I’ve always loved this sketchy, crazy film. Directed by Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon) and written by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Man on Fire), Conspiracy Theory feels even more jacked-and-juiced than it did on opening night back in 1997, and it’s interesting to note just how nasty and perverse many elements are in this motion picture. Mel Gibson’s insane character antics as a conspiracy theory nut-ball feel even more live-wire now, and Julia Roberts really sold it with a total movie-star turn as the creeped-out government official who is essentially being stalked by Gibson, but who knows that there’s likely a kernel of truth to all of his ranting and raving.
Stylishly shot by the excellent cinematographer John Schwartzman (The Rock, Seabiscuit, The Founder) and scored with jazz on his mind by Carter Burwell (Fargo, Being John Malkovich), the NYC production value boosts this jittery film up a big notch, with Patrick Stewart doing an early version of his stone-faced villain that he’d go on to perfect in the 2016 thriller Green Room.
Review by Nick Clement