Secret in Their Eyes

For the 2009 film on which this film was based, see The Secret in Their Eyes.
Secret in Their Eyes

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Billy Ray
Produced by
Screenplay by Billy Ray
Based on
Music by Emilio Kauderer
Cinematography Danny Moder
Edited by Jim Page
  • Gran Via Productions
  • IM Global
  • Route One
  • Site Productions
  • Union Investment Partners
  • Willies Movies AIE
Distributed by STX Entertainment
Release dates
  • November 11, 2015 (2015-11-11) (Los Angeles premiere)
  • November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $19.5 million[2]
Box office $32.2 million[3]

Secret in Their Eyes is a 2015 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Billy Ray and a remake of the 2009 Argentine film of the same name, both based on the novel La pregunta de sus ojos author Eduardo Sacheri. The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Dean Norris, and Michael Kelly.

The film was released by STX Entertainment on November 20, 2015. It received mixed reception from critics, who praised its performances but compared it unfavourably to the original.


In Los Angeles, FBI counter-terrorism investigator Ray Kasten (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and district attorney's investigator Jess Cobb (Julia Roberts) go about their day in the office. Newly hired assistant DA Claire Sloan (Nicole Kidman), an attractive Harvard graduate, is gaining Ray's attention. Jess is pushing Ray to ask Claire out, to Ray's disapproval, since Claire recently became engaged. While Jess and Ray bicker, they receive a call about an unknown female's body found in a dumpster near a mosque that Ray is investigating for possible terror links. Arriving on the scene, Ray takes the first look at the body and is deeply shocked to see that it is Jess's daughter, Carolyn (Zoe Graham), raped, brutally murdered and bleached inside and out. Jess is distraught when she learns the news and breaks down. Ray vows to find the suspect and do justice.

During the investigation, Jess feels the increasing need to move away from the city. While helping Jess pack, Ray notices pictures from the police station picnic day and a young man staring at Carolyn in all the photos. After Ray finds no leads with the police officers for the identity of the young man, causing intense frustration, he begins scanning the system for a matching photo. He identifies the suspect, Marzin (Joe Cole), and his address. Ray brings Detective Bumpy Willis (Dean Norris) to help investigate.

At Marzin's home, the two find and recover a suspicious-looking comic book, within which they find a pattern that reveals Marzin's location. Marzin is tracked down and arrested. Claire argues with Ray over his methods, citing the evidence as inadmissible because of improper protocol and conflict of interest. She almost releases Marzin during his interrogation, but hesitates and changes her mind when she catches Marzin attempting to look under her blouse. Claire taunts Marzin, leading him to unzip his pants, expose himself and attack Claire. Ray beats Marzin, who is ultimately let go because of his status as a government informant. Jess, Claire, and Ray are disappointed and argue with District Attorney Martin Morales (Alfred Molina), who refuses to pursue the case due to lack of evidence and reluctance to lose an informant. After his release, Marzin's van is found burned, destroying all evidence against him. With the loss of her daughter, Jess becomes a tormented shell of a person and regresses into anti-social behavior. Ray pledges himself to never stop looking for Carolyn's killer, but transfers to the private sector and gets a job in security.

Thirteen years later, Ray returns to Los Angeles after uncovering a new lead against Marzin that he feels can permanently resolve the case. Jess insists that the matter is closed. Ray and Claire are reunited once again, their attraction now obvious. Ray discovers that Jess had kidnapped her daughter's murderer thirteen years prior and has been keeping him in a cage at her isolated farmhouse.

Ray confronts Jess and Marzin. A conversation occurs with Marzin begging to ask Jess to talk to him. Ray pulls out his gun and leaves it with Jess and Marzin as he goes outside and begins digging a grave. A gunshot is heard, and Jess walks outside and gives Ray a look of relief.[4][5]



On January 20, 2015, STX Entertainment acquired the US rights to the film. STX also produced the film.[6]


Principal photography began on January 26, 2015, in Los Angeles.[7] On January 27, filming took place at the Santa Anita Park.[8]


STX had initially scheduled the film for release on October 23, 2015,[9] but in July 2015, the film was moved back to its eventual November 20, 2015 release date.[10]

The film's first trailer was released on June 30, 2015.[11]

Home media

Secret in Their Eyes was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States on February 23, 2016.[12]


Box office

Secret in Their Eyes grossed $20.2 million in North America and $12 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $32.2 million, against a budget of $19.5 million.[3]

In North America, the film opened alongside The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 and The Night Before on November 20, 2015. In its opening weekend, it was projected to gross $7–9 million from 2,392 theaters.[13] The film made $170,000 from its early Thursday night screenings and $2.3 million on its first day. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $6.7 million, finishing fifth at the box office.[2]

Critical response

Secret in Their Eyes received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 40%, based on 126 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Secret in Their Eyes wastes its incredible cast on a remake that fails to improve upon – or even make a compelling case for its own existence in addition to – the remarkable original."[14] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 45 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[15] On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[16]


  1. "SECRET IN THEIR EYES (15)". British Board of Film Classification. February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  2. 1 2 D'Alessandro, Anthony. "'Mockingjay – Part 2' Flying To $104M-$110M, Lowest In 'Hunger Games' Series But Still Great Business". Deadline. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Secret in Their Eyes (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  4. Dave McNary, "Chiwetel Ejiofor-Julia Roberts’ Thriller ‘Secret in Their Eyes’ Sells to STX for U.S.," Variety, December 2, 2014.
  5. Kevin Jagernauth, "First Look: Chiwetel Ejiofor & Julia Roberts In 'The Secret In Their Eyes'," Indiewire, March 9, 2015
  6. Maglio, Tony (January 20, 2015). "Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Jason Bateman Headline Projects for Showtime, STX Multiyear Deal". Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  7. "On the Set for 1/26/15: Michael Fassbender Begins Steve Jobs Biopic, Ryan Coogler Starts Rocky Spinoff & More". January 26, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  8. "Filming underway in L.A. for 'The Secret In Their Eyes', starring Nicole Kidman & Julia Roberts". January 27, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  9. Lang, Brent (February 25, 2015). "STX Entertainment Dates Films With Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Jason Blum". Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  10. Sneider, Jeff (July 29, 2015). "STX Moves Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman Thriller 'Secret In Their Eyes' to November". Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  11. Christopher Rosen, "See Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman & Chiwetel Ejiofor in the intense new trailer for Secret in Their Eyes," Entertainment Weekly, June 30, 2015.
  12. "Secret in Their Eyes DVD and Blu-ray". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  13. "Katniss To Set The World On Fire As 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2' Shoots For $285M-$305M Global Debut – B.O. Preview".
  14. "Secret in Their Eyes reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  15. "Secret in Their Eyes (2015)". Metacritic. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  16. Anthony D'Alessandro (November 20, 2015). "'Mockingjay – Part 2' Racks Up $16M In Thursday Night Previews; Current Global B.O. At $43M". Retrieved November 21, 2015.

External links

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