SHIPS IN THE NIGHT: A MARTHA’S VINEYARD MYSTERY – Film Review

When an art gallery robbery leads to the death of the contemptible gallery manager, former Boston detective Jeff Jackson (Jesse Matcalfe) teams up with local doctor – and old flame – Dr. Zee Madeiras (Sarah Lind), to catch the killer.

Here I was thinking that Hallmark original Christmas movies were disastrously bad. Little did I know that their dramas are possibly even worse. You’d think that if romance wasn’t their strong suit, then perhaps they’d be better off making a genuine drama movie – but no. Ships in the Night: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery is one of the most boring and uneventful movies I’ve seen in quite some time. Despite the fact that it’s only eighty-three minutes in length, it feels considerably longer due to a tragically bland script that ultimately leads nowhere.

And as much as I wanted this film to be a surprisingly good and interesting crime mystery, it just isn’t. Virtually every scene comes across as incredibly cheaply made and it also feels as though the screenwriters didn’t have a true passion for this story. It was almost as if these people were hired to write a story because they would get a paycheck. There’s not even a hint of passion and genuine love for storytelling in this script.

Despite that Ships in the Night is supposed to be a mystery drama, it takes a considerably long time for there to be even a little bit of intrigue. And even then, it feels so corny and unbelievably cheesy. As soon as you get a grasp on the story, you’ll instantly be able to predict what’s going to end up happening in its final moments.

Courtesy of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Movies like these honestly make me wonder what it was that made the lead actors interested in signing on in the first place. Surely it can’t be that they read the script and thought it was good, right? Jesse Metcalfe and Sarah Lind deliver two of the most uninterested and weak performances I’ve seen in months, and so far, they deliver quite possibly the worst performances of 2021 so far. It seemed as though they were reading off of cue cards held up off-camera or something.

Plus why do these Hallmark Originals have to be so drab and ugly to look at? It would have been nice to have been able to look at some great cinematography and to have seen some good uses of lighting, but Ships in the Night can’t even succeed in that department. All around, this is one mystery that you’ll have trouble solving. Not because it’s complicated, but because you’ll have the urge to fall asleep just a few minutes in.

Overall Grade: F

MPAA Rating: N/A

Cast: Chelsea Hobbs, Eric Keenleyside, Sarah Lind, Jason McKinnon, Jesse Metcalfe, Camille Mitchell, Sunita Prasad, Bradley Stryker, Garfield Wilson, Nelson Wong

Directed by: Mark Jean

Distributed by: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Release Date: January 17, 2021

Running Time: 83 minutes

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