tek's rating:

Don't Say a Word (R)
IMDb; Regency; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; Hulu; iTunes; Movies Anywhere; Vudu; YouTube

This came out in 2001, but I didn't see it until 2017. I don't remember how much I knew about it at the time that it was released, but by the time I saw it, all I could remember was commercials with Brittany Murphy saying "I'll never te-ell," in a creepy, sing-songy way. I'm also not sure how much, if any, interest I had in seeing the movie, when it came out. Or for years afterward. But at some point, I guess I decided I wouldn't mind seeing it. And one day I saw a cheap used DVD for sale, so... I got it.

Anyway, it begins in 1991, with a group of thieves stealing a gem from a safety deposit box. (They called it a diamond, but it looked like a ruby to me.) I guess while they were making their getaway, one of the thieves double-crossed the others, and took the gem for themselves.

The movie then flashes forward ten years, to 2001, on the night before Thanksgiving. There's a prominent child psychiatrist named Dr. Nathan Conrad (Michael Douglas) who is on his way home from work, when he gets a pager message from his former colleague, Dr. Louis Sachs (Oliver Platt). When Conrad shows up at the psychiatric hospital where Sachs works, the latter introduces him to an 18-year-old woman named Elisabeth Burrows (Murphy), who had killed someone, and was now apparently catatonic. She'd been shuffled between 20 different mental hospitals over the past decade, and each place received a different diagnosis. Conrad soon comes to believe Elisabeth has merely been mimicking different conditions. He gets her to speak, which I guess Sachs had been unable to do, and she says Conrad wants what "they" want, but she won't tell him who "they" are or what they want.

Finally, Conrad goes home to his wife, Aggie (Famke Janssen), and their young daughter, Jessie. Aggie is confined to bed with a broken leg, but Conrad and Aggie have plans to go out and watch the Thanksgiving parade the next day. However, in the morning, Conrad discovers that Jessie is missing. He soon gets a phone call from her kidnapper, Patrick (Sean Bean), who is one of the jewel thieves from ten years ago. He and his partners had recently gotten out of prison, where they'd spent the past decade for killing the one who had betrayed them. Now they want to find the gem, which the double-crosser had hidden somewhere before his death. And his daughter, Elisabeth, is the only one who knows where it is. So, now Dr. Conrad knows who "they" are and what they want. And they give him a very strict deadline to get the information out of Elisabeth, or else they'll kill Jessie. So he goes out to try to do what they want, while Aggie stays home and agonizes over her inability to do anything. We also occasionally see Jessie with her kidnappers. She seems pretty clever, and tries to get one of them to like her. Meanwhile, there's a police detective named Sandra Cassidy (Jennifer Esposito), who's investigating a couple of recent murders, which we soon learn tie into what's going on with Patrick and Dr. Conrad. So eventually their paths cross, at the climax of the movie.

Well, I've left out tons of details. Apparently, the movie was critically panned, but I thought it was alright. Not great, and not something I ever need to watch again, but... alright. I did think the acting was better than the story. And I'd say Aggie and Jessie were the best characters. And I guess that's all I have to say.

thriller index