Betrayed

After the Chicago killing of a controversial radio talk-show host by right wing extremists, FBI agent Winger goes undercover to investigate prime suspect Berenger. A widowed family man farmer, he's as clean-living and charming as they come; inevitably she falls for him, uncertain of his guilt until he takes her hunting by night...for human prey. Winger wants out, but when her boss and ex-lover (Heard) refuses the request, she finds herself involved in a white supremacist conspiracy against blacks, Jews and gays, and living with a man she detests and fears. If the forte of Costa-Gavras' political thriller is its acting, that only underlines the flaws in Joe Jagged Edge Eszterhas' murky, often contrived script. The racist sentiments and deeds on view are plausible; it's the plot details that suspend disbelief (why for instance, doesn't Berenger notice Winger's deceptions earlier?). The film has its fair share of chilling moments, and its determination to expose the moral sickness infesting the Midwest's conservative heartlands is admirable. But Winger's emotional dilemma is clumsily sketched, leaving the film relying for suspense on a handful of set pieces; and that isn't quite enough.

Release details

Duration: 127 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Costa-Gavras
Screenwriter: Joe Eszterhas
Cast: Tom Berenger
John Heard
Ted Levine
Jeffrey DeMunn
John Mahoney
Betsy Blair
Debra Winger
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