When Detective Mike Hoolihan is called to investigate the shooting of leading astrophysicist and black hole expert, Jennifer Rockwell, she is affected in ways she struggles to comprehend.

Director: Carol Morley
Writers: Martin Amis (based on the novel by), Carol Morley
Stars: Mamie Gummer, Patricia Clarkson, James Caan

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As present-day detective thrillers go, I was rather more taken with Carol Morley’s “Out of Blue,” a beguilingly loopy adaptation of Martin Amis’ 1997 novel, “Night Train.” The ever-reliable Patricia Clarkson stars as Mike Hoolihan, a New Orleans detective investigating the homicide of an astrophysicist (Mamie Gummer) who was found shot to death in her observatory. The victim was known for her pioneering research on black holes, and it takes little time at all for “Out of Blue” to slip into a pleasurably oddball wormhole of its own, as Hoolihan’s investigation leads her through an extended rumination on dark matter, Schrödinger’s cat and other subjects more often entertained in a quantum physics class than in a murder mystery.

Morley sustains a vibe of low-key Lynchian weirdness throughout, enough to keep your mind from wandering even as the investigation meanders this way and that. And just when you think you’ve seen and heard enough, in step veteran scene stealers like James Caan and especially Jacki Weaver, who has one non sequitur of hilarious, lip-smacking strangeness — a reminder that the comic and the cosmic have a way of going hand-in-hand.

-Justin Chang, LA TIMES