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A psychic doctor, John Clancy, works with an FBI special agent in search of a serial killer. After having lived in isolation for two years, since the death of his daughter, Clancy is asked by his friend Joe, an FBI special agent to help him solve several murders committed by a serial killer.

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Solace movie full length review - Dualing Psychics & An Ethical Dilemma

What begins as a straight-forward looking murder investigation soon escalates into something far more challenging in this intriguing thriller that focuses on moral ambiguity and an ethical dilemma before being resolved by a battle between two psychics.

The mood is decidedly unsettling, the visual style is interesting and a number of the plot developments are genuinely surprising. To describe "Solace" as a battle between good and evil would be too simplistic because its focus is strongly on the troublesome grey areas that make some moral judgements more difficult than others and it's this facet of the story that provides it with much of its substance.

When an investigation into a series of murders makes little progress because the killer leaves no clues and there are no known links between the victims, FBI Special Agent Joe Merriweather (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) turns to his old friend and ex-colleague John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins) for help. Clancy is a retired police doctor who, for the last two years, since the death of his daughter and the break-up of his marriage, has lived as a virtual recluse. Initially, Clancy has no interest in getting involved but after reading the case files, changes his mind. Joe's partner, Agent Katherine Cowles (Abbie Cornish) is sceptical about the value of Clancy's involvement because she's heard about his psychic powers and as a student of psychopathology believes in the use of more conventional methods to try to solve crimes.

After visiting a couple of the crime scenes, Clancy is able to deduce that the murder victims were all terminally ill and that the killer is probably a psychic. Later, at an autopsy of a young boy who'd been murdered, Clancy receives a written message which directs the coroner to the precise location of the child's brain tumour and this convinces him that he's dealing with an adversary who has much stronger powers than his own.

The killer, Charles Ambrose (Colin Farrell) is effectively able to toy with the investigators because of his ability to anticipate their actions so accurately and chooses his own time to confront Clancy in person and explain the motive for his crimes, which he knows will resonate strongly with his fellow psychic.

Anthony Hopkins gives an exemplary performance as a man who because of his torment over the loss of his daughter, the breakdown of his marriage and the sometimes disturbing visions that he experiences, frequently looks distracted and Colin Farrell also makes a surprisingly strong impact considering his limited amount of screen-time. The real strength of this movie, however, lies in its story and its rather creepy atmosphere.