A hardheaded detective, determined to crack an ages-old crime involving two young women who served time for infanticide, becomes emotionally involved with the case. The mystery-movie-of-the-week premise is buoyed by the evenly detailed performances from the four female leads (Diane Lane, Elizabeth Banks, Dakota Fanning, and newcomer Danielle Macdonald, playing a down-on-herself variation on Precious if her heart had been set on a reality TV series). The main attraction is the deliberate dispersal of creepy character motivation, finely diced and spread across the seven-year story arc by scenarist Nicole Holofcener (Lovely and Amazing, Enough Said), working from Laura Lippman’s novel and helping first-time director Amy Berg set a dark tone. Terrific to a point, but all films must come to an end, and this one climaxes with an inexplicably trashy twist. (2015) — Scott Marks
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