October 13: The Limehouse Golem (2016) - 3 out of 5 In Victorian London a strange series of murders has gripped the city and the papers (along with the susceptible public) are blaming an ancient creature called the Golem. Unable to break the case, Scotland Yard assigns Inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy) to his first murder case (so he can bear the brunt of the public's frustrations while the killer runs amok), but Kildare is methodical and meticulous. The case takes Kildare to the local theater world and a murder trial which may be somehow related, as the search for the serial killer continues. The Limehouse Golem is two things. It is first a film with earnest and strong performances and terrific production values. It is also a bit of a mess. Just a little but too much story made murkier by the abundance of trips down characters memories as they recall events, or as Kildare imagines various suspects committing the crimes. The layering becomes too heavy as the story unfolds. The main idea behind the film plays second fiddle to the murder trial, and while it all ties neatly in a bow by the end, it does rob the film of what we think we're going to get, which is a variation on the Jack the Ripper idea (only here the killer is less concentrating and consistent than the Ripper would eventually be). The performances by the core performers are strong. Bill Nighy is always watchable and seems completely in his element as the intense and intelligent inspector. Olivia Cooke is terrific as the on-trial Lizzie Cree. Sympathetic, funny, intelligent and endearing, she's one of the best parts of the film. Douglas Booth as Dan Leno and Daniel Mays as George Flood (the law man assigned to work with Kildare) are equally compelling in their roles. I liked The Limehouse Golem but I was greatly disappointed in the murkiness and lack of focus the film has in telling its story. Handsome production, interesting ideas, and potent performances aside, the end result isn't as satisfying as all the pieces suggest.