Angelina Jolie is genuinely good as Christine Collins, a Los Angeles single mother whose son disappears from home one day in 1928, while shes at work. When a substitute son is later returned to her by the LAPD, she objects, setting off a two-pronged drama so paranoid it could have been dreamed up by Fritz Lang or James Ellroy. But no, its the work of TV writer J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), working for producer-director Clint Eastwood. They give Mrs. Collins crusade for the truth a proto-feminist ring, but its the ugly historical undercurrents of Southern California that come through the corrupt official power, the desert isolation, etc. Fine support playing by John Malkovich as an anti-LAPD Lutheran minister, Jeffrey Donovan as an autocratic police captain, and Jason Butler Harner as an ax-wielding psychopath. Lags a bit in the late going, but overall an exceptional late-period work by Eastwood (140 min.).
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Producer: Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
Cast: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan and Michael Kelly