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Starring: Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, JD Pardo, Hala Finley, Dayo Okeniyi, Jeff Fahey, Jackie Earle Haley, William Fichtner
OUR RATING: ★★☆☆☆
Mystery thriller directed and co-written by Robert Rodriguez. Hypnotic (2023) centers on detective Danny Rourke (Ben Affleck), who determined to find his missing daughter, instead finds himself spiraling down a rabbit hole while investigating a series of reality-bending bank heists where he will ultimately call into question his most basic assumptions about everything and everyone in his world. Aided by unnervingly gifted psychic, Diana Cruz (Alice Braga), Rourke simultaneously pursues and is pursued by a lethal specter (William Fichtner), the one man he believes holds the key to finding the missing girl, only to discover more than he ever bargained for.
Danny Rourke: I was just happy to be with my daughter. I wasn’t paying attention for just for a second, and I turned around, and I didn’t see her, and I got up, and I called out for her, and I looked for her. She was gone.
Therapist: [as Danny gets a text] Work?
Danny Rourke: That depends on you, I guess. If you think I’m ready for duty.
Therapist: Do you feel ready, emotionally?
Danny Rourke: I think it’s the only thing keeping me sane.
Diana Cruz: I’m calling to report a robbery.
911 Operator: Are you in a safe location?
Diana Cruz: Nobody’s safe.
Dellrayne: It’s very hot today.
Business Woman: I didn’t notice.
Dellrayne: Trust me, it’s like a furnace.
Danny Rourke: Don’t move! Cuff him. What are you waiting for? Cuff him.
Dellrayne: But I’m the wrong man.
Trout: He’s the wrong man.
Danny Rourke: What?
Danny Rourke: [referring to his daughter] Where is she? What does it mean? Who’s Lev Dellrayne?
Danny Rourke: [referring to Dellrayne] I saw the way he looked at me. He knows. He knows where my daughter is. I’m sure of it.
Diana Cruz: Detective Rourke, isn’t it?
Danny Rourke: Well, that’s some impressive mind-reading.
Diana Cruz: I just read the news.
Diana Cruz: [to Danny] If you’re open to a session, hypnosis can be therapeutic. Confronting the past.
Danny Rourke: I know you called the tip in on the bank heist.
Diana Cruz: Did you catch someone?
Danny Rourke: Not yet. They got away.
Diana Cruz: Then you need to leave.
Danny Rourke: Why don’t you tell me what you’re afraid of?
Diana Cruz: You stay. I’m out.
Danny Rourke: I can protect you.
Diana Cruz: You don’t know anything.
Diana Cruz: What makes four total strangers pull off an elaborate bank heist on a whim?
Diana Cruz: Are you familiar with the concept of hypnotic constructs?
Danny Rourke: Look, lady, come on. First, it’s fortune telling. Now it’s hypnosis.
Diana Cruz: It’s not hypnosis. Hypnotics have abilities far beyond anything we have a name for.
Diana Cruz: People with the ability to actually influence the brain over a psychic bandwidth.
Danny Rourke: Like telepathy?
Diana Cruz: Telepaths just read the mind. Hypnotics reshape its reality.
Diana Cruz: Sound, voice, locking eyes. Hypnotics use them to make you see a version of the world that doesn’t exist. Your behavior conforms with this hypnotic construct, so everything that you see and do feels perfectly normal.
Danny Rourke: How is it that you know so much about these hypnotics?
Diana Cruz: Because I am one.
Diana Cruz: A cynic.
Nicks: Mind control? Dream bank accounts? Sounds more like my ex-wife.
Diana Cruz: Don’t worry, Detective. I already tried it on you. It didn’t work.
Danny Rourke: Who the hell are you?
Diana Cruz: Just get me some coffee. Maybe I’ll tell you.
Diana Cruz: The Division advanced American interests around the world. But then they discovered the hypnotic ability within humans, and that this ability could be trained. Improved upon. Hypnotics had a way to get it done without receipts.
'Pain can keep the mind awake. - Diana Cruz (Hypnotic) Click To Tweet
Diana Cruz: I knew that it was Dellrayne, and I also knew that no one who knows that he exists is safe.
Danny Rourke: Especially you.
Diana Cruz: He can’t be caught.
Danny Rourke: Put the gun down, Nicks.
Diana Cruz: It’s not him anymore.
Danny Rourke: Do something. Wake him up.
Diana Cruz: Dellrayne is doing this. I’m not strong enough.
Danny Rourke: [referring to Nicks] You killed him.
Diana Cruz: He was already dead. He was already dead. I set him free.
Danny Rourke: [referring to Nicks] They think I killed him.
Diana Cruz: That’s exactly what Dellrayne wants. You don’t know who you’re dealing with.
Danny Rourke: What if my daughter’s still out there?
Diana Cruz: A construct makes you see what the hypnotic wants you to see. It can look like anything. It’s whatever makes you do the behavior they want. But you’re different.
Danny Rourke: Why?
Diana Cruz: You have a block, Detective. A psychic block. A hypnotic’s worst nightmare.
Danny Rourke: I guess I’m lucky I’m such a head case.
Diana Cruz: Jeremiah was my handler in the Division, Southwest Station Chief.
Danny Rourke: Strong hypnotic?
Diana Cruz: He’s not one actually. Just a mean old b****rd with a psychic block that makes yours look like a childproof safety cap.
Danny Rourke: [referring to Dellrayne] He erased his own mind?
Diana Cruz: He must have planted triggers. It’s clues the hypnotics leave behind, like signposts for their own subconscious. It can be words, images, details.
Jeremiah: Puzzle pieces that they use and scatter, in case their minds get reset. You know, put the jigsaw back together. Remember who they are.
Danny Rourke: The safe-deposit boxes. He’s following the breadcrumbs.
Diana Cruz: [to Danny as they’re being chased] What you see isn’t real.
Danny Rourke: If you got any powers you’re holding out on, now’s the time.
Diana Cruz: All out.
Diana Cruz: [as Dellrayne’s men turn against him] I’m not doing this.
Danny Rourke: No. I am.
Danny Rourke: You know, one second, he was coming right at me. The next minute, it was literally as if I was inside their minds.
Diana Cruz: Welcome to the club.
Danny Rourke: That’s not possible. I’ve never done anything like this before. I wouldn’t know how.
Diana Cruz: Or you just can’t remember.