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The Fugitive
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Fugitive More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent, influential big-screen treatment of an old TV show.

9/10
Author: Jonathon Dabell (barnaby.rudge@hotmail.co.uk) from Todmorden, England
22 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nowadays it seems that every other month there is a big-screen release adapted from an old TV show. Think about it.... they've virtually all be done: Lost In Space, The Avengers, Starsky & Hutch, The Saint, Charlie's Angels, Fantastic Four, Mission: Impossible and Thuderbirds to name but a few, with more promised for the future (at the time I'm writing this, big-screen treatments of The A-Team and The Persuaders are on the cards). The trend for borrowing TV concepts and transforming them into major film releases really began with this 1993 offering. Knowledgeable film buffs might argue that Batman or even Flash Gordon pre-date The Fugitive and were also TV shows long, long ago, but both of those films actually drew their inspiration more from the original comic books than their television ancestors. Therefore, The Fugitive is probably the first genuine cinematic version of an old TV show. Ironically, after all the years since its release, it is still the best of the bunch too!

Dr Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) returns home one night to find his wife bleeding to death and a burglar in his house. He fights with the burglar, and discovers that his assailant actually has a prosthetic arm, before finally being overwhelmed. When the police arrive, they refuse to believe that Kimble's wife was murdered by an intruder and instead charge Kimble himself with the crime. He is convicted and put on Death Row. However, Kimble gets an unexpected chance to clear his name when the bus transporting him to jail crashes off the road and ends up straddling a railway line. Kimble makes a breathtaking escape from the crippled vehicle and goes on the run in the neighbouring woodland. Ace FBI agent Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) is brought in to track down the fugitive and the two of them are soon locked in a battle of wills, which ends when Kimble makes a remarkable escape from his pursuers in a storm drain. Later, Kimble makes his way to Chicago where he begins to piece together the mystery of his wife's murder, eventually realising that he was set up to divert attention from a conspiracy in the medical world.

Ford is terrific as the titular fugitive and he gets superb support from Jones as the Federal Marshal on his tail (the latter got an Oscar for his efforts). The film is brilliantly scripted by Jeb Stuart and David Twohy, who manage to remain faithful to the plot of the original show, while updating it for contemporary audiences and condensing it into a 2 hour narrative. James Newton Howard also does a fabulous job with his score, which is emotional and exciting at all the right moments. The story is paced very thoughtfully, so that the characters are introduced and developed meaningfully, without tedium setting in while the viewers await the action. The Fugitive is a terrific film, totally absorbing and exciting from beginning to end, and easily one of the films of its year.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

How to make a good thriller... solid Ford, great Tommy lee jones

9/10
Author: PersianPlaya408 from Milpitas, California
8 August 2005

Andrew Davis' fugitive is one of the most suspenseful and well acted thrillers from the 90s. I respect this film because it featured a couple actors (ford and Jones) that are not my favorites but give two of their best performances here. However highlight was still Joe Pantoliano for me, he was great in his role as a deputy marshal. The story is a bout wrongfully framed doctor who is on the run from the US marshalls. It is a well written script, and is suspenseful and interesting at all times. This film was very entertaining to watch. It drags you along with it, it was a rare time where i cared for Ford's character, i think Davis got it right with this one, simply a very good thriller 9/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

discrepancy in the movie - about Kimble's keys

9/10
Author: verasdawghouse from United States
18 April 2005

What I don't understand: there is a comment toward the end of the movie by Girard that Dr. Nichols borrowed Richard K.'s car and his keys, and "thus there was no forced entry." But WHEN were the keys used? How did Sykes use the keys, and yet get them back to Dr. Nichols just about the same time, so that Nichols could get them back to Richard? Because Sykes had stayed in the apartment - he attacked Kimble after attacking his wife. Did one of those 2 (N, S) make copies? The time frame would not allow the scenario as presented. To me, there is a great inconsistency here, a puzzle that annoys the heck out of me. Anyone notice this? Anyone can explain it all to me? Or am I missing something obvious? I watched the movie twice this weekend and still didn't get that solved.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

131 minutes well spent

8/10
Author: dbexpeditions-1 from Seattle, Washington
24 January 2004

Revisiting The Fugitive was 131 minutes well spent.

My favorite line. Tomy Lee Jones: "I need a rest". This is a rollercoaster of a film viewing experience. The action never ceases, and the plot and characters are at least 51% of the time believable. I'm wondering how Harrison Ford survives that long waterfall jump, and in soaked clothing manages to avoid dieing of hypothermia wrapped up in nothing but a bed of leaves in the dead of winter. But then he is a doctor. And they can do things like that because they know everything.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Top notch thriller

9/10
Author: perfectbond
27 November 2003

Like a lot of Hitchcock films, The Fugitive centers on the premise of a wrongfully accused man who must clear his name. The cat and mouse game between him and his nemesis makes for exhilarating entertainment. The entire exercise seems plausible. Dr. Kimble goes about his task in a logical and efficient manner and U.S. Marshall Gerard chases him with a frenzied zeal. The close calls are exciting. Though the stunts are spectacular, especially the famous plunge from the drain and the leap from the onrushing train, thankfully they do not overshadow the human drama. A top notch thriller, 9/10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Thriller

9/10
Author: Blade_Le_Flambeur
31 May 2003

The Fugitive pits Harrison Ford against the U.S. Marshall's as he races to find the man who murdered his wife and got him framed for the murder. What ends up happening is Tommy Lee Jones is hired as one of the U.S. Marshall's to hunt down Ford. As the troubled doctor, Ford conveys his emotions perfectly, showing a soft side yet a grim determination to find out what really happened. As the Marshall, Tommy Lee Jones gives off one of his most serious performances that injects a very well- crafted hard edge. Unfortunately, Tommy Lee Jones was awarded an Academy Award for his performance, and it was a definite must that Schindler's List star Ralph F. should have won. The script is kinetic and perfectly structured by providing fierce energy with some very witty and carefully worded dialogue. The direction is unusually emotional as it dwells quite a bit upon Ford's trauma on the death of his wife. Things connect well enough but there are some flaws too. Some of the chase sequences (Ford jumping into the water) were just downright insane and stood out as being totally unrealistic. Also, the pace was too slow sometimes as it got repeating from chase to chase to chase. A similar problem was encountered in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me if You Can. The Fugitive stands out as one of the few sharp modern thrillers and is a definite must for fans of the genre. 9/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good with popcorn

Author: dust-7
1 November 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers!

This is a fly by your seat kind of film, as described in the documentaries following my purchased version of the movie. No script, not really. Actors contributing lines as they saw fit. Ford involved in plotting and direction. And so on.

It's no surprize, then, that there are plot holes and discontinuities. The surviving guard gives his 'bs' story on the assumption that the black guard was already recovered. Yet some time later, just after the famous 'doughnut' remark by Jones - another of his own improv lines - they find the black guard. Lentz dies 'last summer'. But Kimble meets Lentz at the benefit/runway show. And that much time just doesn't seem to have elapsed. In fact, it seems as if he's back in Chicago within days, or at least a week, of his escape. He fingers Nichols. But if he knew of the connection between Lentz and Nichols, why did he imagine Nichols was innocent? As others have mentioned, why would he grab the ambulance (as Jones character says where could he be going in an ambulance?)? In fact, why would he approach the black guard, and then shout the advice on the wound, when it would have been self-evident to any doctor, inside? Clearly, they has this chase set up. But they didn't really need an ambulance for that. And why does Jones/Gerard actually try to gun down Kimble as he slips through the bulletproof glass doors? Was it just to show off the 'wax pellet' guns used as props? And so on.

Other than the contrivances, and holes in the 'script', it's a pretty watchable drama, and after repeated viewings. Ford tends to look stunned most of the time. But Jones goes from a look of terror in the tunnel when he realizes the 'fugitive' just picked up his loaded gun, to anger at the dam and the bulletproof door, to humor and so on. It's quite a range and believably acted - which is why he probably got the academy award.

The other actors do a good job. Krabbe is believable and menacing at the last. One-armed man Katsulas is frightening as the 'mob killer', or whatever he is (head of security). I wondered about the black cop in glasses who seems to show up in three different scenes. For a big budget movie, you'd think they'd disguise him to make it look as if they weren't using the same 'extras' over and over again.

The idea of the big corporate scheme to defraud isn't so far-fetched. The idea that it was a hit on Kimble is, since he hadn't connected his participation, and didn't know anything about Lentz. And I don't understand why he was called to a 'provasic-gone-bad' operation in order that his wife would be alone? And it's surprizing he'd have so much trouble with Sykes on the stairs, especially after loosening his arm. Ford/Kimble is a pretty strong and agile guy.

At any rate, for all the difficulties of 'moving the shoot along', it's a decent film, with a good performance by Tommy Lee Jones, even for a couple of hammy lines (the 'big dog' stuff). If it's watchable, it's because of the care put into the stunts, the train wreck, and other things you don't notice at first, that don't fall into strange and inconsistent plotting. So if you try not to say to yourself - now, wait a minute, didn't he just . . . - and keep up with action to move the 'plot', it's a good film. It's one of the better films of the 1990s. And that's due to the acting, to the action, to the care put into the sets, scenes and stunts, and definitely not because they spent an undue amount of time trying to come up with a believable script.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The best fugitive movie in the world. Highly underrated though...

10/10
Author: Mithil Bhoras from India
26 October 2011

The Fugitive is a classic detective movie. It is stylish in every aspects: the music , the editing, the direction, the story. There are many surprising moments as there are in any crime movie. The music is classy and fits in any modern detective movie. It has many great punch- lines. I loved the U.S. Marshals too. They were ever-ready and completely active.

Harrison Ford was great. He is a smart fugitive who is convicted of killing his own wife and he is innocent. His efforts to prove his innocence was quite smart and that's the most entertaining part. But, in my opinion, Tommy Lee Jones was the best. He acted very well as a bad ass U.S.Marshal who will stop at nothing. His role in this movie is one of my all time favorites.

All in all, Fugitive is surprising and age had no effect on this masterpiece. IMDb really surprises me sometimes by giving quite low ratings to great movies like these.

Still it doesn't change a thing for me. Just go for it!

10/10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Truly Great Film

10/10
Author: Phill-13 from Anderson, Indiana
24 June 2010

"THE FUGITIVE" I remember watching the weekly TV series starring David Janssen as a small boy back in the 1960s. Well, I just watched the remake of David Janssen's "The Fugitive," this one starring Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, and Joe Pantoliano and I must say it's great. I normally don't say this about remakes, but this film really is great. It's emotionally charged from beginning to end, takes you on a roller-coaster ride all the way through keeping you riveted to the edge of your seat with heart-pounding action all the way through. I give it a "Thumbs-Up!" And, that's not something I do with very many remakes. Thanks guys, for a great movie.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not just great then but also great today - 89%

9/10
Author: Benjamin Cox from Hampshire, England
8 April 2009

You know how you have that "Must See" list of films that you never get round to watching? I had "The Long Kiss Goodnight" on my list for 10 years but this movie trumps that, a long 16 years after release! Question is, was it worth the wait? Well, yes and no. Obviously, no film is worth waiting that long for unless you're the sort of obsessive fan associated with certain sci-fi franchises. But "The Fugitive" is, perhaps surprisingly, still a quality action movie that continues to be a benchmark after all this time. Tense, thrilling and lifted further by Tommy Lee Jones in blistering form, this is one movie that has not lost its power over time.

Based on the TV show of the same name, "The Fugitive" opens with the brutal murder of Helen Kimble (Sela Ward), the wife of brilliant Chicago surgeon Dr Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford). Wrongly convicted of her murder and sentenced to death, Dr Kimble escapes and sets out to find the one-armed man who did kill her. Trying to catch him is relentless US Marshall Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) and his dedicated team who don't really care whether Kimble did it or not. And so begins arguably the best manhunt ever committed to film...

A bold statement but compare this to the half-hearted sequel "US Marshalls" (despite Jones' presence) and you begin to understand why "The Fugitive" is held in high regard. There's no CG stunt work, no pointless explosions or needlessly slow-mo gun fights. This is simply a great film that doesn't patronise or try to be anything other than a gripping battle of wills that never lets go of your attention. In fact, the only fault I can think of is that you are just as likely to cheer for Jones as you are for Ford - he thoroughly deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar as the helplessly charismatic Gerard. Actually, there is another fault but only if you're a fan of the TV show "Scrubs" - Neil Flynn's all-too-brief appearance will raise a faint smile which breaks the tension somewhat but it quickly passes, thankfully. But from the moment where Kimble escapes from a wonderfully staged train crash, the film rarely lets the tension relax as both Kimble and Gerard get increasingly desperate to get what they both want.

Chances are, though, that you won't have waited 16 years to catch this fantastic action blockbuster. But if you have then prepare yourself for a movie that not only thrills and entertains with ease but one that still can produce the goods today. It stands head-and-shoulders above any other chase movie you could think of (including director Andrew Davis' other famous chase movie "Chain Reaction") but is also a cracking thriller movie that actually delivers the goods. All you have to do is now go out and catch it...

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