A film memorable for many reasons: its gloom-and-neon palette, the clipped and unnatural performance of its lead actor, and, most notably and confusingly, the strange and unexplained (at least in the film itself) physical tic shared by nearly every primary character. I saw this recently for the first time in more than a decade and realized I had forgotten most of the plot, which concerns the partnership between a nearly disgraced detective and a high school student trying to solve the year-old murder of a local woman. What I remembered is how, whenever a character has some heavy thinking to do, he or she stops speaking and spends 3 or 4 seconds of screen time violently shaking his or her head, then stops, looks refreshed, shares a new insight. By the time the movie finishes, most viewers will have figured out that the characters shake their heads around to stimulate some sort of chemical reaction that allows for deeper or quicker or just fresher thought. But this is never made obvious, or even directly addressed, and the odd choice entirely derails the experience of watching this otherwise moody, well-paced noir.