Some lines should never be crossed.
With a nasty villain and a plot twist that will take many viewers by surprise, Derailed is the kind of potboiler that's enjoyable in spite of its flaws. It's basically two-thirds of a good movie, with a convincing set-up and a barely plausible payoff that... well, you've just got to see it and decide for yourself. Like Fatal Attraction, it's a good-enough thriller that turns infidelity into every man's nightmare, beginning when Charles (Clive Owen), a well-to-do Chicago advertising director with a sickly, diabetic daughter and a slightly troubled marriage, has a chance encounter with Lucinda (Jennifer Aniston), a lovely and quick-witted financial advisor who's also stuck in a marital rut. Their chemistry is instant (between both characters and stars), but their eventual hotel tryst is interrupted by a mugger (French actor Vincent Cassel at his vile, despicable best) who's out to milk Charles for every dollar he's got. Of course, one phone call to the police would solve everyone's problems, but as he did with Collateral (albeit more convincingly), screenwriter Stuart Beattie turns up the tension with such manipulative skill that you're willing to skate past the plot holes and go along for the ride. With lively supporting performances by rappers Xzibit and RZA, Derailed marks a commercially slick American debut for Swedish director Mikael Håfström, whose 2003 thriller Evil was a Best Foreign Film Oscar®-nominee. --Jeff Shannon