Often described as "the poor man's Seven," The Bone Collector embodies the present-day (and derivative) Hollywood serial killer thriller. As countless times before, the clever cop is pitted against the brilliant homicidal maniac, who feels the need to leave behind cryptic clues that only the hero can decipher. Unfortunately, The Bone Collector brings nothing new to the table and ultimately lacks the style, breadth, and skillful direction that Seven possesses. Directed by Phillip Noyce (The Saint) and scripted by Jeremy Iacone, the dark and gritty narrative is riddled with plot holes, but still manages to entertain. As in Seven, there are a series of gory and outrageous death scenes that are so graphic one can't help but shield one's eyes. Unfortunately, the mystery is trifling because the audience is rarely given a chance to solve the clues and formulate a guess as to whodunit. The bland and predictable climax simply fails to pack the powerful punch of Seven, proving that gore doesn't always result in suspense. However, the atmospheric score, skillful photography, and solid performances of Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington often elevate this thriller a bit beyond the standard Hollywood recipe.