Rough Cut

JAMES BRIDGES

IN THE DARK: Ruffalo and Ryan all grown up

New York City during this summer's power failure didn't look as murky as it does in In the Cut. Jane Campion's new erotic thriller gives Lower Manhattan a sooty, abused tone that movies haven't often shown since the '70s. But it's appropriate for two characters inching their way toward moral blackout: Frannie (Meg Ryan), an English professor, and Molloy (Mark Ruffalo), a police detective on a serial-killer case. Both are drawn to dark spaces, where strange creatures crawl and sick excitement comes in all sorts of packages.

Frannie has tiptoed down into one of those spaces — the...

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