Starring Boyd Holbrook, Michael C. Hall, and Cleopatra Coleman, this film left me feeling that it should have been a television show and that the supernatural element could have been left out. The film takes place over several nine-year intervals, starting with mysterious deaths occurring all throughout Philadelphia. Holbrook plays a rookie cop when we first meet him in 1988, but we slowly see him transform from a detective to a man obsessed with this woman who seemingly died, but yet comes back every nine years.
Mysterious, detective movies and television shows are definitely up my alley and this movie has a great puzzle that needs to be solved. Holbrook’s story is tragic, as he goes from a man with a loving wife and a daughter to be, to a man without much to hold onto except Coleman’s character. Who is she? Why does she keep coming back after nine years and why does she leave so much death in her wake?
The answer ties to something very prevalent today and there was a social commentary that wasn’t really explained until the end of the movie. With racial tensions and a radical far-right group rising up, we needed a series rather than a movie. There was so much to explore and there was a backstory that would have been great to see. Add the ability to time travel on top of that and it felt like too much was being packed into this film.
Why We Needed More
Holbrook was really good, though. I don’t think he’s given much credit for his acting ability, especially with his career having taken a bit of a pause in the past couple of years. If we can take one thing away from this movie, it’s that he has the ability to tackle tough characters. Hall is fine in his one-dimensional character, but we needed more of Coleman. When we first meet Coleman, she’s the center of not only a murder case, but of a public outcry as well. The movie fleshed her out a little more and we saw not only what her true mission was, but what her connection to Holbrook’s character was.
In the Shadow of the Moon is not a weak movie and the message they were trying to showcase was not lost, but I believed that it needed to either be only one thing or have been a Netflix show. We only got a taste of what the story was. I believe that we didn’t need time travel, we could have just focused on the rise of this radical group and how to stop them. Then again, if we had kept the time travel aspect, then I would have liked to see more of Holbrook and Coleman’s interactions in it.
What did you think of In the Shadow of the Moon on Netflix?
A girl with too many fandoms to count.