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|Directed by||E. Elias Merhige|
|Produced by||Lester Berman
E. Elias Merhige
Tom Cruise (uncredited)
|Written by||Zak Penn
Harry J. Lennix
|Music by||Clint Mansell|
|Editing by||John Gilroy
Robert K. Lambert
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release dates||August 27, 2004|
|Running time||99 minutes|
Suspect Zero is a 2004 thriller film directed by E. Elias Merhige. The film stars Aaron Eckhart, Ben Kingsley, and Carrie-Anne Moss. It opened to decidedly negative reviews, and failed to earn back half of its estimated $27 million production costs at the box office. The movie currently holds an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
A man is seated in a diner who is revealed as Harold, a travelling salesman. He is joined by a gentleman who makes him uncomfortable. After leaving the diner, Harold is found dead which leads to FBI Agents Thomas Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) and Fran Kulok (Carrie-Anne Moss) being bought on the case. There appears to be history between both Mackelway and Kulok and a cloud of competency is addressed by flashbacks of Mackelway's recent suspension and issues that he's undergone. As the investigation proceeds, the agents begin to become aware of the possible existence of "Suspect Zero", a mythical "super serial killer" responsible for hundreds of deaths across all 50 states who leaves no evidence behind to link his crimes together.
The killer also sends information to Mackelway and he is lead towards Benjamin O'Ryan (Ben Kingsley). The agents must decide if O'Ryan is the key that will allow them to catch Suspect Zero, or if he is Suspect Zero himself. Evidence uncovered reveals that O'Ryan was part of a secret government experiment attempting to cultivate telepathic abilities in individuals for military purposes. The experiments gave O'Ryan the ability to see the actions of serial killers. These disturbing visions constantly torment O'Ryan and drive him to find the killers and kill them. O'Ryan seeks out Mackelway because Mackelway shares his abilities to some degree and was involved in a controversial case that made headlines.
The actual Suspect Zero is another man who travels over the United States with a refrigerated truck. He targets children, whom he abducts and transports to his ranch to be killed. Mackelway had started piecing together evidence linking these crimes by recognizing that victims had signs of freezer burns whilst being transported from their place of kidnap to their resting place. Eventually, Mackelway and O'Ryan find Suspect Zero at his ranch. After a struggle outside, Suspect Zero is killed when Mackelway crushes his skull with a rock. O'Ryan then tries to convince Mackelway to end his suffering by killing him. When Mackelway refuses, O'Ryan pretends to attack him, prompting Kulok to shoot him to defend her partner.
- Aaron Eckhart – Thomas Mackelway
- Ben Kingsley – Benjamin O'Ryan
- Carrie-Anne Moss – Fran Kulok
- Kevin Chamberlin – Harold Speck
- Harry J. Lennix – Rich Charleton
- Official website
- Suspect Zero at the Internet Movie Database
- Suspect Zero at allmovie
- Suspect Zero at Rotten Tomatoes
- Cast/Crew listing by the New York Times
- New York Times Review by Manohla Dargis
- "Anatomy of a Murder: the Unmaking of Suspect Zero, or How to Kill a Movie in a Hollywood Minute" back-story commentary