11 user 4 critic

Northern Lights (2009)

Nate Burns accepts a job as chief of police in Lunacy, Alaska, hoping to to get away from the traumatic death of his partner back in Baltimore. He meets Meg, an independent bush pilot, whose father is found dead in a mountain cave.


Mike Robe


Janet Brownell (teleplay), Nora Roberts (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
LeAnn Rimes ... Meg Galligan
Eddie Cibrian ... Nate Burns
Greg Lawson ... Ed Woolcott
Rosanna Arquette ... Charlene Galligan
Jayne Eastwood ... Mayor Hopp
William MacDonald ... Deputy Otto Gruber
Christianne Hirt ... Carrie Hawbacker
Adrian Hough ... John
Billy Merasty Billy Merasty ... Jacob
David Lawrence Brown ... Max Hawbacker (as David Brown)
Marty Antonini ... Bing
Justin Michael Carriere ... Jim Mackie (as Justin Michael Carrier)
David Cowley David Cowley ... Bill Mackie
Alex Arsenault Alex Arsenault ... Stephen Thompson (as Alexander Arsenault)
Rod Heatherington Rod Heatherington ... Sgt. Coben


Nate Burns, a former Baltimore city homicide detective, is the new police chief in sleepy Lunacy, Alaska. The job comes with a free room in the 'lodge', the town's multi-purpose inn, pub etcetera run by 'loose' flirter Charlene Galligan. Sole deputy Otto Gruber is among the failed local applicants. Shortly after Nate gets on sensual-bickering terms with Charlene's fickle, estranged daughter, pilot Meg, lost mountaineers find the frozen corps of Meg's dad Pat, missing for 15 years. State police sergeant Coben dubiously claims jurisdiction and flies out the body. Nate soon discovers nothing is as it seems after Lunatic newspaper editor Max Hawbacker is found shot, with a fake suicide PC note 'I killed Pat'. Uncovering more past secret proves dangerous for dogs, Nate and his job. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dog | theft | bear | knife | fight | See All (15) »


Drama | Mystery | Romance


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Lifetime TV


USA | Canada



Release Date:

21 March 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nora Roberts' Northern Lights See more »

Filming Locations:

Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


It was on the set of Northern Lights he met his current wife, LeAnn Rimes. See more »


A newcomer to Alaska in the middle of winter would never go around in just a light winter jacket like he was still in Baltimore, nor would he not wear a hat or cover his face against the bitter cold. See more »


References Drunken Master (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Murder In Lunacy Is Enjoyable.
15 May 2017 | by stephenabellSee all my reviews

The surprising thing about this movie is the quality of the cast and the acting within. I was mostly surprised by Leann Rimes who can hold her own in the female lead here and fits in well. I've heard her superb vocal ability and never knew she has thespian talents also, based on this film I would quite happily watch anything else she's done.

The only cringeworthy scene was when Meg Galligan (Leeann Rimes) tells her mother Charlene (Rosanna Arquette) that her father, Charlene's true love, is dead. Arquette goes way over the top at this news and totally wrecks the scene; though to be fair, Mike Robe who directed should've stepped in to give her some better direction and tone down the theatrics a little - sometimes less can be better.

That said, the rest of the film is very well acted by all, though I have to say Jayne Eastwood who portrays Mayor Hopp is on top form. I first saw her in Haven as the no-nonsense coroner, and she has the same kind of believable tenacity in this role also, a joy to watch as she brought a smile to my face.

Robe does a decent job of keeping the mystery and suspense rolling as the story of the new Chief Of Police Nate Burns (Eddie Cibrian) in Lunacy, Alaska finds he has a fifteen-year-old murder case to solve; worse yet, the murder victim is his love interests, father; worst still, it seems that most of Lunacy could be the potential killer. You're never too sure as the viewer as not many clues are given, in fact, you have to be pretty observant and quick-sighted to spot and remember a certain scene to work out the killer's identity before the Chief of Police. The resolve of the story is quick, it may have been better to slow this section down and create a little more tension.

Not having read the Nora Roberts novel I cannot say how well it's been adapted, though in its own right Janet Brownell the Teleplay writer does give the audience one hell of a story filled with believable and interesting characters.

If you like murder mysteries then you should like this one, it is definitely a curl-up with your loved one on a Sunday afternoon movie, while the world passes by outside. Worth at least one viewing.

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