In “Hypnotic,” director Robert Rodriguez embarks on a cinematic journey that marries mystery with high-octane action, crafting a narrative that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Collaborating with co-writer Max Borenstein, Rodriguez delivers a thriller that is both ambitious in scope and meticulous in detail. The film benefits from Rodriguez’s multi-hyphenate talents, not only directing but also taking on roles as producer, cinematographer, and editor, showcasing his distinctive vision and cinematic flair.

The ensemble cast, led by Ben Affleck and featuring Alice Braga, J. D. Pardo, Hala Finley, Dayo Okeniyi, Jeff Fahey, Jackie Earle Haley, and William Fichtner, brings to life a complex web of characters, each contributing to the film’s dense tapestry of intrigue and suspense. The performances are grounded, with Affleck at the helm, navigating through the film’s twists and turns with a nuanced portrayal that adds depth to the unfolding mystery.

The Rodriguez family affair extends behind the scenes, with Rebel Rodriguez and Racer Max contributing as composer and producer, respectively. Their involvement adds a personal touch to the project, infusing the film with a unique creative energy that is palpable in its execution.

Released in the United States by Ketchup Entertainment and Relativity Media, “Hypnotic” made its debut on May 12, 2023, to a polarized reception. Critics were divided, reflecting the film’s ambitious attempt to blend genres and tones, which, while innovative, may not have resonated uniformly across all audiences. Despite this, the film managed to carve out a niche for itself, grossing $16 million and proving that Rodriguez’s bold storytelling and stylistic choices continue to attract viewers.

In sum, “Hypnotic” stands as a testament to Rodriguez’s versatility and vision as a filmmaker. While the film navigates the challenges of meshing mystery with action, it ultimately serves as a showcase for Rodriguez’s and his cast’s ability to engage and entertain, marking another intriguing chapter in the director’s diverse and dynamic filmography.


In a riveting blend of psychological thriller and action, “Danny Rourke’s” journey unfolds, plunging the audience into a deeply personal and expansive conspiracy. The film kicks off with a heart-wrenching recount of Detective Rourke’s darkest moment—the abduction of his daughter Minnie—setting a tone of loss and unresolved torment that haunts him and has shattered his family. This narrative is ingeniously woven into a seemingly unrelated crime: a bank heist that Rourke and his partner, Nicks, are tipped off about.

The plot thickens as Rourke discovers a photo of Minnie in the midst of what appears to be an ordinary bank robbery, catapulting the story into a labyrinth of mind control, government secrets, and a quest that blurs the lines between reality and hypnotic manipulation. The revelation that Rourke and the enigmatic figure from the bank, Lev Dellrayne, are both “Hypnotics” with the ability to control minds introduces a thrilling new dimension to the story, elevating it from a personal vendetta to a battle against an unseen and powerful enemy.

The narrative skillfully navigates through twists and betrayals, leading Rourke and the fortune-teller Diana Cruz—who is later revealed to be Vivian, his wife and fellow Hypnotic—on a run that crosses borders and delves into the depths of their own abilities. The revelation of Minnie as “Domino,” the ultimate weapon born from two powerful Hypnotics, shifts the film’s focus to the terrifying potential of using human beings as weapons.

The climax is a masterful unraveling of hypnotic constructs, revealing that Rourke’s reality has been meticulously fabricated by the Division to unlock his memories and locate Minnie. The film’s conclusion, set against the backdrop of a serene ranch hiding under the innocuous name “Deer Valley Lane,” transforms from a mere reunion to a powerful statement on autonomy and the strength found in family and self-awareness.

The ultimate confrontation with the Division, led by Minnie’s newfound control over her powers, offers a cathartic resolution to the film’s central conflicts, showcasing the triumph of individual will over manipulation. The annihilation of the Division agents by their own hands, manipulated by Minnie, is a poignant reflection on the dangers of power unchecked and the resilience of the human spirit.

“Danny Rourke” is more than a mystery action thriller; it’s a nuanced exploration of memory, identity, and the indomitable bond between parent and child. It challenges viewers to question the nature of control and the power of self-determination, all while delivering an exhilarating cinematic experience that defies expectations and leaves a lasting impact.