It’s been a while since we’ve seen Jim Carrey at the movies: The last time he had a leading role in a major release that wasn’t a documentary about his painting or his behavior on the set of Man on the Moon was Dumb and Dumberer back in 2014 (which looks positively rose-tinted compared to our current day, thanks to 2016). Now he’s back with a somewhat unexpected movie: Dark Crimes, a bleak European crime thriller based on a New Yorker article by David Grann (though it’s been fictionalized for the screen) and directed by Alexandros Avranas.
The dude looks haunted as fuck, as he plays a police officer who suspects that a mystery novelist might have a few actual skeletons in his closet rather than the fictional ones that he fills his books with. It’s a dramatic shift for Carrey, which recalls Robin Williams’ moves into similar serious territory in One Hour Photo and other films.
Carrey, of course, is no stranger to genres outside of comedy, with his ace dramatic turn in Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind remaining a career highlight, and Joel Schumacher’s The Number 23 being a rare career lowlight that didn’t involve his debasement for our entertainment. When you look at the rest of the cast as well — Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marton Csokas stand out amongst a stable of excellent Polish actors — it’s hard not to see why Carrey was interested in taking the role. His gaunt frame and wide eyes have always made him an interesting physical performer, and it’s cool to see him use his gifts in other projects, especially when they’re as salacious and interesting as this. But for real, check out that New Yorker article: It’s a crazy fucking true story, and Grann tells it wonderfully.