Suture - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Suture Reviews

Page 1 of 2
½ May 22, 2015
An odd, unique and stylized experimental film that seems to have been forgotten.
September 24, 2014
Stylish film that never manages to go anywhere very interesting with all of its visual ideas.. This black and white puzzler tries to be clever about a host of issues (personal identity, memory, racial bias) with only limited success.
July 26, 2014
A bit of serious work. Still trying to work out the black and white issue.
September 6, 2013
Although visually interesting in the filming style of an old Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, the plot and length should have followed that series' conventions. The movie dragged on and on to feature film length and the twist of nobody recognizing that the two men were very different, not only of two different races, but very different size and body types was belabored to the point of ridiculousness. The screenwriter and director just brat this point to death in the dialogue--the idea of these very opposite men being so similar that nobody knows the truth of the switch of Clay for Vincent. The ink blots with identically opposite sides, Vincent's birthday making his zodiac sign a Gemini, Clay only wearing all white clothes just like Vincent's after he takes Vincent's place, Mrs. Lucerne saying that even though her birds look Identical, she could still always tell them apart, the fact that one of the birds is dead, all of the stark white in Vincent's houses just too much. The issue is bludgeoned into us. And then we never do find out what Alice Jameson's relationship is to Vincent and his father.The one unusual point is hammered into us ad nauseum, while the end is no surprise. The visual style and one discrepancy from reality is just not enough to sustain a feature length film.
½ July 20, 2013
Ridiculous to say the least. If the Director is going make us do the "pretending" that this world is color blind then perhaps we should also pretend that color doesn't exists at all. The voice is completely different as well. Let's look at the hair as well. Come on. Only his hair dresser knows. The Psychiatrists is Asian are we to pretend he is German. "I think you amnesia is founded on the bases that you want to have sex with your mother." Give me a break.
January 6, 2013
Off-beat stylish with unconventional music that works great--Thought-provoking and mesmerising!!
May 3, 2012
Confusion never looked so good.
October 23, 2010
Aside from one or two plot conveniences, it's utterly fascinating. The racial in-joke is there simply to provoke thought, not necessarily move the story along or anything, but it adds an interesting level to the viewer's reading of the film.
½ June 3, 2010
I like a litte strange every once in a while ...
April 2, 2010
Nothing in this movie makes sense. It's all about the stye, which is like David Lynch, but with more confusion. There's more questions here than answers. The first one is why does anyone thing that Dennis Haysbert's character who is black could be Michael Harris' character, who is white. Their supposed to be half-brothers but their size and all, including their different races is off. I thought they're was something we weren't being told. That maybe Haysbert wasn't really black or that Harris isn't really white. It starts off good where with an attempted murder of Haysbert's character who is injured in a car explosion. He was supposed to die so everyone would think it is Harris' character. But Haysbert has amnesia so he can't remember who he was and thinks and believes he is Harris' character because everyone tells him. There's a lot of scenes of dreams and imagery but it goes nowhere.
August 1, 2009
Very excellent film. The choice of black and white to shoot the film was a very good idea. So was the casting of the 2 brothers. I believe they are chosen to look completely different (although in the narrative they are supposed to look identical) is that the director/writer wanted to show how different their personalities are. Perhaps this could not have been conveyed so easily if 2 actual twins were cast.

Anyway, this was an excellent film, check it out.
April 13, 2009
The Freudian stuff here is, well typically Freudian: human beings are defined by what they lack and what trouble them rather than what they are agents of and what empowers them. But David Seigel and Scott McGehee's neo-noir is simply the dogs bollocks. The plot is standard: amnesia and self doubt, an investigation, a revelation. But it centres on two identical brothers who are played by two different actors: one black, one white. To further compound things it is shot in oozing monochrome and resurrects the pressing concerns of the Expressionists in film. In film theory suture refers to how narrative cinema "stitches" the audience into character perspectives by using the shot-counter shot device.
April 3, 2009
Intriguing neo-noir with man suspected of killing his father attempting to assume his estranged brother's identity in a murder scheme. Everyone notes their striking similarity, although one is black and the other white.
October 13, 2008
Would've been so much better with two people of the same race. The whole "we look so much alike" thing just didn't work at all and the fact all these people never thought he just had the wrong licence, didn't check his fingerprints until REALLY late and none of them found it strange that he had suddenly got muscley, a different facial structure and most obviously... was strangely no longer a white man. Just too hard to believe. If this was made with two more well known actors it'd get slated more than anything. Imagine it with Kevin Spacey and Denzel Washington or something.
August 24, 2008
one of my favorite movies, the style, the actors, evrything, real cinema
½ May 16, 2008
The door latch makes a clicking sound as it is opened. A man sits bold upright in bed. There is a stranger in the house. Shots ring out as he grabs a shotgun and hides himself in the shower. The black and white cinematography makes the scene feel poignant. The instant intrigue is undeniable and I find myself caught up in a film in which the only highlight is the intro. The film initially feels both surreal and existentialistic. Too late I realize that I have allowed the opening scene to pique my interest in a film which picking up speed as it heads towards its inevitable train wreck of and ending.

Scott McGehee and David Siegel?s [u]Suture[/u] (1993) is an attempt to do an original take on the idea of an amnesia driven thriller. Although the film does introduce a single unique element, it fails to maintain its initial energy and ends up failing miserably in both the thriller and psychological genre?s.

This film deals with the concept of a mistaken identity, which is ironically created through a series of events set in place by one brother for the purpose of killing the other. One of the most attention grabbing elements of this film is the stark contrasts, which are largely created by the black and white filming. The contrast in the film is made even starker through the use of an African American as the lead in a film in which he and an Asian Psychologist are the only non-Caucasian actors. The detail of his dark complexion provides the film with its most noteworthy characteristic.

Throughout the film, there are numerous references to the striking similarities between the two half brothers. It is instantly apparent, however, that ?a blind man could tell them apart? from a mile away. Clay Arlington (Dennis Haysbert) is tall, well built and has skin that provides the darkest aspect of the film. By contrast, his half brother Vincent Towers (Michael Harris) is average height, slender and possesses a pale complexion. All of this notwithstanding, every character in the film, including the two brothers, seems to be convinced that the similarities between the two are undeniable. At one point one of the brothers goes so far as to compare the similarity to looking in a mirror. The comparison is made countless times throughout the movie until it becomes tiresome and downright insulting to the perceived intelligence of the viewing audience.

After viewing this film I found myself conjuring up mental pictures of writers and producers sitting around a table during a brain storming session. The question they are seeking an answer to is doubtlessly how to make a suspenseful murder thriller focused on amnesia and mistaken identity into an original production. After several ideas have been thrown back and forth, someone ingeniously suggests that they write a screenplay where the mistaken identity victims look nothing alike. At first the idea is rejected. But eventually it is embraced. The concept is so original that everyone is swept along by a wave of enthusiasm until it becomes the only part of the movie that is memorable.

And there you have it. All other elements have been shoved to the back of the collective consciousness of this film. The acting is subpar at best. The one noteworthy performance in this film, which is made so only by contrasting it against the others, is that of Harris (Vincent). Given the other disappointments of this film, it should come as no surprise that the best acting is done by the actor with the smallest lead role. Indeed, go for more than an hour without seeing or hearing anything related to Vincent until he randomly shows up and begins tailing Clay. The only memory we have of him is the opening scenes.

The source of greatest disappointment in this film, particularly considering its intended genre, is the absolute lack of suspense. The movie is downright boring. Although the cinematography is, for the most part well done, it lacks originality and feels like a crutch to this decidedly mediocre film. The various flashbacks, which Clay experiences, do more to confuse the audience than to provide clarity to the story.

Another aspect of this film that bears mentioning is its rather eclectic and random sound track selection. The music feels out of place during several key scenes and the cover of Jonny Cash?s ?Burning Ring of Fire? is downright horrific. Also, there are various points throughout where sound effects seem to have added significance. A prime example is a phone being knocked over and the resulting dial tone. However, these seemingly significant moments are left open ended and feel more like they were included to lengthen the film?s time, rather than provide story complexity.

The last and most aggravating detail in this film is the lack of attention to detail taken by the director and editors. The film contains numerous scenes where Clay is facing a mirror while wearing his eye patch. There are several scenes when the eye covered by the patch changes from his right to his left. This and other incongruent details in the film detract from its credibility.

[i]Suture[/i] lacks complexity, believability, depth and consistency. The use of black-and-white filming techniques and the creativity of the idea for dissimilar lookalikes do not make up for all of this film?s shortcomings. It should be viewed only by someone who wants to learn what not to do when making a suspenseful thriller.
½ May 8, 2008
Scott McGehee's film, ?Suture? pushes audiences to pursue the idea of what identity is and what it is that defines them. The film begins with a shot from up above of a black man dressed in white in a shower with a shotgun and a white man dressed in black with a pistol on the other side of the shower curtain. The white man steps up to the curtain and prepares to pull it open. Just before it opens we cut to the next scene. In this scene Vincent Towers (Michael Harris) is greeting his step brother Clay Arlington (Dennis Haysbert) as he gets off of the bus. This is the first time that they have met after their father's funeral. Clay, wishing to talk with Vincent about their relationship came to visit him, but Vincent suspects there are other reasons considering their father had some wealth. On the way to Vincents house both of the brothers comment on their striking resemblance. Right here, from the very beginning there is a question of identity because the brothers look nothing alike, although everyone thinks they look the same. Clay is a well built black man from a small little town. Vincent is a quiet, white and a weasel-looking character.

As we go forward in the film we watch as Vincent plans his own death, but plans it so that Clay dies and everyone thinks that he is Vincent. We learn later that Vincent was a suspect in his father's death. Vincent's plan goes wrong when Clay survives but loses his memory and so begins a spiral as Clay, who everyone thinks is Vincent including himself, tries to figure if he really murdered his father.

The film is narrated by Dr. Max Shinoda (Sab Shimono), a psychologist who is trying to help Clay get his memory back. Shinoda explains to Clay that physically there is no reason why he should not have his memory, so it is completely mental. Throughout the film, Clay is having dreams that point to objects and circumstances in his old life. But of course none of these make sense to him.

Slowly we watch as Clay assimilates Vincent's life. He wears Vincent's clothes, he drives his car, he does everything like Vincent. Everyone tells him he is Vincent, so he slowly become Vincent. It is not until a visit to Clay's old town does it become very obvious his new identity is taking over. Continually in his dreams, Clay kept seeing landmarks from the town of Needles, California. He even saw the sign of it in his dream. So, to try and figure out what his dreams mean, Clay visits the town and quickly becomes disgusted with it. It is dirty, small and completely beneath him. He even kicks at a dog that appears to know him. The old Clay would have been at home there, but this new Vincent was not.

Clay goes through three baptisms if you will through the film as he slowly loses his old life. The first one is when he first arrives in the city with Vincent. Vincent takes him home, where Clay goes and takes a shower, and puts on some of Vincent's clothes. Later, after coming home from the hospital, Clay takes another shower, symbolizing his washing away of his old life as he tries to figure out his new one. His third and final baptism is in this same shower at the end of the film when the real Vincent returns. This is when we come to the scene with Clay crouched in the shower with a shotgun and Vincent walking toward the curtain preparing to open it. As Vincent opens the curtain Clay shoots him in the face, killing him and making him unrecognizable, thus completing his final baptism, erasing all proof that there was another Vincent or even Clay.

This film is overall a very good watch. You will definetly learn something about identity and you will begin to question what defines you. The only problem that I could find with the film was the ending voice over narration. The film seems to make one point about identity, then at the end the doctor makes a statement about identity, as if the audience is too stupid to get it, and to make matters worse, this statement completely changes the meaning of the film so it doesn't make sense. Do yourself a favor, watch the film, but skip the end, it's worth it.
½ April 29, 2008
Highly artistic. The black and white was definitely accentuated through the filming style. Pretty crazy trippy.
Page 1 of 2