Movie Review: In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

[Please note: there is a big ol’ twist in this movie, as you may or may not expect from the trailer. If you read this and are only partly convinced, I do suggest you give it a chance.]

A sci-fi thriller directed by Jim Mickle (2010’s Stake Land), In the Shadow of the Moon was released onto Netflix in 2019. Police officer Thomas “Lock” Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook, Logan) and his partner, Maddox (Bokeem Woodbine) are called to a case where several seemingly unrelated people in 1988 Philadelphia have simultaneously bled to death. Holt’s brother in law, Detective Holt (Michael C. Hall, Dexter‘s Dexter) takes point, hoping it will be the case that makes him famous. When the suspect is revealed to be a teenage girl (Cleopatra Coleman), Lock, Maddox and Holt each go about solving the crime in their own way.

+ Holbrook and Woodbone were great, and they had some really enjoyable chemistry as the police officer team. This is first and foremost Holbrook’s movie to shine, and he is certainly given numerous opportunities in a wide range of situations
+ the plot is full of twists and turns, the majority of which are interesting and done well enough to keep you guessing (at least for about 75% of it)
+ a minor but important positive, the opening sequence, with the aforementioned deaths across Philadelphia, is confronting and attention grabbing, and it really sets the tone for the rest of the movie to come
+ Netflix says to expect ‘blood and gore’, but to call this ‘gore’ would be uncalled for. For the squeamish, there certainly is blood, but nothing more than puddles or streaks. It does make sense in the story, too

Officer Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook, right) and his partner, Maddox (Bokeem Woodbine).

– something about Michael C. Hall was very unappealing as Detective Holt. His accent seemed to change mid-sentence, going from a bad Australian twang, to South African and even British. I kept waiting for it to play into the story, but it never happened
– the final few moments of the film were hit or miss. The ‘sci-fi’ part of ‘sci-fi thriller’ will not be for everyone, and I think I fell into the portion of people who would have been happier with less sci-fi elements. That’s not to say it was a deal breaker on the movie as a whole,

> For a fun side game, count how many times Woodbone’s, Maddox says ‘shiiiiit’ or some variation of it. I think I got to double digits
> Boyd Holbrook and Tom Felton should be brothers in something. I often confuse the two

Should you see this film: Overall, I enjoyed this. Even if I can’t say I was entirely pleased with the ending, the journey to that destination was made of fun little twists, full of discussion potential, and Holbrook really held his own.


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