Secret in Their Eyes

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Secret in Their Eyes
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBilly Ray
Screenplay byBilly Ray
Based on
Produced by
CinematographyDanny Moder
Edited byJim Page
Music byEmilio Kauderer
Distributed bySTX Entertainment (United States)
Universal Pictures (United Kingdom)
Vercine Distribucion (Spain)
Pancinema (South Korea)
Release dates
  • November 11, 2015 (2015-11-11) (Los Angeles premiere)
  • November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
CountriesUnited States
United Kingdom
South Korea
Budget$19.5 million[2]
Box office$34.9 million[3]

Secret in Their Eyes is a 2015 thriller film written and directed by Billy Ray and a remake of the 2009 Argentine film of the same name, both based on the novel La pregunta de sus ojos by Eduardo Sacheri. A co-production between the United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Spain, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts, with Dean Norris, Michael Kelly, Joe Cole, and Alfred Molina in supporting roles.

The film was released by STXfilms on November 20, 2015. It received a mixed reception from critics, who praised its performances but compared it unfavorably to the original.


In 2002, shortly after 9/11, Ray Kasten, a counterterrorism agent for the FBI, and his friend Jessica "Jess" Cobb, an investigator for the Los Angeles district attorney's office, meet new ADA Claire Sloan. Jess and Ray receive a call about an unknown female body found in a dumpster near a local mosque, which Ray has been investigating for possible terrorist links. At the crime scene, both are devastated to discover that the victim is Jess's 18-year-old daughter, Carolyn, whose body has been bleached inside and out to destroy DNA evidence of both rape and murder.

Ray, who was supposed to meet Carolyn to plan a surprise party for Jess but was late due to work conflicts, feels responsible for her death, while Jess feels the increasing need to move out of the city. While helping Jess pack, Ray notices pictures from a picnic thrown for law enforcement in which a young man is seen staring at Carolyn. Ray scans the photo and matches it to Anzor Marzin, who is an informant in the terrorism probe. DA Martin Morales is reluctant to go after Marzin, fearing it would compromise the terrorism investigation. Officer Reggie Siefert brings in a suspect named Aban Ghazala, who Ray realizes is not the killer.

Ray forces Siefert to admit that he set up Ghazala as a patsy to protect Marzin. Ray and Detective Bumpy Willis track down and arrest Marzin at Dodger Stadium. Claire argues with Ray over his methods while taunting Marzin by claiming he wasn’t capable of the crime, provoking him to expose himself, confess to the crime, and attack Claire. Ray beats Marzin, which leads to Morales ordering Marzin released. As Marzin gloats, an enraged Ray suggests they kill him before he gets away, but Jess refuses to go that route, saying death would be too easy on him. After his release, the police find Marzin's van, but Siefert burns it to destroy the evidence against Marzin.

Thirteen years later, Ray, now head of security for the New York Mets, returns to Los Angeles and reunites with Claire, now the DA, while Jess, who has been asocial since the loss of her daughter, is Claire's top investigator. Ray has found a man named Clay Beckwith, who he believes is Marzin living under an alias. The investigation eventually leads to a shootout with Beckwith in which Siefert is killed. Beckwith and his men are arrested, but Jess insists that Beckwith is not Marzin.

When Ray and Claire pay a visit to Jess's isolated farmhouse, she confesses that she found and killed Marzin thirteen years previously, shortly after Ray left Los Angeles. Later, Ray follows Jess into her barn and discovers that Marzin is actually alive, having been imprisoned in a cage for over a decade. Marzin begs Ray to ask Jess to talk to him. Ray pulls out his gun and leaves it with Jess as he goes outside and starts digging a grave. Ray hears Jess shooting Marzin. The two meet each other with a sense of relief while Claire officially closes Carolyn's case.



On January 20, 2015, STX Entertainment acquired the US rights to the film. STX also produced the film.[4]


Principal photography began on January 26, 2015, in Los Angeles.[5] On January 27, filming took place at the Santa Anita Park.[6]


STX had initially scheduled the film for release on October 23, 2015,[7] but in July 2015, the film was moved back to its eventual November 20, 2015 release date.[8]

The film's first trailer was released on June 30, 2015.[9]

Home media[edit]

Secret in Their Eyes was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States on February 23, 2016.[10]


Box office[edit]

Secret in Their Eyes grossed $20.2 million in North America and $12 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $32.2 million, against a budget of $19.5 million.[3]

In North America, the film opened alongside The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 and The Night Before on November 20, 2015. In its opening weekend, it was projected to gross $7–9 million from 2,392 theaters.[11] The film made $170,000 from its early Thursday night screenings and $2.3 million on its first day. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $6.7 million, finishing fifth at the box office.[2]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 39% based on 149 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Secret in Their Eyes wastes its incredible cast on a remake that fails to improve upon—or even make a compelling case for its own existence in addition to—the remarkable original."[12] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 45 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[13] On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale.[14]

Writer Manuel Betancour of Remezcla said the film "offers a textbook example of what often gets lost in translation when foreign films are remade for American audiences."[15]


  1. ^ "SECRET IN THEIR EYES (15)". British Board of Film Classification. February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony. "'Mockingjay – Part 2' Flying To $104M-$110M, Lowest In 'Hunger Games' Series But Still Great Business". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Secret in Their Eyes (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Maglio, Tony (January 20, 2015). "Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Jason Bateman Headline Projects for Showtime, STX Multiyear Deal". Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  5. ^ "On the Set for 1/26/15: Michael Fassbender Begins Steve Jobs Biopic, Ryan Coogler Starts Rocky Spinoff & More". January 26, 2015. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  6. ^ "Filming underway in L.A. for 'The Secret In Their Eyes', starring Nicole Kidman & Julia Roberts". January 27, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  7. ^ Lang, Brent (February 25, 2015). "STX Entertainment Dates Films With Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Jason Blum". Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  8. ^ Sneider, Jeff (July 29, 2015). "STX Moves Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman Thriller 'Secret In Their Eyes' to November". Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Christopher Rosen, "See Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman & Chiwetel Ejiofor in the intense new trailer for Secret in Their Eyes," Entertainment Weekly, June 30, 2015.
  10. ^ "Secret in Their Eyes DVD and Blu-ray". Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  11. ^ "Katniss To Set The World On Fire As 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2' Shoots For $285M-$305M Global Debut – B.O. Preview". Deadline Hollywood.
  12. ^ "Secret in Their Eyes". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 10, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  13. ^ "Secret in Their Eyes". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 22, 2015). "Was It Wise To Divide Up 'Mockingjay'? Finale's $102.4M Debut Is 5th Highest Of 2015, But Lowest In Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  15. ^ "This Is What Happens When You Remake an Oscar-Winning Argentine Film for US Audiences". Remezcla. Retrieved October 3, 2018.

External links[edit]