Under The Skin 

Scarlett Johansson shows plenty of hers in this sci-fi thriller.

This is the one: the movie in which Scarlett Johansson drops trou. I'm sorry to say, however, Ms. Johansson has chosen poorly for her full-frontal nudity debut.

Under the Skin (adapted from Michel Faber's 2000 novel of the same name) isn't half bad, which means about 50 percent of the film is pretty terrible--emphasis on "pretty" for Ms. Johansson's presence, "terrible" for everything else.

An alien appears as a speck of light in the film's opening moment; then morphs into a disc-shaped human eye, before becoming one of the most striking women on the planet. And I do mean, quite literally, striking.

In one disturbing sequence, involving a near-drowning man and an infant, the alien's bloodlust will probably give you nightmares for a solid week. Oddly enough, it's the most effective scene in the film.

Director Jonathan Glazer chose not to include the alien's back story and as a result, Under the Skin feels as if it's missing a middle reel.

Glazer also opted to cast many of the male roles with amateur actors, but the result is more disorienting than ambitious.

I was a huge fan of Johansson's work in Her, where she used none of her physical charms. But in Under the Skin, she uses way too much with too little effect.

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Under the Skin is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Under the Skin
Rated R · 108 minutes · 2014
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Mackay, Dougie McConnell, Kevin McAlinden, Andrew Gorman, Joe Szula, Krystof Hádek and Roy Armstrong
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