Review: Mystery-thriller ‘Grey Lady’ bogs down in murky waters


The convoluted, often ridiculously forced “Grey Lady” aims for the gravity of such other Bay State-set mystery-thrillers as “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone,” but barely scratches the surface of those far more elevated films.

It also seems like awfully curious, undistinguished material for veteran actor John Shea, who wrote and directed, and longtime producer Armyan Bernstein (“Air Force One,” “The Hurricane”), who shares story credit with Shea, to spend a reported 10 years attempting to bring it to the big screen.

For the record:

4:14 a.m. May 24, 2024The photo caption accompanying an earlier version of this review misidentified the actress Rebecca Gayheart as Natalie Zea.

A leaden, self-serious lead turn by Eric Dane (TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Last Ship”) further sinks this wan effort, in which the actor plays a tough (natch) Boston homicide detective named James Doyle out to find the killer of his lover and partner, Maggie (Rebecca Gayheart, Dane’s real-life wife).


Doyle’s search takes him to foggy Nantucket (a.k.a. “The Little Grey Lady of the Sea”) where he encounters an array of residents, including the helpful — a local cop (Adrian Lester), an attractive artist (Natalie Zea) — and the dubious: a long-lost aunt (Amy Madigan), a pair of gun-happy psychopaths (Carolyn Stotesbery, Chris Meyer).

A string of contrived or murky clues, some of which hark to Doyle’s childhood, propel the cop mechanically forward. But the film’s narrative engine remains too choppy and clunky, and the characters too cursorily developed, to hold attention.


‘Grey Lady’

Rating: R, for violence and brief language

Running time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Playing: AMC Century City 15

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