BONEYARD is a new crime thriller based on a real serial murder case. Unfortunately, an impressive cast can’t help this one. Too much focus on personal drama rather than the actual crime. Read our full Boneyard movie review here!

BONEYARD is a crime thriller starring both Mel Gibson and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. It’s based on a true crime that still has not been solved. Also, several suspects have actually been named, which is what this movie focuses on.

It’s a real shame, but from very early on, the very heavy-handed dialogue and subpar delivery from some cast members ruin any potential. And really, this movie didn’t have too much going for it in the screenplay department to start with.

Continue reading our Boneyard movie review below. Find it on VOD from July 2, 2024. Also, it will be in US theaters from July 5, 2023.

From missing to skeletal remains

We’ve probably all heard about those areas where women disappear from all the time. Often BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color] women. No one knows if they’ve just left town, have been kidnapped, and are trafficked. Or if they have been murdered.

And what’s much worse is that no one seems to care much.

The story of Boneyard is somewhat connected to one of those stories. When the skeletal remains of eleven women and girls are discovered in the New Mexico desert,  they certainly have an idea of who these skeletal remains belong to.

Then, finally, an extensive investigation is launched. However, it’s still an investigation tainted by various assumptions. Not least from the detectives who each have their own idea of who might be involved.

Boneyard (2024) – Review | Crime Thriller

The True Story Behind Boneyard

Boneyard is inspired by (and fairly closely based on) the true crime case of West Mesa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just like in the movie. The film is also dedicated to the victims of that unsolved case.

While the West Mesa case remains unsolved, we do know that the remains discovered in 2009 belonged to girls and women. Also, we know that they disappeared between 2001 and 2005.

The 11 victims in the true case are:

Jamie Barela, age 15
Monica Candelaria, age 22
Victoria Chavez, age 26
Virginia Cloven, age 24
Syllannia Edwards, age 15
Cinnamon Elks, age 32
Doreen Marquez, age 24
Julie Nieto, age 24
Veronica Romero, age 28
Evelyn Salazar, age 27
Michelle Valdez, age 22

At one point, the unknown serial killer is called the “Bone Collector” which threw me off. However, this was one of the names used for the suspected serial killer. The complete name used for him was “West Mesa Bone Collector“.

Watch Boneyard on VOD or in Theaters

Asif Akbar is the director of this crime-thriller and even co-wrote the screenplay. This was alongside Vincent E. McDaniel, Hank Byrd, and Koji Steven Sakai. Having four writers is rarely a good thing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for Boneyard either.

Neither was casting Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as Police Chief Carter. It’s too big a role and not a strong enough director to help him deliver a natural portrayal. Too many lines just land flat!

Brian Van Holt and Mel Gibson – police detective and FBI agent respectively – worked much better. As I would expect! Also, Nora Zehetner was good as another detective while Camille Collard really stole scenes as a street-smart sex worker.

It starts out interesting and has a few moments along the way. Unfortunately, there is too much personal drama which feels irrelevant. However, it ensures more scenes for some of the cast members meant to draw in viewers.

BONEYARD is out on VOD in the US and Canada from July 2, 2024. It will also be out in US theaters from July 5, 2024.


Director: Asif Akbar
Writers: Vincent E. McDaniel, Asif Akbar, Hank Byrd, Koji Steven Sakai
Cast: Brian Van Holt, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Nora Zehetner, Michael Sirow, Vincent E. McDaniel, Mel Gibson


When the skeletal remains of eleven women and girls are discovered in the New Mexico desert, an extensive investigation is launched.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)