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2hr 07mins // directed by:David Fincher // featuring:Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow

Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Pride. Lust. Envy. Wrath.

In an unidentified city rife with urban and moral decay, two homicide detectives, retiring veteran William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and newly transferred David Mills (Brad Pitt), hunt for a serial killer who meticulously stages each murder based on one of the seven deadly sins.

The unlikely partners — Somerset, steady, calm, weary of the horrors of the city, Mills, young, impatient, cocky — must try to sort through the killer’s cryptic methods and intricately concealed clues as the elusive John Doe stays one step ahead. The investigation reaches a series of dead ends until Doe inexplicably turns himself in with two murders yet to go before he completes his “masterpiece.” With limited screen time, the chillingly matter-of-fact John Doe makes an indelible impression.

From its now-iconic opening title sequence – a mash-up of scratched frames, jittery titles, and disjointed imagery set to a remix of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” – through to its shattering concluding twist, director David Fincher’s dark, stylish thriller is brilliantly disturbing.

For this kick-off of Season 8 of Science on Screen, forensic psychiatrist Thomas Gutheil, MD joins us before the film to discuss the psychology of serial killers and issues of insanity and the law. Not to be missed!

About the Speaker

Dr. Guthiel is professor of psychiatry and co-founder, Program in Psychiatry and the Law, Harvard Medical School. Recipient of every major award in the forensic field, as well as multiple teaching and writing awards, he is former president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law and current president of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health. He is author or co-author of over 250 publications, many of which are used in almost every forensic training program in the country. An internationally-known authority, speaker, and consultant on medicolegal issues, Dr. Gutheil has served as consulting expert or expert witness in 42 states.