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Reviews & Ratings for
Firewall More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Predictable and plodding

Author: anhedonia from Planet Earth
8 July 2006

I like Harrison Ford. He was fun to watch as Indiana Jones and Han Solo. Even his Jack Ryan films were, for the most part, watchable. (They were certainly easier to sit through than that piece of nonsense starring Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan, that's for sure.) But as Ford ages, he really should work on playing more character roles. He's played Jack Stanfield-like roles so many times that there is nothing more or new he can bring to his performances.

He's also not the most diversely-ranged actor. He pretty much runs the gamut of emotions from highly enraged to enraged when he plays these roles, be they in "Frantic" (1998), "Patriot Games" (1992) or "Air Force One" (1997), all of which I enjoyed far more than "Firewall." Once again, Ford plays someone who has to rescue his family from danger and get the bad guys at the same time. Even ignoring the one gigantic plot hole in this film - Bill Cox (Paul Bettany) meticulously plans his dastardly deed after seemingly months of research, but then is ignorant of one incredibly crucial point - the film sputters along without much energy.

There certainly are very few thrills in this thriller. And for a thriller that is meant to be taut, this one's awfully loose and riddled with coincidences, no more so than in the climax. The manner in which Stanfield finds the bad guys is truly laughable.

Virginia Madsen got a well-deserved boost from "Sideways" (2004). And if her filmography is any indication, it seems she has attached herself to some interesting films. However, as brilliant as she was in "Sideways," she thoroughly wasted in "Firewall," serving merely as a decoration for Ford. Substitute Anne Archer from the Jack Ryan films or Wendy Crewson from "Air Force One" and you'll know what I mean.

The infuriating thing about watching "Firewall" is knowing that, considering the cast, its above-the-line costs alone were in the millions of dollars. Throw production and publicity costs in and you're talking a good fortune.

Now, just imagine how many wonderful $3-million-to-$5-million, or less, pictures could have been made instead of this rubbish.

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19 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Firewall Burns Out Early

Author: Lauren Simpson (Lauren_Simpson) from NY, NY
7 March 2006

"Firewall" puts Harrison Ford between a rock and a hard place. Here's a man who's a power-player in his field forced to sabotage his career by money-hungry men with no regard for his profession. These men wear suits and inhabit the boardrooms of the biggest studios in Hollywood. But what about the movie?

In this second-rate action flick, Ford plays computer security specialist Jack Stanfield, a loyal bank executive and serious family man who lives in a stunning house with wife Beth (Virginia Madsen) and two kids. But a bigger company is about to buy out Jack's bank and, as a result, his company is under more surveillance than usual.

We learn early on that Jack's family is being watched also. The film opens nicely with footage of the Stanfield family going about their daily business — and it's footage obviously shot in secret from a distance. After the montage is over, however, the voyeuristic thrill of stalking an unwitting target is never again recaptured. Instead, we are treated to the achingly slow process of Jack being introduced to and later cornered by villain Bill Cox (Paul Bettany).

Cox is a straight-faced criminal plotting to use Jack's technological know-how to break the codes and circumvent the firewalls built to protect Landrock Pacific Bank's millions. He and a group of young gun-toting mercenaries barge into Jack's life and take the family hostage - a persuasive tactic, one would think, but it takes Jack a surprisingly long time to understand the gravity of this threat and take appropriate action.

Cox's crack team doesn't exactly have a lot of "crack" left in its whip. These amateur goons are obnoxious and bumble around not at all invested in what they're doing. Much of the movie shows them cloistered in the Stanfield household, eating food and watching TV while their prisoners wander around more or less undisturbed and certainly not imprisoned.

In fact, nobody seems to care about the situation — not the kids, not Jack, not Beth. So why should director Richard Loncraine expect us to care either? Madsen was brilliant in "Sideways," but in "Firewall" her performance is lacking. There are no hysterics, no tears and no signs of any inner emotional struggle when strangers threaten her with guns. Instead, Beth is calm, which, in the context of an action-thriller, is a counterintuitive choice for the actress to make. Nevertheless, it's Harrison Ford who seems to be making most of the bad choices these days.

As I watched Jack sit on the couch in one scene, the deep crags in his face twitching as he tries to figure out how to get out of this situation, I wondered if what I was really witnessing was the actor behind the character trying to figure out a way to get out of this movie. Ford's effort is admirable, but, unfortunately, the half-baked script and meager direction undermines any positives brought to the table.

It's a shame, too, because "Firewall" also features the talents of veterans such as Robert Forster ("Jackie Brown"), Alan Arkin ("Slums of Beverly Hills") and Robert Patrick ("Terminator 2: Judgment Day"). Mary Lynn Rajskub of "24" fame also stars, reprising her role as the only girl you can trust at the office. Stick to Jack Bauer, Mary, and I'll stick to television when I want a good thriller.

Incidentally, guess what's up next for Keifer Sutherland: action-thriller "The Sentinel," with old-timer Michael Douglas in the lead. It just keeps getting better, doesn't it?

Copyright (c) 2006 by Lauren Simpson

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24 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Ford is Back!

Author: Jason
12 February 2006

I was definitely impressed with Firewall. Yes, Harrison Ford has done this type of movie before, but it was great to see him make a quality action/thriller again. Ford proves at 63, he can still do these types of movies. Very entertaining movie overall.

I think it is safe to say that he can still make another Indiana Jones movie, which I hope begins filming after his next movie, Manhunt. He looks great for his age, and I was amazed at the extent of the action sequences that he did. Great performances all around, especially Paul Bettany as the bad guy. Hopefully, Firewall will put to rest all the negative people who claim Ford is done. On the contrary, Harrison Ford is back!

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24 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Harrison Ford is Back!

Author: Brian Henderson from Seattle
8 February 2006

Firewall is an overall highly entertaining movie. Harrison Ford nails the white-collar character of Jack Stanfield, and Paul Bettany plays a believable (yet somehow lovable) bad guy.

The movie is filled with surprising plot twists and a few action sequences that made the audience I was in gasp with emotion. From start to finish, the audience goes back and forth from knowing more than the characters, to being just as confused as the characters. This made the movie all the more entertaining to watch.

Humor was used in many of the parts of the movie, including some laugh out loud scenes between Jack and his secretary. Also, Jack's son and the kidnappers have a few exceptionally funny scenes together.

The acting and entertainment value of this movie deserves an A+. Harrison Ford is back in action and believe me, he is still the man!

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27 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Predictable but watchable

Author: mfsor from San Francisco Bay Area
19 February 2006

This is like "24", it's all phony, but exciting enough so you don't care. You know what Ford is going to do. Having Chloe as his admin assistant even added to the ambiance. The cinematography was very good, and the acting was all standard. It's just, as usual, the bad guy has to have a few idiots working for him to make the story go easier. The dog bit was too much of a ploy to keep the plot moving, totally out of sync with what characters would have done. Bottom line is poor quality of enemies for Ford to deal with, so even though events proceeded apace, they required too much suspension of disbelief for my money. I wouldn't have gone myself, it was just my wife wanted to see it. There was never truly enough of a sense of danger. They should have hurt one of the family more. Even the son's allergy reaction wasn't scary enough. And people would have figured out things at the bank a lot sooner.

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Firewall was a higher than above-average film

Author: Chris James
28 October 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Seeing this broadcast on television over here in the UK, watching it from beginning to end made me think Firewall was not a bad film (personally speaking of course). Harrison Ford being in it was what made me continue to watch because I didn't know what to expect in this one.

Despite others thinking the plot is twisted here and there and there are cliffhangers or whatever, it was still watchable and quite tense on some scenes. The story was understandable to me, and the execution of it all was definitely not the best but not below average, a lot higher than that.

I have watched movies that had low ratings, in most cases the ratings deserve better for this film alongside many others I have watched because really the majority of films don't need to have almost 100% humour or strong emotions, that's not always the point. I felt tense in some of the scenes in this film, and that's a good thing when it comes to a majority of any film that's out there. I liked the story as with the acting that wasn't even that bad.

My conclusion is if you're one of those ultimate die-hard fan of Harrison Ford movies, then give a majority of his films including this one a go and really, if it doesn't satisfy you then that's okay.

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High-Tech Kidnappers and Thieves

Author: Uriah43 from Amarillo, Texas
12 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Jack Stanfield" (Harrison Ford) is a security expert for a bank that has recently merged with another financial institution in another city. This merger requires him to coordinate everything with an executive named "Gary Mitchell" (Robert Patrick) who works for the other bank and is not a very pleasant person at all. This becomes even more difficult when a group of high-tech thieves invade his home and kidnap his wife, "Beth" (Virginia Madsen) and their two children. Their demand is quite simple—either Jack helps them to gain access to the bank's computer in order to withdraw $100 million or they kill his family. And the leader of the thieves, who goes by the name of "Rich" (David Lewis) is quite serious. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this turned out to be a decent film all things considered. I especially liked the manner in which the director (Richard Loncraine) managed to maintain the suspense from start to finish. On the other hand, I thought that the ending was a bit too unrealistic and could have used a little more imagination. But even so, the film kept my attention and because of that I have rated it accordingly. Slightly above average.

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Seen it before

Author: dakjets from Norway
9 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The story is like this: very successful family being terrorized by bandits in their own home. This story we've heard plenty of before, and it has been portrayed far better in other films than in this one. My biggest objection against this film is that it gets boring and one- sided to see the bad guys terrorizing this family in every way possible. This is a very easy-told story, and the characters are one dimensional portrayed. Yes, we already know in the beginning that this is certainly going to end well. This is not Harrison Ford's best film. He does as well as he can, in the role of tormented family man. Otherwise I have not much more to say. This is not very good.

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Not for every one

Author: Terryfan from United States
12 October 2015

I first watched Firewall on HBO back in 2006 and only recently watched it again a couple months back.

I have to say it didn't hold up as well. It's one of those movies you are either going to love or you are going to hate and Firewall more or less has not hold up well.

While it does feature a tense thriller story line plot which would hold your attention that's as far as it will go it is the same basic story line you have seen many times before but this one just fells like one apple that fell way off the tree.

The only performance worth noting is Harrison Ford who plays the lead protagonist the rest of the acting in this film is just trying too hard and half of the antagonists in this film are not even that good nor interesting and to think that Paul Bettany plays the villain in this motion picture. While Paul's performance does give a more mind factor meaning that his most dangerous weapon is his mind in this movie.

Firewall is just one of those films that again you will either love or hate it just not for every one.

I give Firewall a 5 out of 10

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Set This Film on Fire.

Author: Python Hyena from Canada
5 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Firewall (2006): Dir: Richard Loncraine / Cast: Harrison Ford, Virginia Madsen, Paul Bettany, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rabert Patrick: Disappointing action thriller about consuming threats. Harrison Ford plays the security adviser at a bank whose service is so effective that his family is taken hostage until he can loophole his own creation. Not a bad setup but full of clichés with an ending that we know ahead of time. Director Richard Loncraine does his best but everything feels recycled including the production. He pretty much has to rely fully on his star to carry it. Ford is perhaps the film's best asset as he struggles to save his family and stressing over his dire predicament. Paul Bettany as the villain is standard and mainly reduced to issuing threats. Of course, he will get his ass kicked by the end of the film. Virginia Madsen as Ford's wife hasn't as much to do but sit around and wait for her husband to rescue her. This is quite a reduction after her great performance in Sideways. Mary Lynn Rajskub plays Ford's secretary in what amounts to total cardboard. Robert Patrick continues to remind us how intimidating he was in Terminator 2: Judgment Day by accepting inferior roles like this. More an action farce than about flawed technology. Obviously technology couldn't save this film. Not one of Ford's better films. The studio should take heed from the title and fire this piece of junk through a wall. Score: 3 ½ / 10

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