employs obvious situations and clichés instead of genuine suspense-building elements. Those who haven't figured out the movie's "twist" long before it's explicitly revealed are either thriller newbies or aren't paying attention - a characteristic that is understandable considering the poor quality of what's on screen. A nap would be a better way to spend 105 minutes. Any dream that occurred during such a sleep period would offer a stronger narrative and more impressive character development than Derailed.

Derailed doesn't begin off-track. The first twenty minutes are decent as the film examines some of the impulses that can lead to infidelity and the conflicting emotions that go along with a new affair. Once the movie enters thriller territory, however, it comes apart at the seams. Character development stops cold. Red herring subplots abound. And the main storyline plods along in such a pedestrian and unsurprising fashion that we're always at least two steps ahead of the protagonist. This makes him seem slow and stupid. And there's neither energy nor atmosphere.

Charles Schine (Clive Owen) is a faithful husband to his young-ish bride, Deanna (Melissa George), and a dutiful father to his ill daughter, Amy (Addison Timlin). He has no thoughts of straying until a chance encounter on a morning train with the ravishing Lucinda Harris (Jennifer Aniston) tempts him to temporarily put aside his vows. She, like Charles, is married, although her union isn't as harmonious as his. Her husband is absent 24/7, but at least she has a darling three-year old daughter to keep her happy. Sparks fly between the two, and they find themselves in a seedy hotel room about to consummate the relationship when they are interrupted. A Chicago thief with a French accent, Philippe Laroche (Vincent Cassel), breaks in on them, robs them, beats up Charles, and rapes Lucinda. That ordeal ends the not-really-begun affair, but not the terror. Philippe begins blackmailing Charles and, at Lucinda's urging, he decides not to go to the police, opting instead to handle matters on his own.

Clive Owen is one of the best actors working today, but this may be the worst performance of his career. Perhaps understandably, he looks bored by the material and the limited challenge of the role. He's a void, and his co-star doesn't help. Jennifer Aniston is miscast as the semi-femme fatale. The part requires more than she is able to give, and we never believe her as Lucinda. The only one with any juice is Vincent Cassel, but he can play a psychotic thug in his sleep.

It's hard to know whether to blame Swedish-born director Mikael Håfström, screenwriter Stuart Beattie, or the guy who wrote the book, James Siegel. Being a generous reviewer, I'll spread the blame around. Derailed adds nothing to the genre, and is an insult even to someone just on the lookout for a mindless thrill. (It delivers on the "mindless" part but not the "thrill.") It makes the messy Where the Truth Lies seem like a model of coherence and intelligence. As for the dialogue… the less said the better. Some of the lines in Derailed are cheesy enough that they may threaten to bring on a bout of giggles. Plus, just to make sure the film doesn't clock in with too short a running length, we get the obligatory "fake ending." Of course, it will be obvious to anyone that another "shock" is on the way when everything has apparently been wrapped up and the movie is still chugging along. More apt names than Derailed don't come along often. At least The Weinstein Company & Miramax can't be accused with falseness in advertising where the title is concerned.

 

DERAILED
Rated R
By Ethan Alter Original review: Nov 14, 2005
March 1, 2007

It's become a given by now that Clive Owen enlivens virtually every movie he appears in, even a bland thriller like Derailed, the first release from the newly formed Weinstein Company, run by former Miramax head honchos Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Owen plays Charlie Schine, a Chicago ad-man who lives in a big house in the suburbs with his lovely wife Deanna (Melissa George) and their bright daughter Amy (Addison Timlin). But his life isn't as perfect as it seems on the surface. Amy suffers from Type 1 diabetes and he and Deanna have to work virtually nonstop to pay the medical bills. This has understandably put a strain on their marriage, to the point where Charlie is ready to leap into bed with the first attractive woman who makes eyes at him.

That woman is Lucinda Harris (Jennifer Aniston), another married suburbanite he meets on the morning commuter train. The two get to talking and talking leads to lunch and lunch leads to drinks and drinks lead to a room in a seedy downtown motel. Before they can do the deed, they are interrupted by a gun-toting criminal named Laroche (Vincent Cassel), who beats Charlie to a pulp and rapes Lucinda. When Charlie regains consciousness, he insists they go to the police, but Lucinda refuses, afraid of what her husband might do if he finds out about her almost-affair. Charlie reluctantly agrees to keep quiet, although his promise is quickly put to the test when Laroche turns up again, demanding $20,000 in cash. From here, the plot thickens as Laroche continues to milk his mark for money and Charlie searches for a way-any way-to get rid of this violent crook while he still has some semblance of a normal life left.

If you read or watch a lot of thrillers, than it's unlikely that anything that happens in Derailed will surprise you. Even casual fans of the genre should be able to spot the various twists and turns coming a mile away, which means it's up to the cast and the director to keep us involved in the film despite the predictable storyline. That's when the presence of a magnetic actor like Owen becomes invaluable. This isn't a flashy performance designed to win awards and applause; in fact, Charlie may be the most "normal" character Owen has ever played. He brings the right mixture of intensity and helplessness to the role, getting the audience rooting for Charlie and caring about his welfare. Owen has a good sparring partner in Cassel, who sneers and curses with great relish. Aniston, on the other hand, is miscast as the dark-haired temptress who may not be entirely on the level. She and Owen strike a few sparks, but the role cries out for an actress with more mystery and verve behind her eyes (someone like Connie Nielsen or Laura Elena Harring).

As for the direction, Swedish filmmaker Mikael Håfström does a serviceable job behind the camera, but the Weinsteins haven't stumbled upon a real find here. His one noticeable artistic flourish is to ground the early scenes of the film in a kind of dismal realism. The Schines live in a modest house and are locked into their individual routines. Even Charlie's flirtation with Lucinda isn't so much sexy as it is vaguely pathetic. Once Laroche enters the story, though, the movie snaps into traditional thriller mode. Ultimately, Derailed is one of those forgettable efforts that's neither bad enough to completely dismiss nor good enough to wholly recommend.

 

Derailed
3 Stars
Review by Matthew Turner | 01/02/2006
Cheesy, old-fashioned thriller that remains surprisingly enjoyable, despite obvious twists and an increasingly ludicrous plot.

What’s it all about?
Derailed harks back to the era of Fatal Attraction, when yuppie-in-peril thrillers were all the rage. Clive Owen stars as Charles Schine, an overworked Chicago man whose marriage is strained as a result of having to earn enough to pay for his daughter’s kidney transplant.

When Charles meets the flirty Lucinda (Jennifer Aniston) on a commuter train, he’s instantly smitten. However, Charles soon finds his life plunged into deception, blackmail and violence.

The Good
Clive Owen is surprisingly good as Charles, giving a performance that’s a lot more lively than normal. Similarly, it’s fun to see Aniston playing against type with a character that’s much darker than her usual run of goodie-goodies.

Vincent Cassel has a huge amount of fun as LaRoche, overacting the Evil Frenchman bit to the point where he’s practically twirling a moustache. In addition, there’s strong support from RZA (as Charles’ ex-con coworker) and Giancarlo Esposito as the detective.

The Bad
The biggest problem with Derailed is that its plot becomes increasingly ludicrous, failing the crucial test of what would I do in that situation? on a number of occasions.

It’s also saddled with a twist that is blindingly obvious. That said, Swedish director Håfström (who made the Oscar-nominated Evil) still manages to save a neat little surprise for the climax, even if he has to cheat a bit to get there.

Worth seeing?
Derailed is more fun than it has any right to be, largely thanks to Cassel’s glorious overacting and Håfström’s slick direction. Trashy and forgettable, but worth seeing.

 


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