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Directed by:
Gregory Hoblit
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, Dacid Strathaim, Rosamund Pike

Written by:
Ricardo Barberini

May 1, 2007

Once again, Anthony Hopkins proves his ability as a great actor of dark roles.  This is not a horror movie like the Hannibal Lechter series.  He does not wear a mask, he does not cut people up nor does he eat anybody’s tongue. 


In this movie, he is a diabolical, yet likeable, man who is cuckolded by his wife and is looking for revenge.

Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) is a brilliant structural engineer.  His specialty is finding faults with hidden cracks and fractures that have caused airplanes to crash.  He is very good at that.

Ted finds out that his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) is having an affair with a homicide police lieutenant, Rob Nunally (Billy Burke.)  Jennifer has been very discreet.  She has used an assumed name and even the police lieutenant does not know her true identity.  She is hoping to carry on with her extra marital relationship without any complications.  However, the sharp eyed Ted soon suspects that something is wrong and sets a trap to kill his cheating wife and ensnare the policeman in the process.  However, the wife does not die but becomes comatose.

Even though the shooting occurs inside Ted and Jennifer’s house, the police cannot find the murder weapon.  The gun that they find in the house has never been fired and does not match the cartridges that they find on the floor.  Nevertheless, Ted is arrested for murder.  Facing him on the opposite side is the young and very sharp Assistant District Attorney Willy Beachum.(Ryan Gosling.)  Willy, as a prosecutor has been so successful that he has been offered a job at a big law firm and he has quit his job.  He takes this case as his last assignment since it seems an open and shut case.

However, Willy does not realize that he is up against a diabolically clever antagonist who had planned the murder meticulously and can spot every weakness of his opponents.  He torments and teases Willy continuously.  Willy, goes to trial unprepared.  He does not even know that, Rob the arresting police lieutenant, was the lover of Ted’s wife.  Nobody knows that except Ted.  When that fact comes out in the trial, the case is tossed out and Ted is freed. 

The distraught police lieutenant, Rob, blows his brains out on the steps of the court house.  Willy is no longer the super prosecutor.  He loses the job offer from the prestigious law firm and quits the DA’s office.  

Normally, when we review a movie, we tell you the entire story.  However, in this particular case we have refrained from doing so since it is such an enjoyable film.  If you are not planning to see the picture, and would like to know the ending drop us a line and we will let you know the ending.

The screen play by Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers was skillfully done.  The gripping story is by Daniel Pyne.  The director George Hoblit did a wonderful job of directing his multi talented cast.   We mentioned Anthony Hopkins earlier on. The relative new comer (to the movies) Ryan Gosling who plays the very successful district attorney fitted in the role properly.  He came across as clever but not too conceited.  David Strathairn plays a flustered  District Attorney with flair.  We also like the pretty Zoe Kazan who plays Willy’s assistant.  She is totally devoted to him and obviously has a crush on him to the extent that she is prepared to help him frame the accused.

Two other factors that made this movie such a pleasure to watch were the music score by the team of Jeff and Mychael Danna and wonderful cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau.  Many cinematographers do not pan in closed spaces since it is not an easy task to do.  The way that Kramer pans his shots in rooms and hallways is really awesome

We give this movie starstarstar.  There is some blood and a little sex, not more than what you’d see on TV every night.  So, it should be OK to take the family along.  But, you make the decision.

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