Billy Bob Thornton plays the exact same character he played in The Man Who Wasn't There
, which is a good thing, because it means he isn't acting all over the screen. Instead, his highly restrained performance stands out because he's so unlikable as a corrections officer who lives with the racist father he hates and the non-racist son he despises. While the plot, about a white man falling in love with a black woman (Halle Berry), is pretty standard stuff, and the cinematography is a collection of shots borrowed from other films, there are some excellent moments, thanks to the performances of Thornton, Peter Boyle and, surprisingly, Heath Ledger, who shows he can do more than look pretty in a teen movie. Berry is also passably decent, which is a big step up from her previous films, where she basically just played a woman with fabulous breasts.