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On DVD/Blu-Ray: Gibson's underrated "Edge of Darkness"

It's tough to win accolades for remaking a critically-acclaimed British miniseries like "State of Play" or "Edge of Darkness" -- even if you directed the original, as Martin Campbell did with "Edge of Darkness." Campbell's movie version, set in Boston, may lack the emotional and political fullness of his TV landmark, but it's still one of the better thrillers of the year (as "State of Play" was last year).

And it contains one of Mel Gibson's best performances. I've always thought he's been in top form playing characters who waver between sanity and lunacy or dissolution; he was excellent when he starred in Franco Zeffirelli's over-cut, run-of-the-mill "Hamlet"(1990), and he was both funny and poignant in Richard Donnery's superb "Conspiracy Theory" (1997).

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In "Edge of Darkness," as a Beantown police detective investigating his daughter's murder, a unique hurt yearning drenches his expressions, and his eyes suggest the play of secret thoughts. His face seems creased with grief. As this haunted cop uncovers a far-reaching conspiracy involving national security and illegal weapons manufacturing, Gibson connects with our feeling that modern lives have been stretched too far.

Did you see this one in the theaters? Do you agree that Gibson (as an actor at least) is still full of surprises?

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