Malice (1993) / Thriller-Mystery

MPAA Rated: R for sexuality, language and some violence
Running Time: 107 min.

Cast: Alec Baldwin, Nicole Kidman, Bill Pullman, Bebe Neuwirth, George C. Scott
Director: Harold Becker
Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, Scott Frank

Review published May 25, 1999

Tracy (Kidman, Days of Thunder) and her college professor, Andy (Pullman, A League of Their Own), fall in love and get married, but have been unsuccessful in having children. Andy runs into a doctor (Baldwin, Glengarry Glen Ross) who is from the same school he went to and they become friends. It just so happens they have a floor in their house to rent to this doctor, who is new in town. Tracy develops abdominal pains and has to go to the hospital and is operated by the very same doctor, but the operation is a failure causing Tracy to not only lose her ovaries, but also it is found that she was pregnant. Now a lawsuit is in the works, but it's not as open and shut as it appears at first glance.

Malice gets much of its energy from its nifty little script, featuring some clever twists that help to gloss over some ridiculous holes and some questionable scenes. Baldwin and Pullman come together for their rendition of "Duelling Rasps", but both are fun to watch.

On the down side, Kidman is not terribly impressive in this role, and the cameo by George C. Scott (Firestarter) is wasted, along with an ill-conceived scene with Anne Bancroft (Love Potion No. 9) that is laughably bad. Malice could also have used much more lighting, as every scene will have you squinting more than Eastwood's Man with No Name to see what's going on.

The plot twists keep things entertaining but ultimately Malice is nothing more than an insignificant thriller that only flirts with being something more.

Qwipster's rating:

1999 Vince Leo