5.7/10
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The Contract (2006)

Ray Keene (John Cusack), a father who wants to redeem himself in the eyes of his son (Jamie Anderson), is trying to bring Carden (Morgan Freeman), a world-class assassin to justice. All the... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ray
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Chris
...
Miles
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Sandra
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Davis
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Turner
...
Wainwright
Anthony Warren ...
Royko
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Evans
Thomas Lockyer ...
Johnson
...
Stanfield
...
Michaels
Atanas Srebrev ...
Rodrigues
...
Robbins
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Storyline

Ray Keene (John Cusack), a father who wants to redeem himself in the eyes of his son (Jamie Anderson), is trying to bring Carden (Morgan Freeman), a world-class assassin to justice. All the while, he must protect his son and evade the assassin's team who are methodically hunting them down in the wilderness. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every Killer Meets His Equal. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

5 April 2007 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

El contrato  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Distributed as a straight-to-DVD release in the US and most other markets. See more »

Goofs

(at around 38 mins) When Johnson gives their coordinates via radio to Davis, he says "40.083 North, 25.55 West". That's in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, between Europe and North America. Washington state, where the movie is supposed to take place, lies approximately between Western longitudes 117 and 124 and Northern latitudes 46 and 49. See more »

Quotes

Frank: Don't confuse me with a nice guy.
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Connections

References Gunga Din (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

You Thought
Written by Frank Sorci and Jessica Tomich
Performed by Red Letter
Published by Sorci Music Publishing (BMI) / Three Degrees Music (BMI)
Courtesy of North Star Media
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User Reviews

A terribly pointless affair
4 June 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ray Keene is a former policeman who is struggling to build his relationship with his young son. His plan to bond over a camping trip in the woods goes sour though when they come across a hit-man (Cordell) in the middle of escaping Government custody. Keene holds Cordell at gunpoint but without a mobile phone signal they begin to trek towards civilisation. However with Cordell's men hot on their heels, Ray becomes increasingly desperate as he tries to get to the protection of the authorities.

I saw this film on an overnight bus crossing Argentina. I mention this not as name dropping but to admit that the sound was very low as must passengers were sleeping and relying on headphones or the Spanish subtitles. Without headphones or a working Spanish, I prepared to strain my ears and also use the subtitles the best I could. I needn't have worried because I could have followed this if the sound was on mute and the DVD was playing all the scenes on random shuffle. The plot is simple perhaps but it did offer a sort of moral ambiguity that was interesting to me at first. With two strong actors in the leads I expected the verbal fireworks to be more interesting than the action. In a way I was correct but this is not to say that the script was good – just that the action was poor. The moral complexity of good and bad is skirted on but is ultimately dumped in a ending that is nothing more than insultingly lazy writing.

Fortunately anyone getting to the end will not be surprised by this as it is pretty much what the previous hour or so had been like. The narrative is totally unconvincing and offers little to make up for it. The tension that could have covered the plot holes is absent and the action is mostly just dumb. Writers Katz and Darrouzet deserve much of the credit for this because really nobody is given much to work with. Director Beresford does the basics with little conviction but I did feel sorry for the cast. Freeman and Cusack both deserved much better than this nonsense. Freeman I assume was attracted by the chance to play a baddie and it is a shame then the script doesn't really let him do this with any effort. Cusack does what is asked of him but nothing more. The support cast are average at best in keeping with their cardboard characters.

Overall then a roundly poor film that offers nothing of interest and wastes the talents of the two actors in the lead. If I hadn't been a captive audience I would have struggled to make it past the 30 minute mark.


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