Detained (2024) Review

Director: Felipe Mucci 

Stars: Abbie Cornish, Laz Alonso, Moon Bloodgood, Breeda Wool, Josefine Lindegaard, 

Running time: 98 mins 

Abbie Cornish stars in this twisty, low-budget mystery thriller from Felipe Mucci that owes a sizeable debt to The Usual Suspects. So much so, in fact, that they might as well have gone all in and called it The Unusual Suspect. 

Cornish plays Rebecca Kamen, a seemingly ordinary woman who wakes up in a police station with no memory of how she got there. Accused of causing someone’s death in a car crash, she’s aggressively questioned by Detective Avery (Laz Alonso) and Detective Moon (Moon Bloodgood), but things quickly go from bad to worse when she seemingly kills one of them during a fight in the holding cells. 

However, something doesn’t feel right about the interrogation set-up and Rebecca quickly realises that there is more to both the police station and its various inhabitants (including her lawyer and a collection of witnesses) than meets the eye. But can she outwit her captors and save herself before it’s too late?

Cornish – who also co-produced – is good value as Rebecca, playing her as an intriguingly multi-layered character who keeps both her antagonists and the audience on their toes. Similarly, Alonso and Bloodgood are effective as the two supposed cops and there’s strong support from Breeda Wool (as a friend of Rebecca’s) and John Patrick Amedori as one of the shifty witnesses. 

The script – co-written by Mucci and Jeremy Palmer – has a lot of fun pulling several different rugs from under us, with the story taking multiple twists and turns. Admittedly, you’ll probably see some of them coming, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable in the moment. 

The main problem with the film is that the plot has so many holes in it that it’s a wonder it holds together at all – even Rebecca laughs at the stupidity of one particular element of the plan at one point.  It’s also frustrating in its whiplash pacing, frequently introducing new twists and then immediately discarding them, without consequence. (Without giving too much away, the supposed murder of the cop is over within the blink of an eye and has no bearing on what follows). 

It’s also fair to say that the script could have used another pass, particularly in terms of plot detail. Some more flashback sequences wouldn’t have gone amiss either. 

The most impressive thing about the film is the way it commits to the decision to effectively kill off the supporting cast members one by one. Somewhat perversely, that makes it simultaneously more ridiculous, but also much more enjoyable, even if you do end up rolling your eyes a bit. 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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Author

  • Matthew Turner

    A lifelong film fanatic, Matthew Turner (FilmFan1971) is a London-based critic and author, as well as the co-host of Fatal Attractions, a podcast on erotic thrillers. His favourite film is Vertigo and he hasn't missed an episode of EastEnders since 1998.