Adapted and directed by Scott Cooper, the king of underappreciated cinema (2013’s ‘Out of the Furnace’, 2017’s ‘Hostiles’), this dark and twisted period mystery thriller stars the always-excellent Christian Bale as the investigator of a grisly murder at West Point in 1830, with the help of young cadet Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling). Moody and bleak (and shot by Cooper’s frequent cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi), it’s an intriguing film to watch and let unfold before you even though it feels like it’s missing a further level of heart and soul that could have made it an unqualified success.

3/5 stars