Tim Purtell
May 16, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Blood and Wine

Current Status
In Season
Jennifer Lopez, Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine, Stephen Dorff
Bob Rafelson

We gave it a C

Nice as it is to see Jack Nicholson working again with director Bob Rafelson, this nasty thriller isn’t quite up to Five Easy Pieces or even The Postman Always Rings Twice. The plot of Blood & Wine is basic noir: Nicholson helps Michael Caine steal a necklace that accidentally ends up with Nicholson’s stepson (Stephen Dorff). Like Dashiell Hammett’s fabled Maltese falcon, the necklace is a priceless object that destroys lives. Richard Sylbert’s production design looks gorgeous on the small screen, but the film is surprisingly unconvincing despite an abundance of angst, gore, and overheated acting. The viper’s nest of characters includes Jennifer Lopez, wasted in a decorative role, and Judy Davis, as Nicholson’s nagging wife. Maybe they should have called it Cheese & Whine. C

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