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Damaged (2024) — Movie Review

'Damaged' breaks away from your typical detective serial killer movie, and delves into the darker side of its lead characters, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson and Gianni Capaldi. The film revolves around Dan Lawson (Jackson), a haunted Chicago detective who is brought in to assist the local police in unraveling a series of grisly murders in Scotland. These murders eerily resemble those Lawson investigated years earlier in Chicago, one of whose victims happened to be his own girlfriend.

Lawson joins forces with Chief Inspector Boyd (Capaldi) and Kessler (played by Kate Dickie), combining his expert knowledge with their local understanding to solve the mystery. However, their personal demons, ranging from Lawson battling alcoholism to Boyd trying to mend bridges with his wife following the death of their child, bring a unique depth to their characters. This is further complicated when Lawson brings his former partner (Vincent Cassel) on board, who has since shifted gears and become a crime novelist.

Damaged (2024) — Movie Review

John Hannah makes an appearance as a prime suspect with an ironclad alibi, adding an interesting twist to the narrative. The film strikes a balance between its convoluted plot and the stellar performances by its lead cast, with Capaldi's emotionally charged portrayal standing out.

Directing the film is Terry McDonough, known for his work on hit shows like 'Breaking Bad' and 'Better Call Saul'. His execution of the storyline makes 'Damaged' an engaging watch, despite the overbearing score by Andrea Ridolfi and the clichéd Scottish backdrop. Unfortunately, the movie’s climax, unveiling the killer's identity, falls short of building up the suspense crafted throughout the narrative. However, Jackson's performance in this final act makes up, in part, for the preceding 90 minutes of buildup. 'Damaged' presents a unique take on detective films, introducing complex characters and strong performances, even though the narrative’s resolution leaves room for improvement.