After the phenomenal success of 1991's Silence of the Lambs, serial killer movies aspired to avoid "typical" grisly killings, instead devising the cleverest murders possible. 1995's Seven had its arty killer referencing classical literature; that same year, in Copycat, the killer mimics the famous real-life murders of the Son of Sam, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Ted Bundy. The stylish, pretentious Seven was by far more successful at the box office, but in fact, Copycat is a more likable thriller. Though the script is often unfocused and implausible, it features a functional mystery, and director Jon Amiel (responsible for the divine British mini-series The Singing Detective) creates much tension by balancing character-building scenes with the action. There are very good performances all around: Sigourney Weaver, in a part similar her role in Death and the Maiden, is typically skillful; but it is Holly Hunter and the Frank Sinatra-esque Harry Connick Jr., playing a hillbilly killer, who stand out the most.
by Brendon Hanley review