Mar 072017

Solace was one of the better surprises of this young 2017 year (even though it was technically released on a limited level in late 2016). Even so, I found it to be a compelling suspense-thriller with some fine performances from Hopkins, Morgan and Farrell and well worth at least a rental.




Genre(s): Suspense Thriller, Drama, Crime
Lionsgate | R – 102 min. – $24.99 | March 14, 2017

Date Published: 03/07/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Afonso Poyart
Writer(s): Sean Bailey & Ted Griffin (written by)
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish, Colin Farrell, Marley Shelton, Xander Berkeley
Commentary, Featurette, Trailer
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

Note: This review contains some spoilers, so readers beware…

Given my track record with Grindstone Entertainment releases, my expectations for Solace was quite low. However, every once in a while a film surprises you and I albeit flawed in many areas, I found this to be entertaining, compelling and presents an interesting moral dilemma.

The film opens up on the latest in a string of murders, someone using a 5-inch sharp instrument to kill. On the case are Agents Joe Merriwether (JEFFREY DEAN MORAN) and partner/psychologist Dr. Katherine Cowles (ABBIE CORNISH). With the investigation going nowhere and clues few and far between, Merriwether decides to reach out to an old colleague, now current recluse, for help. John Clancy (ANTHONY HOPKINS) is a clairvoyant who previously assisted the FBI but following the death of his daughter to leukemia, and subsequently separation from his wife, he has led a quiet life.

We get the cliché of Clancy initially turning down Merriwether’s offer before, after reading the file, agreeing to aid in capturing this serial killer. Together, Merriwether, Cowles and Clancy go back to the beginning and soon a pattern is discovered: the killer (COLIN FARRELL) is murdering people who are close to dying from some disease, though the case of a young boy who did not have any medical records was puzzling… until the body is exhumed and an undiagnosed tumor is discovered. It’s now clear, the killer has the same clairvoyant powers as Clancy, but far stronger and has been ahead of the investigators every step of the way.

I have to admit, as many problems that Solace has, mainly with the dialogue and some writing — from the script written by Sean Bailey & Ted Griffin —, I found it rather entertaining and, better yet, engaging. Any flaws are aided by some respectable performances, mainly Anthony Hopkins — who hasn’t gone down the path of Nic Cage or John Travolta of phoning it in — and Jeffrey Dean Moran, with honorable mention for Colin Farrell in his 25-minutes of screen time while Abbie Cornish was never quite believable as a psychiatrist but was an amiable enough female lead.

While I feel this film could’ve been better in more capable and experienced hands, Brazilian director Afonso Poyart (in his English-language debut) does offer some uniqueness to some scenes, such as when we get into the minds of both Clancy and the killer, seeing how both think from Clancy’s visions of how a victim became a victim to the killer being able to envision every path possible. These choices make it stand out versus your typical crime-thriller (which had shades of Criminal Minds at times, if CM had supernatural elements thrown in).

It should be noted that this was filmed in or around 2014 and went further back, the script bought by New Line intended to be changed to be a sequel to Se7en but when Fincher bocked at the idea of turning Freeman’s character into a psychic. Subsequently Relativity bought it before Lionsgate Premiere got their hands on it when Relativity went into bankruptcy.

No, Solace isn’t some sort of masterpiece and perhaps my negative experience with the production company’s previous releases shaped my enjoyment, but I found this to be well worth at least a Redbox/Netflix rental for the respectable cast, an interesting plot and some thought-provoking elements that aren’t so easy to answer.



This release comes with a matted and title-embossed slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary – Director Afonso Poyart sits down for a dry yet informative track breaking down making the movie, filming locations, etc. Nothing extraordinary but worth a listen for those interested.

Visions and Voices: The Making of Solace (8:40; HD) is your typical behind-the-scenes featurette on the journey getting the film made interspersed with footage from the film and interviews with the cast and crew.

Theatrical Trailer (1:54; HD)

PreviewsMisconduct, Life on the Line, Imperium, Broken Vows, Manhattan Night


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Solace seers onto Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Despite being dark in terms of the plot, there are still spots of color while skin tones appear to be natural looking. The detail is relatively sharp and nicely defined throughout making for a pleasant looking video. I noticed no major or obvious instances of artifacts, aliasing, banding or other flaws.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc comes with a standard but effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is more than serviceable providing for crisp and clear dialogue levels coming through the center channel while ambient noises, the score and any of the action sequences, especially the finale, make good usage of the front and rear channels. It’s nothing mind (or ear) blowing, it is at least an efficient sounding lossless track.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Overall, Solace was one of the better surprises of this young 2017 year (even though it was technically released on a limited level in late 2016). Even so, I found it to be a compelling suspense-thriller with some fine performances from Hopkins, Morgan and Farrell and well worth at least a rental. The Blu-ray released through Lionsgate offers good video/audio transfers while the bonus features are on the limited side.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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