Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D Onofrio, Glenn Plummer. Written by James Cameron & Jay Cocks. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Rated R for nudity, violence, profanity, adult themes.

James Cameron, who directed the rock-em-sock-em action of "Aliens" and the "Terminator" movies, developed the story and co-wrote the screenplay for "Strange Days". The film, which is essentially a high-tech murder mystery, is set on the eve of the new millennium. This future society (okay, so it s only four or so years away) is one of rampant crime and violence where no one is completely innocent and justice is doled out in shades of grey.

The protagonist of the film is Ralph Fiennes ("Quiz Show") as Lenny Nero, a former vice cop who now deals in the fulfillment of dreams with the aid of an illegal device that can record information straight from the wearer s cerebral cortex and play it back on tiny metallic discs. Someone viewing a playback sees what the source person saw and feels what that person felt. The mystery begins when Nero receives a disk anonymously which shows the murder of a friend of his ex-girlfriend Faith Justin (Juliette Lewis). Enlisting the aid of a lethally-skilled driver named Lornette Mace Mason (Angela Bassett), Nero attempts to solve the mystery so that he can protect Faith, with whom he is still deeply in love.

Despite its virtual reality motif, "Strange Days" is the sort of movie that will live or die according to how clever and suspenseful the audience perceives the mystery to be. Such being the case, this techno-thriller will likely die a slow death because "whodunit" will surprise few. The rest is just slick, MTV filler.

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