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Edison
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Reviews & Ratings for
Edison More at IMDbPro »

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135 out of 171 people found the following review useful:

Freeman, Spacey, McDermott, Heard and... Timberlake??

3/10
Author: canadude
9 November 2005

I don't remember the last time I reacted to a performance as emotionally as I did to Justin Timberlake's in "Edison." I got so emotional I wanted to scream in anguish, destroy the screen, readily accept the hopeless cries of nihilism. Timberlake is horribly miscast; in fact, casting him is like casting Andy Dick to play the lead role in "Patton," or Nathan Lane to play Jesus. But that is almost beside the point.

Timberlake is simply a bad actor and he would be equally terrible in any role. I used to have problems with Ben Affleck's acting talent, but Timberlake makes Affleck look like Sir Ian McKellen or Dame Judi Dench. With his metrosexual lisp (read lithp), his boyish glances and emotional expressions which derive from something like "The 25 Cliché Expressions for Actors," he poisons the screen upon which he is inflicted mercilessly, and no matter how you slice it, I do not and will not buy his role as an amateur-turned-crusader-for-justice journalist. It simply will not fly.

However, Timberlake alone isn't to blame for his failure. Director David J. Burke puts him not only in the (essentially) primary role, but also places him aside Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, John Heard, Dylan McDermott, Cary Elwes and (I'm surprised he was as good) LL Cool J. I can imagine one almost physically suffering watching some of this cast interact with Timberlake.

There is an upside to this of course: the moment any of these actors interact without Justin there it feels like a double relief. A pleasure, if you will. Freeman and Spacey may not have more than 10 minutes of screen time alone together, but that ten minutes is blissful in contrast to their scenes with our so-called hero. Dylan McDermott is also a breath of fresh air.

But enough of Timberlake bashing - words aren't enough in this particular case to do the trick. "Edison" is a very, very run-of-the-mill corruption story. It's plot ranges from cliché to simply preposterous. I do, however, admire the motivation behind making it, which I interpret as an homage to films like "Serpico," or "Donnie Brasco," or maybe even "Chinatown." Don't get me wrong - "Edison" is not even in the same ballpark as these films, but I can stretch my suspension of disbelief to admire its reason for existence, perhaps to justify my sitting through it.

The script, in and of itself, features some surprisingly bad writing. Yes, it has some decent interchanges, but any conversation between Piper Perabo (who is wasted here) and Timberlake seems like it was lifted straight out of a Dawson's Creek episode. It's your typical far-too-glib-for-reality, let's-impress-the-audience-with-how-well-we-articulate (and fail) dialogue. This dialogue, mind you, is punctuated by great music at the wrong moments - sometimes it feels like "Edison" wants to morph into a music video, where the emotion of the scene is not communicated through acting, but precisely through the badly chosen music and variant film speeds (read slow-motion).

Thinking about it, "Edison" is a curiosity. It's sure as hell got a cast to kill for but the performances are marred by Timberlake who simply doesn't work. In film as in most art, if one thing is off, the whole thing feels off. Directors must make tough choices. David J. Burke missed the mark here. Some of the scenes play well in and of themselves, but as a whole, they don't seem to fit like puzzle pieces from different puzzles forced into one incoherent picture. And it's not particularly an exciting puzzle to begin with.

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146 out of 226 people found the following review useful:

I registered with IMDb just to tell the world how bad this movie really is!!!

1/10
Author: barry_holleran from Spain
13 November 2005

Normally, I have much better things to do with my time than write reviews but I was so disappointed with this movie that I spent an hour registering with IMDb just to get it off my chest.

You would think a movie with names like Morgan Freeman or Kevin Spacey would be a bankable bet... well, this movie was just terrible. It is nigh on impossible to "suspend disbelief"; I tried, really, I wanted to enjoy it but Justin Timberlake just wouldn't let me.

Timberlake should stick to music, what a dreadful performance - NO presence as an actor,NO character. Can't blame everything on Justin: The movie also boast a dreadful plot & badly timed editing; its definitely an "F".

After seeing this, I have to wonder what really motivates actors. I mean, surely Morgan actually read the script before taking the part. Did he not see how poor it was? What then could motivate him to take the part? Money? Of course, acting is at times more about who you are seen with rather than really developing quality work.

LL Cool J is a great actor; he gets a lot more screen time than Freeman or Spacey in this movie and really struggles to come to terms with the poor script.

Meanwhile, the audience goes: "What the hell is going on here? You expect me to believe this crap?"

In short, apart from Justin a great lineup badly executed - very disappointing.

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84 out of 123 people found the following review useful:

Terrible Role Miscast

3/10
Author: mourngrym1969 from United States
23 November 2005

Wow. I do not think I have ever seen a movie with so many great actors that had such a pivotal role so miscast. Justin Timberlake is perhaps the single worst actor to land a bigtime role in a movie with the star power and money behind it that Edison had.

His acting was PAINFUL to observe. The story was OK and all the other characters were played by professional actors, heck, even LL Cool J was fine since he has had numerous small parts to cut his teeth on. How the director and movie company figured that Timberlake was ready for this role there is no way to comprehend.

His character ruins the entire experience since every time he is on screen you are actually rooting for the corrupt cops to cap his sorry ass, and he is supposed to be the hero... I would not waste money on this one at the theater or on video. MAYBE if you have HBO and have NOTHING else to do at 2am on a Saturday night and you are drunk and stoned, this may be OK.

Watching Timberlake in this role was like watching a human 'Kermit the Frog' act in a Hollywood Blockbuster, just didn't work at all.

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49 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

strong at the beginning, weak at the end

5/10
Author: mark_wyp from Netherlands
3 December 2005

Edison starts out as a good,solid action thriller. The story builds up pretty nice, even Justin Timberlake surprises with his acting. But as the movie move's on it turns into a normal average action flick, flamethrowers included. A pity when you consider the star packed cast(Kevin spacey, Morgan freeman, ll cool j). The violence is hard and real, especially when the journalist and his girlfriend are being beat up. But turns overdone at the end of the movie, with big shootouts and trunks full of army stock. overall i've came to this conclusion, Edison: an average movie that could be so much more.... i give it 5 out of 10.... m.w.

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31 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Hey... it wasn't THAT bad!

5/10
Author: greendevilrc from United States
25 July 2006

Oh please... the worst movie ever?? Not even close. Any movie with Spacey and Freeman can't be all that bad. McDermott was actually pretty good. His 'bad boy cop' routine worked and LL Cool Jay was even OK as his partner. Nothing special but come on. Worst movie? You obviously don't see that many!

Bad cops vs cub reporter / aging veteran reporter. Not the most original story but there were enough action scenes to keep me interested and with the exception of Timberlake, the acting was good and the directing was quick and clean.

The worst part of the movie was Spaceys wig.

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48 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

why, why, why

2/10
Author: lilacrose12082 from United States
12 February 2006

That is the only question I am left with. Why did this movie suck so much when it had such a great cast? Why was the writing so bad, it left the audience completely unconnected with the characters? Why did it not make any sense at all? Why did the studio take a perfectly good premise and "Hollywood" the hell out of it when all it needed was good, smart story telling? Why? I never understand why movies that start out good turn into a pile of crap by the time they're released. I hope for the sake of Freeman an Spacey, who are Oscar WINNERS, that this never is released to the big screens in America.

As someone that holds a Bachelors Degree in Journalism, the whole story is just utterly laughable. I just...think the script had potential, but the execution turned it into a cliché, and an awful one at that. Just. No.

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27 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Lukewarm performances in a fantasy world

3/10
Author: soaraway from Richmond, VA, United States
18 December 2005

LL Cool J performed much better in this movie that I expected! He did a fabulous job acting as a "renegade" cop within a "renegade" department. From the very beginning, he does a great job of building viewer empathy for his character and the predicament he's in. He acts as a sort of "gentle giant" -- a person whose rough exterior can scare anybody, yet whose heart is clearly in the right place from the very start -- and he does an amazing job. He was quite clearly the best character in the movie.

This was certainly a performance that will not win Morgan Freeman any awards. After starring in powerhouse films like the Shawshank Redemption this film was certainly a step down. His role in Edison simply did not allow him to show his true talents as an actor -- and in terms of the conglomeration of characters placed him sadly on a back burner. There are so many ways his character (Moses Ashford) could have taken a more pivotal role. That he didn't was disappointing and a true let-down. I was hoping to see more from him in this film.

Timberlake ought to have stayed in the music industry. His portrayal of a young journalist was poorly acted and unpersuasive. This movie is a typical action movie that (at least initially) bears some resemblance to corrupt police affairs LA has experienced in the past. Being an action movie, it has its share of shoot-em-up scenes, blood, and guts. These scenes are typically unrealistic and painfully predictable. Watching the beginning of the movie there is very little suspense as to what will happen at the end -- think of what you would typically expect in a good-cops/bad-cops conflict -- and it bears little resemblance to a REAL police shoot-out.

What irked me most was the way Timberlake's character behaved during shoot-out scenes. He starts out having guns and not using them. Then when he finally gets around to using one he fires it as if he's been firing a gun his whole life. Then he runs out of bullets and doesn't have a gun -- and 30 seconds later, without moving or anything -- suddenly has 2 more fully loaded guns AND extra ammo?! Little plot errors like this really ruined the movie for me.

If what you are looking for is a blatantly fictional plot in a fantasy world where everything turns out okay, then you'll probably love this movie. Personally, it doesn't matter to me what KIND of movie it is as long as it is realistic. Make me believe that the story is true. This story was so obviously fictional in so many aspects that I came away feeling unsatisfied.

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87 out of 156 people found the following review useful:

In awe of how bad this movie was....

1/10
Author: AdamM310 from United States
18 September 2005

i saw this movie at the toronto film festival with fairly solid expectations. the movie has a great cast and was closing at the festival so it must be good, right? how wrong i was.

i knew we were in trouble when before the film the director was talking about how when he was directing an episode of wiseguy he met an unknown actor named kevin spacey (a director/writer of wiseguy making his feature debut = blah)... well the director/writer of Edison must have some incriminating pictures of kevin spacey killing a homeless man, because i cannot see how he (along with the other actors in the film) would ever agree to be in this disaster.

this movie is absolutely appalling! it's a mixture of every cop hard boiled cliché ever. there is nothing new with Edison. the acting was bad and the direction was even worse. it looked like that aforementioned episode of wiseguy. this was the best casted direct to video movie i've ever seen.

some examples of just bad silly moments in Edison... morgan freeman dancing around his apartment for no reason to rock and roll music... justin timberlake getting creative criticism from his belle while his apartment is surrounded by candles... llcoolj driving a vintage firebird... 3 guys being shot in the head...

this movie is the opposite of good.

STAY AWAY FROM EDISON!

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30 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Had promise, faded fast.

1/10
Author: MrDrew9 from Greece, NY
30 May 2006

The movie started off strong, LL Cool J (Deed) as an undercover police officer, with partner Sgt. Lazerov (Dylan McDermott from the Practice, possibly miscast as a bad guy?) committing robbery and murder. Deed refuses to kill the drug dealer, which sets up the conflict of a dirty cop with a conscience. The other big names (Freeman, Spacey et al) are well cast and the movie shows promise.

The movie begins to fall short as soon as Justin Timberlake (Pollack) is introduced. Given the opportunity to make a good movie that people will possibly see repeatedly, or one that teenage girls will go and see the once because of Timberlake, I would choose the former. Even talented actors have to work hard at their craft; Timberlake is NOT talented and no amount of hard work can save him. I would have thought he would put on a better show, given the fact that he has been acting talented for years. Everything he did in this film was unconvincing.

Just because a singer sells millions of records and sells out stadiums, it does not automatically translate that they can act successfully in feature films. Even hardcore N'Sync fans will not be able to ignore the obvious lack of acting talent.

That aside there are a few plot holes, such as Pollack's sudden sniper ability and deadly operation of warehouse machinery. This movie had so much promise. Thoroughly disappointing.

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29 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Fraud !!!

1/10
Author: eastskov from Denmark
1 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Beginning with the poster (featuring only Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey), the entire movie was a fraud. One stereotype after another, this movie was about nothing - or nothing new, at least. After 10-15 minutes, you realize that you've just paid to see Justin Timberlake and LL Cool J recite their way through another cop-flick.

Basically, the story is about the corrupt system in some city, all secretly supported by the backbone business and in town, under the watchful eye of some hot-shot politician. The almighty and above-the-law organization is called FRAT and guess what? they've got a kick-ass loony cop shooting and beating at will - suspects, girlfriends, you name it. FRAT cops are corrupt and greedy, so they end up making mistakes that get discovered by a young and talented (!!!) journalist. One hour later, after a series of unbelievably bad-made shooting scenes and more stereotype lines, everything ends happily and we get served the final line : you can't beat the system. Bah! Don't see this waste of film roll. Freeman and Spacey barely have 10 min altogether!

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