Parents' Guide to

Intrigo: Death of an Author

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Ineffective book-based murder mystery has sex, language.

Movie R 2020 106 minutes
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Slow-moving, convoluted, and chilly, this mystery (based on a novel by Swedish author Hakan Nesser) has the right ingredients, but it frequently feels disconnected, and it doesn't completely click. Intrigo: Death of an Author is the first part of a trilogy, all based on works by Nesser, all murder stories of a kind, and all with at least one scene set at the "Intrigo" cafe. Some mysteries are written backward, with the conclusion in place, and then move through the solution to the setup. Certainly this movie had its ending figured out, but it can't work out a beginning that seems logical.

For a long time, very little the characters do makes any sense, from Harry's reason for visiting Henderson to Daniel and Eva's remaining on vacation together even after they break up. The actors also seem a little lost when it comes to expressing how much they know -- or are supposed to know -- and they all seem a little blank (except Kingsley, who chews some pretty good scenery). Director Daniel Alfredson, who also made the second and third parts of the original smash hit Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, provides plenty of exotic backdrops, from sun-dappled verandas to gorgeous hotel rooms. But the characters move through them at such a sleepy pace that Intrigo: Death of an Author feels more like postcards than a movie.

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