HYPNOTIC (2023) is a new mystery thriller starring Ben Affleck. The runtime is at 93 minutes which might not be optimal. The story moves very quickly and really isn’t very elegant. In fact, I was a bit shocked by this. Read our full Hypnotic movie review here!

HYPNOTIC (2023) is a new mystery thriller starring Ben Affleck. He plays a classic broody guy with a huge chip on his shoulders and a Batman-voice. With a runtime of 93 minutes, the story has a lot of ground to cover and doesn’t work very well. It’s all quite “paint by numbers” with plenty of twists but no wild surprises.


Our review of the Netflix movie HYPNOTIC from 2021 >

There’s even an end-credit scene that could lead you to believe a sequel is in the works. Well, if this first movie had worked better, I would be all for it. As it stands now, I’m bound to forget it within a week or so. I was actually a bit shocked by how off the overall production quality was. And no, I don’t feel the twists can excuse any of it!

Continue reading our Hypnotic movie review below. Out in theaters from May 12, 2023.

A simple story made complex

There are quite a few twists along the short runtime of just around an hour and a half. I won’t reveal any of these twists here, but I will say that you can probably guess some of them. Also, while I did like the actual twists, I didn’t feel they were utilized very well here.

The actual story is very simple so that obviously makes the short runtime seem like a good choice. So far, so good. And then comes all the twists, but we’ll get to that.

We meet the Austin detective Danny Rourke (Ben Affleck) who is determined to find his missing daughter. However, as he tries to go back to work, he finds himself spiraling down a rabbit hole.

Everything get’s much worse when he’s investigating a series of reality-bending bank robberies. With the help of the gifted psychic, Diana Cruz (Alice Braga), Detective Rourke tries to hunt down the one man he believes can help find his daughter.

Hypnotic (2023) – Review | Mystery Thriller

The cast of Hypnotic

The absolute star of Hypnotic is Ben Affleck (Deep Water). He’s the kind of actor that has done lots of interesting movies and also quite a lot of subpar movies. This is not one of his better performances but it’s hard to tell if this is intentional. I feel like he’s playing this character exactly as if he was Bruce Wayne in a Batman movie.

In fact, even his voice sounds as if he’s portraying that iconic character. It’s strange to me, but – as already mentioned – it may very well be intentional. I just don’t see the point if this is the case!

Aside from Ben Affleck, the actors in this cast deliver quite good performances. In particular, I found Alice Braga (The New Mutants) delivered a very strong performance. So did William Fichtner (Crash), JD Pardo (Mayans M.C.), Jeff Fahey (The Long Night), and Jackie Earle Haley (Alita). However, many of them are only in the movie for a few scenes.

And yet, they still made a bigger and better impression than Ben Affleck.

Watch Hypnotic in movie theaters now – later on VOD!

This new action, mystery, thriller was directed by Robert Rodriguez who also co-wrote the screenplay with Max Borenstein. It’s all based on a story by Robert Rodriguez, who also edited the movie while his son, Rebel Rodriguez, has done the music for the film.

In other words, Hypnotic is very much a Robert Rodriguez movie. It just doesn’t feel like a very new movie from him. As in, this one feels strangely dated. Like an action movie that could’ve been made in the 1990s.

I can’t quite put my finger on why this didn’t work as well as it could have. However, I can say that the special effects felt like a light version of what we’ve seen in movies such as Christopher Nolan‘s Inception or The Wachowski’s Matrix movies. Also, the storyline plays out like a mini-series that has been forced into a feature film.

Both of these specific elements – familiar visuals that aren’t as good as in other movies and a forced storyline – certainly can’t help a movie.

Hypnotic is out in US theaters from May 12, 2023. From May 30, 2023, the movie will also be out on Digital.


Director: Robert Rodriguez
Script: Robert Rodriguez, Max Borenstein
Cast: Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, JD Pardo, Hala Finley, Dayo Okeniyi, Jeff Fahey, with Jackie Earle Haley and William Fichtner


Determined to find his missing daughter, Austin detective Danny Rourke instead finds himself spiraling down a rabbit hole while investigating a series of reality-bending bank robberies where he will ultimately call into question his most basic assumptions about everything and everyone in his world. Aided by Diana Cruz, an unnervingly gifted psychic, Rourke simultaneously pursues and is pursued by a lethal specter – the one man he believes holds the key to finding the missing girl – only to discover more than he ever bargained for.

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
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