Bad becomes good in Ariel Vromen’s Criminal, a sci-fi thriller set in London. Kevin Costner plays a convict constitutionally incapable of seeing the difference between right and wrong, because of a severe injury to his frontal lobe that he suffered as a child. Hell ensues when Costner’s character’s brain is impregnated with the memories of a C.I.A. agent (Ryan Reynolds) who made a deal with a hacker (a dark-haired Michael Pitt, with a questionable Danish accent). Gal Gadot plays Reynolds’s preternaturally cool and collected wife. Tommy Lee Jones plays a sad-eyed doctor. Gary Oldman plays an irate government agent who needs to dial it down a notch. Vromen’s direction is not felt: Criminal is generic and predictable—sentimental at its worst, outrageous at its best. With a few sufficiently entertaining action sequences, some R-rated fist fights featuring Costner playing against type, and an electronic score, Criminal gets by on the charm of geezer action.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White