Movie Madness

My movie reviews and rants at your fingertips.

The Next Three Days

Anytime I can see Russell Crowe on the big screen is a treat for me. Ever since I saw A Beautiful Mind, I’ve been a big fan, going back and watching his other films. Some have been better than others,  but I always have fun seeing him do his thing.

The Next Three Days stars Crowe as an English teacher who is dealing with his wife’s incarceration. After she makes an attempt to end her life, he decides that his family must be reunited. The movie quickly becomes his quest to make the most detailed and thought out plan to get his wife out of prison. The amount of detail he puts into it makes his already quiet son that much more quieter. But he soldiers on, selling most of their belongings and even the house. He cases the prison and creates an intricate plan of attack. When she informs him that she will be transferred soon, the stakes get higher.

I thought the film was a bit weak from Paul Haggis (director of Crash/writer of Casino Royale and Million Dollar Baby). It isn’t a bad film, in fact it’s good, but it feels like it could have been so much better. Elizabeth Banks lends gravitas to her character in a manner she’s never done before. She is totally believable as Lara, and yet, we don’t know if she really is innocent or if Crowe’s John is just naive. We end up seeing the truth at the end, but in a manner that doesn’t remedy anything.

At first I thought the movie was going slow until I realized how tense I was. My nerves were fried as I tried to stay one step ahead of Lara and John during their escape, only to be one step behind. The steady build to the climatic escape is a calculated move that allows us to see John fully develop. Though his teaching job becomes more of a throwaway as the plot thickens, the rest of John is very much enjoyable to watch. A good thriller, 3 out of 5 stars.


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