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Firewall
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Reviews & Ratings for
Firewall More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Is there some secret conspiracy by movie critics to keep us from viewing decent movies like "Firewall"?

7/10
Author: rayovac from United States
15 February 2006

I have absolutely *had* it with today's major film critics. I'm not sure if it is simply an occupational hazard where film critics (who are forced to view hundreds and hundreds of movies each year) simply become jaded to anything but the most original, different, off - the - beaten - path, out - of - the - box, innovative motion pictures or if they simply are so far out of touch with the average viewer that they are incapable of wallowing at our level of intellectual stimulation.

Whatever the cause, film critics continue to prove that only regular moviegoers who happen to have multiple graduate degrees in film, literature, and visual arts will understand their explanations of *what* is so good or bad about a particular movie. Further, only those of us who have actually *seen* the 12,000 or more films required to maintain a mental database of "what has already been done in film" can appreciate their basis for phrases like "tired", "cliche'", "retread", etc. The almost universal panning of "Firewall" may be the best example to date of this trend.

OK, I'll admit it...I must be a typical brain-dead consumer who plays right into the hands of the studios who attempt to regularly pry my hard - earned money away from me by pumping out "formulaic" films designed to optimize profit at the expense of "art". The simple truth, though, is this: films like "Firewall" are sometimes *exactly* what I am after...an escape! "Firewall" manages to put the viewer into the shoes of another "everyman"...or at least into the shoes of a man that an average Joe would like to someday be. Is it fantasy? Yes. But is it *plausible* fantasy and this is precisely what makes such stories so exciting. In this case, the 'normal guy who has started to arrive' at the rewards of his life's work is played (as perfectly as he has in so many similar roles) by Harrison Ford.

The plot them revolves around placing this character into a situation that we, if given the same stakes, would like to believe that we could also work through. Suffice to say that there are heroes and villains and a number of characters in - between who serve to help or hinder Ford's character...and in the process some of the complexities of our world land right in the lap of a man who would have preferred to not know about them to begin with. However, faced with the realities of the situation, Ford's 'Jack' rises to apply his own measure of right and wrong as best as he can.

To identify with this goal is not something that we should be ashamed of as viewers.

In the end, of course, sacrifices are made but the unwilling hero finds some measure of closure...no doubt with a more broad view of his world. The price to be paid, the extent to which his journey ends nicely (if at all), and the lessons learned (at least by the viewer) would require spoilers to disclose....suffice to say that some are predictable and some are not.

In the end, as long as we (the "average viewers") continue to watch the 6 to 36 movies per year that we do and as long as our lives continue to only cross the path of Hollywood on occasion, films like "Firewall" will continue to be an excellent escape for us and (I hope) we will continue to reward the studios for producing them without apology.

Unfortunately, the career critics will continue to become more and more distanced from the sensibilities of regular people and they will continue to discount such motion pictures as "below them".

For me, this is just fine....in a strange way, the critics are still serving their purpose: providing guidance as to what I should or should not view. The difference, of course, is that I believe now more than ever that I will be happy with the results if I do exactly the opposite of what they suggest.

In this case, viewing "Firewall" against their advice was absolutely the right decision to make.

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Typical Ford type drama, again demands your attention

8/10
Author: videorama-759-859391 from adelaide, australia
25 February 2014

I happened to catch this movie one Friday night, which I'm glad I did. As not really knowing anything about it, besides it's existence, I guess that's what made it more fun. Although it's not the best thriller in the world, it's none too original concept, is done from a different approach of setting, this time being a security specialist office, where hot shot Ford, who's still in top form and great to watch is forced to rob a bank via his computer at his company, where he must use his smarts, where he doesn't follow through, his family, held hostage will die, where he go back into work as if everything's normal, where his home becomes quickly occupied by many bad guys, setting up house, taking it over, led by Paul Bettany, in a standout role, where you must admit he has the look for it. I know by the sound of it, the movie goes through the usual motions, many others have, which has us saying, sarcastically, "here we go again", but because of it's change of environment, the bar is set higher, as well as the stakes, which if Ford doesn't deliver, that's it, where he must walk a thin line without getting caught if through this whole nightmare, use some smart ass tricks to outsmart them, to no avail. There are some quite tense bits, more towards the start, where it's climactic lead, rides pretty thin on probability, but that's what I liked about Firewall, as well as Ford's younger ditzy co worker, who he's forced to fire on the count of her being rude to Bettany at the start of the film, whose "on the level" façade I pretty much bought, but then slowly he began to unwrap that mask, unravel that suspicion. I must say, I was quite taken aback by the negative reviews this movie received, as honestly it's up there with a lot of Ford's other movies, which it's no surprise to see him in this role. In all honesty, I don't think Ford, has ever made a bad movie in his life.

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Guilty Pleasure!

8/10
Author: g-bodyl from United States
10 February 2014

Despite being a generic and rather ordinary thriller, I find Firewall to be a guilty pleasure of mine. Even if these kind of thrillers don't work on a scale I hope they are, I still find them tense and exhilarating no matter the mediocrity. To it's credit, this film seems smart and has a good attempt to be modern. The script is mediocre to say the least, but the actors do a good job with the material though.

Richard Loncraine's film is about a banker named Jack Stanfield who is forced to steal $100 million dollars from his bank while his family is being held captive at home. Will time be Jack's ally or foe?

As mentioned previously, the film has good, possibly great acting. Harrison Ford has seen better days, but he still uses his trademark gruffness to take command in the leading role. Paul Bettany makes a good, perhaps somewhat underdeveloped villain. I would love to know more about this character. There are some key and rather convincing supporting turns by Alan Arkin and Robert Patrick.

Overall, I found this to be a tense, well-developed thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. It brings nothing new to the table, but as long as it brings on the thrills, I don't mind. Not only it plays out to be a tense thriller, there happen to be a few intense action scenes and the last 10 minutes is really action-packed. While just a mediocre thriller at best, it's still entertaining. I rate this film 8/10.

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Nothing here to get fired up about but Ford as a hero is always worthy of some praise

6/10
Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
26 December 2013

Jack (Harrison Ford) has been having some difficult days at his bank job. He is responsible for the security systems, including computer safety. But, his bank is merging with another one and the demands of new bosses are many. His home is his haven, where his beautiful, architect wife, Beth (Virginia Madsen), teen daughter and young son are his joy. This proves to be his undoing. A ruthless gang of thieves, led by Bill (Paul Bettany) kidnap the family in their own home, so they can put the screws into Jack. This bank man MUST transfer money from the biggest accounts to Bill's offshore coffers or the family will be killed, one by one. Naturally, this causes Jack much grief and hardly any time to find a way to defeat these evil men. Despite problems and changes of approaches, Jack succeeds in transferring the money. Yet, arriving home, Jack finds his family is gone. The men had no intention of letting them live and have taken them to places unknown. Naturally, this pushes Jack to the breaking point, where possibilities of defeating the bad guys finally come to light. Will he have enough time? This is a standard fare thriller, with little originality or excitement. The best part is trying to figure out how the computer breaches are possible, which is not obvious to the layperson. That said, Ford does a nice job with a role he has played time and again, the unlikely hero who sheds his mild mannered life to save those he loves. Madsen, a very talented actress, looks great and does as well as can be expected with a stereotypical role. Bettany, Robert Forster, Alan Arkin, and all of the other cast members do what they can, too, with parts of no redeeming value. Sets, costumes, and direction are all right but nothing special. Indeed, this description could be the movie's mantra, as it falls into the class of been there, done it better somewhere else. If you are a Ford fan, you will probably consider it acceptable entertainment for a random evening some day in the future.

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Barely Watchable Despite Above-Average Cast

8/10
Author: TheArizonian2014 from United States
12 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Firewall is a thriller film that stars Harrison Ford,who plays a banker who is forced by criminals to help them steal $100 million.It also stars Paul Bettany,Virginia Madsen,Alan Arkin, Robert Forster, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. It was written by Joe Forte and directed by Richard Loncraine.

Jack Stanfield is an upper-echelon technology executive at Landrock Pacific Bank, a leading financial institution based in Seattle. Stanfield oversees security for Landrock, and has made sure that their online banking services are the best-protected in the world, and that the bank's data is safe from hackers and other intruders. However, Stanfield finds out the hard way that his system does indeed have a flaw when he's visited by Bill Cox, a cold and calculating man who has spent months learning everything there is know about Stanfield and his family. Cox's underlings have taken Stanfield's wife, Beth, and their two children hostage, and they inform Jack that they will be released only when he uses his knowledge of the bank's security systems to deposit 100 million dollars in Cox's account in an offshore bank. Stanfield is deeply wary but willing to go along to ensure the safety of his family, but when he has reason to doubt that Cox and his cohorts will live up to their end of the bargain, he swings into action to exact justice against the criminals.

Harrison Ford's rote performance brings little to this uninspired techno-heist film whose formulaic plot is befuddled with tedious and improbable twists.It is an average action-thriller that is barely watchable.But it does what you'd expect it to well enough but fails to fully exploit the skills of its talented cast.

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Dumb Fun

6/10
Author: Joshua Mitchell from Here
15 September 2012

Firewall has everything going against it. Bland acting, tired and improbable plot, and a horrendously negative critical reaction. Heck, the film doesn't even have anything to do with a firewall. But somehow, the film works. Firewall is not groundbreaking, or even recommendable, but it's certainly watchable, which is more than I initially expected.

Firewall explores a common nightmare of many adults- Identity thief. While this doesn't mean much to the technology-embracing generation of today, Firewall is certainly stressing enough at times to scare teens into being a bit more cautious with personal information.

Technology Executive Jack Stanfield has his life thrown into utter turmoil when he's hacked by villainous, web-savvy hackers. While ringleader Bill Cox threatens to kill Jack's family, Jack has no choice but to follow Cox's commands.

While seeing a man's life slowly fall apart may not seem particularly entertaining, Firewall is mostly watchable, if immensely flawed.

If you like your films to be logical, you should stay far away from Firewall. Improbable to the point of laughter, there's too much that characters get away with. Small leaps of faith are to be expected in most thrillers, but there is a limit, and Firewall exceeds it.

Some moments are quite exciting, and may be on the edge of your seat at times. Still, Firewall is hugely predictable, which eliminates much of the thrill Firewall strives to deliver.

Much of the predictability comes from the unoriginality of the production. And if not that, it's the undeveloped characters. Jack Stanfield gets the typical "Wants to save his family" tag that most father characters get. Bill Cox has the "Nasty Villain" tag and he has absolutely no personality. There's even a henchperson that eventually turns good. How clichéd is that?

And because the characters are so bland, the actors can onlt do so much. Harrison Ford as Jack Stanfield lacks the franticness or emotion that he displayed so well in The Fugitive, which Firewall borrows heavily from. Paul Bettany as Bill Cox gets all the nastiness out of the things he does as opposed him seeming like a relatively nasty person. Other actors fare more or less the same- Mediocre.

The score by Alexandre Desplat is generic, but it works very well for the film. It's not a score I would want on my iPod, and while some parts of the score are screaming for more development, it serves the film well. In some ways, the score does an excellent job of reflecting the film; It's serviceable, but it's lack of uniqueness and it's generic qualities make it forgettable.

I know I'm pointing out a lot of flaws in Firewall. But you must understand that I don't hate Firewall. Actually, I almost like it. Still, it comes off as too much of a wannabe version of The Fugitive. As far as generic action thrillers go, you could do a lot worse than Firewall. But you could also do a lot better. Firewall is dumb fun, and nothing more than that.

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Just a nod to ghost ship

6/10
Author: James Turnbull (jturnbull@xtra.co.nz) from New Zealand
9 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As many others have noted this is a rather formulaic movie but in general it is well acted and is quite entertaining although the outcome is always obvious.

I just felt a need to comment because the kids are watching Ghost Ship at the start in a scene where baked beens turn into maggots. Also Senza Fine is subtely used in this movie as very background music.

This is not really a review of any kind on this movie but it is a head nod in my opinion to one of the more intelligent horror/thriller movies I have seen.

Enjoy Firewall for what it is but reflect on what Ghost Ship has to offer.

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Reasonable thriller, good Bettany

Author: long-ford from India
12 February 2009

This was yet another film unfairly dissed by the critics in my opinion. The film works thanks to tight pacing and a good performance by a menacing Paul Bettany. Harrison Ford is alright and does well in what has to be a well-worn role for him. Virginia Madsen is effective as the terrified wife. The premise is far-fetched and the plot has little to do with an actual computer firewall (!). Still it is reasonably absorbing. The ending fight sequence (MINOR SPOILERS) with hero and villain going at each other is a crowd-pleaser, albeit highly unlikely considering Ford's age.

Overall 7/10

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I seriously wanted to walk out....

2/10
Author: Boromir28 from Denmark
3 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life.

The plot is very straight forward: Ford being head of the security at a bank and Bettany wants to rob it.

This is basically all you need to know because once you've seen 5 minutes of this movie you KNOW what's coming next. It is by far the most formulaic movie I have ever seen. As such there is nothing wrong with that except that this movie has SO many plot holes and cheesy dialog that it's just a pain to watch. I've never in my life uttered so many: Oh jeez...during a movie as I did this one.

As mentioned Ford plays a bank security guy and he has invented the best firewall ever...but apparently he hasn't done a very good job as any one with a lap top and a portable internet connection can hack his way through. And when his family is taken hostage he HAS to cooperate to save them, even though the bad guys are younger and presumably better at computer stuff then him.

The movie just SUCKS.

As mentioned several times in other reviews...Ford has played this role one time too many...

Maybe he should follow Sean and Clint's examples...stop now...before you do too much damage to an otherwise GREAT career.

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Excellent action, but a little disappointing ending

7/10
Author: black_blade001 from Canada
8 November 2008

Wife and I just watched this movie, and we found it for the most part to be an excellent action/thriller. Good acting all around. Nobody should be disappointed that they spent the time watching it. I can't recall a Harrison Ford film that I can say I was truly disappointed in and this one was no exception. This movie ranks up there with Bruce Willis's Live Free or Die Hard, another excellent film with computer hacking and such being the main theme. The fact that a several sub plots were not tidied up at the end was a tad disappointing-one more scene tying up loose ends back at the office would have finished it properly.

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