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DERAILED

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Protagonists in thrillers must not watch such films in their own lives, or they'd never make the same dumb decisions re: adultery and cover-up. Maybe Chicago ad man Charles (Clive Owen) was too busy tending to his ill daughter or his bored marriage not to see that striking up an affair with fellow commuter Lucinda (Jennifer Anniston) was sure to lead to deep shit compounded. Mikael Hí¥fström's drama trods a familiar twisty path, but his film moves at a brisk pace that keeps the story of terrible consequences mostly on track (even as I easily guessed the Big Twist). The broody Owen effortlessly carries Charles's crushing moral dilemma (was there ever an actor who looked more burdened just existing?), though Derailed is firmly in the overly dramatic Fatal Attraction scared-straight camp, where Yuppie Morality Lesson No. 1 is: One night's cheatin' will ruin your entire life. (AH)

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