I'm calling Fracture a cross between The Silence of the Lambs and Primal Fear because there's a wily killer with no remorse and a brash lawyer who gets totally hosed. The latter two titles are heavyweights in the psychological thriller category, but the prior does its very best to keep up.

Los Angeles assistant district attorney Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling, The Notebook) takes a gig at a high-profile law firm, but he must prosecute one last would-be killer (Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs) who shot his unfaithful wife in the face, signed a confession, but rid the scene of any evidence and pleads not guilty. The case still seems like a lock, but there's a lot of Hannibal Lecter in Hopkins' newest master criminal, Ted Crawford, and he toys with the young prosecutor.

There aren't any lulls in the film, and the premise that anyone could openly shoot somebody in cold blood and get away with it is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. The beauty of the script, though, is that by pitting a brilliant killer against a too-cocky young lawyer, by about halfway through the movie, you're not entirely sure whom to root for.

I guessed (correctly) at Crawford's methods early, but there was still enough surprise to keep me guessing at a conclusion. And touting last year's Best Actor Oscar nominee and 1992's winner, Fracture has the star power to make it a modern classic in the psychological thriller domain.

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