Jill Rachlin
March 13, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dead Again

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
107 minutes
performer
Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Obba Babatunde, Andy Garcia, Derek Jacobi, Robin Williams
director
Kenneth Branagh
distributor
Paramount Pictures
author
Scott Frank
genre
Mystery and Thriller

We gave it an A-

In Dead Again, an engrossing romantic thriller, amnesiac Emma Thompson is tormented by nightmares of a murder committed before she was born. Then she meets dreamboat Kenneth Branagh (Henry V), a private detective who takes a stab at resolving her transcendental trauma. Soon the two feel as if they’ve known each other all their lives, and in fact they have: Under the spell of a hypnotist (Derek Jacobi), they discover that they’re reincarnated lovers linked by a crime of passion. With its stylized black-and-white sequences and fast-paced melodramatic plot, this homage to film noir is both intense and purposely self-conscious — and on the small screen, where remote-happy viewers are already used to genre jumping, star-director Branagh’s time-shifting technique is particularly effective. A-

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