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Netflix Daily Pick: Playing with Time in ‘Déjà Vue’ (2006)

Here's a tension-filled action flick you'll be watching tonight.

Déjà Vue is a 2006 action film about an A.T.F. agent who joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find a bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

Today’s Netflix pick is another twisty brain bender about time manipulation, a complex and gritty crime adventure that is smart and action-packed. It stars Denzel Washington and Val Kilmer and for fans of nerdy sci-fi action, has just what you’re looking for as the filmmakers throw in everything but the kitchen sink to deliver a fast-paced, explosive thriller. It’s Déjà Vue and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.

THE STORY: Directed by Tony Scott, Déjà Vue follows  Special Agent Douglas Carlin (Denzel Washington) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) who comes to New Orleans to investigate a devastating ferry boat bombing that leaves hundreds dead. He eventually meets FBI Special Agent Paul Pryzwarra (Val Kilmer), who is mightily impressed with Douglas and invites him to join his crew, a newly formed governmental detective unit led by Doctor Alexander Denny (Adam Goldberg), who uses a complicated machine and process called “Snow White”, which allows them to see into the past. They use it to trace the events of Claire Kuchever (Paula Patton), a now dead woman pulled from the water who seems to have a connection to the bombing. There are secrets yet to be revealed though as Douglas falls in love with the image of the woman in the past and the truth about what “Snow White” really is has some truly disturbing possibilities.

Déjà Vue
Déjà Vue, 2006 © Touchstone Pictures

WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: First of all, Denzel Washington, right? What is it about discovering things with this guy that makes movies like this so fun? He is endlessly watchable and helps carry us along through the really tricky bits, making all the sciency stuff much more digestible. Kilmer is a great as well and the dynamic between them is really the best parts of the movie. That said, New Orleans, which had the year before suffered through Hurricane Katrina, is like another star in the film and Scott really captures the vitality and energy of the great city. An unusual mix of romance and sci-fi with some good old fashioned detective work, Déjà Vue is a terrific night at the movies. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.

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