Mr. Brooks ★★½

The premise has potential, the story contains some interesting elements, and the cemetery scene and the titular character’s nightmare at the end of the film are memorable, but the inclusion of a police-detective subplot is detrimental to the movie because it distracts the viewer from the main storyline and feels out of place. The rather bleak cinematography and the ominous score create an atmosphere that fits well with the dark theme of the proceedings. Kevin Costner does a commendable job in an uncharacteristic role, eliciting a kind of morbid sympathy for Mr. Brooks; William Hurt is perfectly cast as Marshall, the main character’s alter ego, and the movie is at its best when Costner and he are interacting; Dane Cook gives an appropriately creepy performance as Mr. Smith; Demi Moore is okay in the role of Detective Tracy Atwood, and it is not her fault that the subplot about her character is the most problematic aspect of the film. Ably directed by Bruce A. Evans.