Reading Between the Lines

Natasha Henstridge in The Devil's Teardrop (2010)

When a man who goes by the name of "The Digger" goes on a shooting spree at a train station the FBI have little to go on other than 6 black bullet cases left on the floor, a message sent demanding money to be left at a specific location and an envelope left in a paper vending machine. The trouble is that the person who called in with the message ends up dead after being run down leading to FBI agent Margaret Lukas (Natasha Henstridge) clutching at straws. Her only hope is Parker Kincaid (Tom Everett Scott) a retired forensic documents expert who quit the FBI to take care of his children especially his son who is traumatised by events in his past. To make matters worse Parker's ex wife Joan (Rena Sofer) has sobered up and is not only getting remarried but wants custody of their children. Reluctantly Parker ends up agreeing to help Margaret with the case.

You just need to take a quick look at the movies I have reviewed to know I like TV movies and as such I am probably more aware of TV movie actors than some others may be. I mentioned this because when I saw the first four names in the cast list I was impressed as Tom Everett Scott, Natasha Henstridge, Rena Sofer and Gabriel Hogan have all appeared in their fair share of good TV movies with both Henstridge and Sofer sticking out because they have piercing eyes which once seen are never forgotten. In some ways the cast are a big part of what makes "The Devil's Teardrop" because they have a good look, are likeable and whilst not completely convincing in their roles do a better job than some other actors I can think off.

Tom Everett Scott in The Devil's Teardrop (2010)

But "The Devil's Teardrop" has something else and that are the scenes where Parker analyses the documents, picking up on the intentional spelling mistakes, the teardrop dots over the letter "i" and the fact that there is no tremor in the writing which would be indicative of someone trying to mask their own writing. It is a fascinating look at this type of handwriting analysis and there are other equally fascinating bits and pieces which go to make up the movie along with some twists and back stories.

But at the same time "The Devil's Teardrop" is a made for TV movie which whilst doing a good job of drawing you in thanks to the mystery and the casting it does take liberties not only when it comes to logic but also when it comes to procedure which never goes down well with those who watch a movie for the logic of crime solving. What also won't go down well either is the personal side as Parker and Margaret become close with a few cutesy moments alongside some cutesy dialogue.

What this all boils down to is that "The Devil's Teardrop" is an intriguing and entertaining crime drama which features a good cast. But it is a made for TV movie and as such is not going to appeal to everyone as it has subplots and lapses in realism which won't suit those looking for grit and accuracy.

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