In For a Murder is a gripping crime thriller that has earned rave reviews from both viewers and critics. A stay-at-Home mom and avid lover of crime stories finds the strangest clues of a single case while investigating the death of an unexpected female friend. The Internet movie site Hulu specializes in original movies and TV shows, and In For a Murder is the newest installment of this exciting series. This dark comedy stars Julia Roberts as the protagonist, an ambitious young attorney who returns home to her mother's murder-mystery.
Julia Roberts turns in one of the best performances I've seen in a movie. Her confident and emotionless performance is an interesting contrast to her earlier roles such as the sexy office worker in Wedding Crashers or the cynical FBI agent in Vanilla Sky. Roberts delivers her best performance yet in for a Murder as the caring and protective mother who wants to protect her daughter from the evil deeds of her friend, the ruthless and morbidly ambitious sleuth she calls "Big Head." Add the perfect femme fatale role to the already stellar acting list in for a Murder and you have a movie that every movie enthusiast should see.
Although the central story involves the murder of a woman with a mysterious background and motive, the supporting characters also play their part in this engrossing crime-solving comedy. The most memorable supporting character by far is the cynical, semi-intellectual, and slightly malicious private detective "Big Head" who works in a mobile death bed waiting for his next victim. The owner of a popular roadside snack bar maintains a steady routine life with his wife, loving nanny, and two best friends. He is a very reserved man who rarely opens up to his wife about his personal life, preferring to spend his time watching TV or playing video games. When one night falls upon him like a bomb during the middle of the night, Big Head must unravel the mystery surrounding the double murder and the local mobster connections that are a part of the plot.
Ben Kingsley plays the title role of the hard-boiled detective, and manages to bring out the inner detective in us all by providing us with refreshingly honest and often funny insights into solving complicated cases. Kingsley's performance is balanced between being convincing enough to earn his victims trust and wry enough to leave us wanting more. His co-stars include the equally talented Desiree Duvall who plays the hard-boiled, yet loving private investigator Big Head; Karen Gaffney as the sexy and mysteriousnecromancer; and the season three star Jessica Alba as the ambitious but strong-willed FBI agent investigating the case. The supporting cast in For a Murder is composed of several different characters each with their own unique purposes. Duvall plays the role of a snappy diagnostician who gives Kingsley her diagnosis, while Karen Gaffney becomes the sexy, ambitious FBI agent tasked with the case. As if those characters weren't enough to make In for a Murder worth watching, what adds to the appeal is the well-timed music which plays throughout the movie.
The music is a wonderfully serene and mellow that plays throughout the entire film, providing the perfect backdrop to the story and elevating the movie just enough to make you forget about the brutality of the situation. A year before the murder mystery takes place, a wealthy but mentally unstable private detective named Mikey is found dead in the bathtub of his own bathroom. Local authorities suspect him of being the victim of an insider-trading mafia family, so they investigate the death and Mikey's mysterious past.
With a wealth of colorful characters and great locations, In for a Murder is another gem from veteran director Terry Gilliam. Although it may seem like a cheap film, In for a Murder is anything but. It is a complex story filled with many different layers that slowly start to reveal the motives of the main characters as the story progresses. Although some may find the ending to be predictable, at times the movie even pulls you out of your seat to take another breath (which it does). This is just one of Gilliam's best films, and is sure to be a winner for all the classic fans of the detective movies genre.