Review: To Catch a Killer

Actress Shailene Woodley shines in the newly released American crime thriller, To Catch a Killer. The 31-year-old actress stars as, Eleanor Falco, a troubled police officer. She gets recruited by the FBI and works with fellow agent, Geoffrey Lammark (Ben Mendelsohn), to help catch a serial shooter (Ralph Ineson) terrorizing Baltimore. Woodley’s character in the movie is strong and determined but previously struggled with drug addiction and self-harming. 

As a lover of all things mysterious, I enjoyed watching this movie. I’ve also been a fan of Woodley since her days on the ABC Family (now known as Freeform) original teen drama, The Secret Life of the American Teenager. So, I was excited to watch and discuss this movie. From a pregnant 15-year-old trying to navigate family, friends, and romantic relationships, to a police officer partnered with a member of the FBI, Woodley has come a long way in her acting career. I’ve seen several of her work throughout the years and have never been disappointed by her performance.

To Catch a Killer is rated R for foul language and violence. As a crime thriller, I expected lots of gun violence to be shown. But the disturbing events didn’t stop there. The movie includes suicide, self-harm, and racial slurs. Ineson gives a convincing performance as the damaged and violent serial killer, Dean Possey.

The movie ended with Eleanor accepting a job in the FBI after helping take down Dean. However, she did not accept the job joyously due to the police force’s negligence during the case and the death of Agent Lammark at the hands of Dean. 

I hoped the movie’s ending of Eleanor’s story would’ve reflected more on her past. Though she moved up in her career in law enforcement, she hasn’t yet healed from her troubled past. When it came to Dean, his ending was more expected. With many movies with a similar premise, the bad guy often ends up dead, in jail, or institutionalized. Similar to a review on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie gives little explanation as to why Dean does what he does. Aside from a horrific head injury he sustained as a child, he made it seem like he kills because he hates the world and everyone in it.

All in all, I believe this is a great thriller. Based on what I’ve seen, it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. I hope Woodley’s appearance in the trailer’s thumbnail would get more fans interested in checking out the trailer and watching the events unfold.

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