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Extreme Measures
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Reviews & Ratings for
Extreme Measures More at IMDbPro »

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46 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Bloody wonderful and totally underrated

Author: Mika Pykäläaho (bygis80@hotmail.com) from Järvenpää, Finland
13 March 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I saw "Extreme measures" for the first time I didn't expect anything special from it. Just a basic thriller among others and that's pretty much it. However as it turned out, "Extreme measures" has a certain place in my top 10 of "the best suspense movies of the 90's". I think this movie has never received all the recognition it deserves. "Extreme measures" delivers excellent acting, fascinating plot, cool action and lots of excitement and most important of all, it gives birth to a rather interesting ethical question.

The story gets deeper and deeper and film really keeps the viewer in the edge of the seat. In the end even the bad guy (splendidly played by Gene Hackman) turns out to be, how should I put it...a "good" bad guy. If you haven't seen this thriller yet, I must say that I envy you because naturally the experience is the most impressive in the first time around when you haven't heard too much about this and haven't got a slightest idea what to expect. The less you know about this film in advance, the better. Actually I feel that even the mere trailer uncovers too much. Watch it, enjoy it.

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24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Not a bad movie at all ---- but probably made ten years too early!

9/10
Author: Graham Watson from Gibraltar
8 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Despite lead actor Hugh Grant still riding high from his sleeper hit FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL and a well publicized arrest for curb crawling in Hollywood the previous year, this was not received well in the theaters. Even with the support from the ever versatile Gene Hackman the movie was a box office flop! It's important to state from the outset that the film itself is pretty good and deserved better than it got, not just from the standard of movies that were around but also because it was well acted and raised some very important moral and medical questions that to some extent are more relative today with the controversy over stem cells than it was ten years ago!

As for why the movie bombed I cant really say, perhaps not enough guns, sex and violence or maybe the theme or scenario was very depressing to many people. Also I think that being a thriller, actor George Cloony who was a lead in the popular medical soap ER would have been a better box office draw than Grant. Clooney who was struggling to break into the "A– list" of movie stars at the time would have been believable as a doctor and the movie it self would have elevated him faster up to stardom than the duffers he did at around that time! However, it has to be said this is only as far as being a better box office draw, Cloony of course being American. It has to be said Hugh Grant was very good in this part and I think it was one of his best films. Grant was and still is better known for comedy or a romantic lead not a tough guy roles or action films, so perhaps this is why many in his fan base did not take to his character because it was a thriller not a comedy.

Having said that he was very well cast for the part and on many occasions was able to display his dead pan dry wit and came across quite believable as the out of towner Dr. from the UK who didn't know what he was getting into. His character was typical Grant in the USA not aloof and pompous, but just a little awkward, slightly eccentric maybe and disorganized! I think that coming from England only made the character come across as more vulnerable and isolated as events unraveled and things seemed to conspire against him. When the well respected Dr. Myrick (Gene Hackman) decided that Dr. Luthan's (Hugh Grant) meddling was proving to be problematic as well as inconvenient, Luthan's feeling of paranoia towards his colleagues was more believable. No tough guy or macho part was needed here!

Grant played Guy Luthan who was deemed for great things in the medical profession is a physician who encounters a distraught and frightened patient who had been found wandering the streets. He is extremely agitated, suffering convulsions and has strange legations at the base of his spine. Despite desperate attempts to save his life the mysterious patent dies. Luthan who is shocked over what he has witnessed is puzzled by a silver bracelet on the wrist which indicates that the patient (Claude Minkins) was probably a hospital patient somewhere and starts to make inquires. He orders blood work and lab analysis despite the fact that patient has no medical insurance (much to the annoyance of his superiors). When he can not find the hospital that used silver a bracelet and is concerned about the bizzar results in the lab report, he then delves further into this case much to the disdain of colleges and top faculty administrators. It appears that the patient was homeless and his medical records wiped and put in storage where he is unable to track them.

Then the body mysteriously disappears, the chief residence is very nonchalant about it and berates and scolds Luthan in very dismissive and casual manner over his concern, this only leads him to become more suspicious. Soon he feels that he can't trust anybody as it appears that some are trying to thwart his own investigations. He is correct, ------ some within the hospital as well as outside are trying to frustrate his efforts in unraveling this mystery. Rather than back off, he let's his curiosity get the better off him, puts his professional reputation on the line which only results in disastrous consequences for him personally. Realizing that he is really on to something and now with nothing to lose he becomes even more determined to track down who is responsible for trying to ruin him, ------ but more importantly why?

This movie raises medical and moral issues over the balance of patient care and medical advancement. This is not a new topic, the earlier movie COMA and many or medial shows since have dabbled with this dilemma but the ending in this movie leaves that question strangely unanswered? (Interestingly, at the beginning of the movie Luthan has an ethical dilemma of his own. While working in the ER he has to decide who gets the priority for the only OR room available at the time. It's a choice between a wounded Cop and the and the 'perp' who shot him, who incidentally is in a more serious condition. He decides that the cop should get priority)!

Hugh Grant was good, so was Hackman and fine support from Sara Jessica -Parker, David Morse and Paul Guilfoyle. I would highly recommend this movie!

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Very underrated film that actually provokes thought

Author: Azeem Ali Khan from United Kingdom
19 March 2001

I just saw this for the second time, on telly, and was struck again by how good it is; not great, maybe, but a very solidly written and acted film on an intriguing premiss and leaving the viewer a bit of room to make up their own mind (this is a GOOD THING, in case anyone is wondering). Hugh Grant shows again that he can do more than play variations on this 4 Weddings character - anyone who has seen An Awfully Big Adventure will be well aware of this. And Gene Hackman is as excellent as ever. A word for Elizabeth Hurley, who produced the film, and I think it was her first: a damn good job she did, despite some unsavoury sniping in the British press about her. I'd give it an 8 out of 10

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A thrilling movie that puts you in a moral dilemma

Author: Martin Dyhr Jørgensen from Nykøbing Falster
30 October 1999

A movie starring Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman and David Morse is a "must-see" for me. Extreme Measures is a thriller, and it does its job well - it is thrilling. On top of that the director managed to put me in a moral dilemma. There was a point in the movie, where I could not decide whether "the bad guy" really was such a bad guy. I think that this sounds very confusing, but watch the movie and decide for yourself. "The bad guy's" motives aren't bad at all, it is just the way he does it! A thrilling, although a bit slow movie at times. I voted 7/10.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Amazing

Author: BNVfilms from United States
19 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is very relevant in this day and age with the on slot of diseases and people who are searching for the answers. Hugh Grant playing the moral side of this left and right medical thriller. The big question brought up in this film is that of medical morals that have been brought up in many movies and in the thoughts of many people, " Would you kill many people to save lives in the name of medicine?"

Hugh Grant is amazing as the hero Doctor Guy Luthan. His character works feverishly to find the truth of," What is going on with this mysterious men that come into his life, why his life is being destroyed and what is "Triphase"?" This is a good movie of Hugh Grant's and shows how he works well as a serious actress which I think he should go back to.

Go rent this movie or check HBO for the next time it appears.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Above-average thriller.

7/10
Author: gridoon
21 April 2003

While it hardly offers any twists that we haven't seen before, "Extreme Measures" is a well-made, well-acted thriller that has an unusual air of believability. The most effective set piece, which doesn't have all that much to do with the main plot, is the hero's descent into the underground lairs beneath the Grand Central Station. Hugh Grant is very convincing and unaffected in one of his most serious roles, and the ending is not as cut-and-dried as you might expect it to be. But the most memorable moment, for me at least, occurs early on, when a very ill and frightened man, barely able to speak, looks straight into Grant's eyes, pleading for help. (**1/2)

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Reminded me of a Robin Cook novel

8/10
Author: helpless_dancer from Broken Bow, Oklahoma
18 January 2000

Very exciting film with lots of surprises. Not really all that original, I have run across the story of the mad doctor wanting to play God before. Still it was well done, and the ending left me wondering..... Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman were, as usual, flawless in their performances, as was the entire cast.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Moral thriller in the medical world

7/10
Author: ksundstrom from France
8 April 2006

A thriller in the medical world. Generally, doctors abide by the Hippocratic Oath - roughly summarized as "to do good or to do no harm". Hugh Grant as the English Doctor strives to uphold this. Gene Hackman plays the role of the medical researcher, now head of a powerful medical research foundation that can influence police and politicians, believes that medical research is more important than "to do no harm" if in the long run research does provide valuable improvements to medicine. Hackman is the ominous shadow of the German Nazi doctors, 1935-1945, such as Josef Mengele, who carried out abominable medical experiments in order to promote so-called medical advancement. Thus the conflict between Grant and Hackman: Grant the loner, a promising English doctor - a follower of the Hippocratic Oath, thus the moral man, is working temporarily in America to gain valuable medical experience. Hackman, the countervailing force, the ominous medical power with wide ranging influence in public power circles, controls the lives of his captured patients in underground "catacombs", disregarding their concerns in order to achieve his results for the "benefit of mankind" . Sudden deaths, escapes, mysterious liaisons, threats, moral arguing (but only a little as this in a modern American film - historically there was plenty of moral arguing), shootings, and of course plenty of blood are the powerful ingredients to this cocktail. Grant certainly knows how to play convincingly other roles than those "English" ones which rocketed him to the top. Hackman as always is a master of his role. Well worth seeing!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Exceptional Medical Drama Like the Movie Coma

10/10
Author: Rachel Alice Hunter from United States
11 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hugh Grant stars a ER doctor that happens upon a patient with complex medical issues (and dies). His tests reveal something quite unusual.

Gene Hackman plays a well-respected medical researcher that has a secret research lab using the homeless to find cures to diseases. Thought provoking to say the least.

Grant's character is ruined after he starts digging into the mystery of this dead patient's maladies, medical mysteries. He just doesn't know what sinister medical research he stumbled upon and who is involved.

Sarah Jessica Parker was okay in the film but Grant made it work. Liz Hurley was actually a Producer of the film. Hackman played his character okay but not excellent as usual.

It is a taught medical thriller than will make you think if medical research like the Nazi's is really going on in real life. The movie was ahead of its time.

Micheal Apted directed it well. Lots of great supporting actors.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Below Average Adventure with an Interesting Conflct

5/10
Author: BSHBen from United States
16 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Is it justifiable to kill innocent people to save thousands of lives? What if these people won't be missed by anybody?

This fundamental question behind "Extreme Measures" raises the film above the level of a purely forgettable action-adventure story. Two different positions on this issue are represented in the film by doctors played by Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman. Most of the movie focuses on Grants investigation on the nature of the mysterious deaths of several homeless people, an investigation that leaves him to uncover the truth behind research conducted by Gene Hackman.

In the meantime there's some routine, below-par chase scenes. It's all been done before, and better. An absolutely endless journey into an underground subway goes on for far too long. Hugh Grant is a surprising choice for his role but fares surprisingly well, despite his simply distracting hair.

But what's really worth thinking about is the ethical dilemma. Is Hackman's abduction (and essential murder) of the homeless men a justifiable way to find life-saving cures Hugh's stance, that the men didn't ask to be heroes, perhaps makes the most sense, but the question remains. Unfortunately the film requires and unlikely (but once again competently done) shootout to put an end to the conflict. But the film deserves credit for raising the issue, an issue that could very well become increasingly relevant to life and research. 2/4

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