An under the radar clunker released amidst the misguided war films of Fall 2007 (Charlie Wilson’s War, Rendition, Lions for Lambs), Reservation Road provides counter programming in the form of an accidental hit and run that leaves a child dead and the driver fleeing the scene. Depressing and aimless, the film takes three great and compelling actors – Jennifer Connelly, Mark Ruffalo, Joaquin Phoenix – and manages the un-alchemy of turning them into bland ciphers.

With the mysteries of the plot revealed immediately, the film gives us two hours of agonizing waiting for the inevitable reveal. The direction by Terry George, the writer of Hotel Rwanda and In the Name of the Father, proves that not everyone can be an auteur.

Grade: D

Reservation Road is currently available.