Angel Eyes [2001]

Angel Eyes is a mature and levelheaded drama about real people with authentic emotions, clawing through their own hurt and confusion toward a hopeful recovery. In a subtly effective performance as Chicago cop Sharon Pogue, Jennifer Lopez is both gutsy and vulnerable, using her badge as a shield against a past incident of domestic violence that left her estranged from her family and alone with her conviction that good deeds are not always rewarded. This leaves her open to the mysterious appeal of Catch (Jim Caviezel), a haunted loner whose slightly creepy demeanor is merely the cautious fa├žade of a man who, ultimately, has as much to offer Sharon as she does to him. They connect--he saves her life, just as she had once saved his--and Angel Eyes proceeds to reveal the true and fateful depth of their love. It seems, at first, that Gerald Di Pego's script will turn in a supernatural direction--or at least a metaphysical one--but it doesn't, and director Luis Mandoki navigates an emotional minefield while acknowledging the walls that people build between themselves and the traumatic events they wish to forget. Catch has kept a deliberate distance between himself and a tragedy that Sharon had witnessed--not a repressed nightmare, but a devastating loss from which he will, eventually, recover. That these two characters should rediscover each other at a time of mutual need is not a contrived coincidence. In Angel Eyes, it's the karmic redemption of two wise and deserving souls. --Jeff Shannon

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