The Ninth Gate
The Ninth Gate ★★ 1999 (R)
Less-than-scrupulous rare-book dealer Dean Corso (Depp) is hired by wealthy publishing mogul Balkan (Langella) to find and authenticate three copies of a 17th-century book that supposedly holds the secrets to conjuring up the devil. Naturally, he encounters many spooky and deadly people along the way. Depp is perfectly cast as the sleazy bookworm and every scene is appropriately atmospheric, but Polanski's glacial pace and lack of any dramatic tension keeps this flick from getting its due. 127m/C VHS, DVD . FR SP Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin, Emmanuelle Seigner, Barbara Jefford, Jack Taylor, James Russo, Jose Lopez Rodero; D: Roman Polanski; W: Roman Polanski, John Brownjohn, Enrique Urbizu; C: Darius Khondji; M: Wojciech Kilar.