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A lurid tale of lust, murder and betrayal set in 1960s Florida, this steamy thriller doesn’t make much sense, but there’s something undeniably compelling about its starry cast’s daringly go-for-broke performances.

Nicole Kidman and John Cusack both let rip in roles that couldn’t be further removed from their usual screen images – she as a tawdry blonde and he as the vile death row prisoner with whom she is sexually obsessed. And Zac Efron, as the college dropout who lusts in turn after Kidman’s character, and Matthew McConaughey, as his reporter brother, have their startling moments, too.

Unfortunately, director Lee Daniels, the Oscar-nominated maker of Precious, fragments the narrative (adapted from Pete Dexter’s 1995 novel) and throws in so many tricksy directorial touches that the whole thing eventually becomes a bit of an indulgent mess.