Wealthy, brilliant, and meticulous Ted Crawford, a structural engineer in Los Angeles, shoots his wife and entraps her lover. He signs a confession; at the arraignment, he asserts his rights to represent himself and asks the court to move immediately to trial. The prosecutor is Willy Beachum, a hotshot who's soon to join a fancy civil-law firm, told by everyone it's an open and shut case. Crawford sees Beachum's weakness, the hairline fracture of his character: Willy's a winner. The engineer sets in motion a clockwork crime with all the objects moving in ways he predicts. Written by
Near the end, the case Beachum reviews regarding double jeopardy is People v. Bivens, 282 Cal. Rptr. 438, 231 Cal. App. 3d (Cal. Ct. App., 1991). Under Bivens, California can prosecute Crawford for murder, even though it arises out of the same transaction as a defendant's prior case. See more »
All modern guns are test fired at the factory after assembly, to ensure they fire accurately and function correctly. Even if said gun was never fired by the owner, there is no such thing as a gun that has "never been fired". See more »
If you like courtroom dramas, appreciate excellent acting and an expertly-filmed movie this is for you. Only once, I think, have I ever proclaimed something "best movie of the year" and all that, because it's all too subjective and also a cliché but that's how I feel about this movie unless something better comes along the last few months of 2007.
This is just a fabulous movie with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling playing battling characters who engage in a battle of wits. Hopkins plays a husband who discovers his wife having an affair, shoots her, confesses the same night and then has things cleverly arranged where it's almost impossible to convict him. Gosling plays a young, hotshot prosecuting attorney on his way to bigger and better things with a change of scenery to corporate law but gets stuck with this open-and-shut case right before he switches firms. The trouble is, it's a lot more than he figured and he isn't used to losing. Hopkins knows this, of course, and plays on his vanity.
Gosling evolves from a me-only lawyer to someone who really wants justice, even if it costs him. Both characters are cocky and smart and the twists and turns just add to the fun.
I enjoyed watching all the actors performances and was very impressed. The camera-work by Director Of Photography Kramer Morgenthau should also be recognized, along with director Gregory Hoblit, who seems to direct very entertaining films ("Frequency," "Fallen," etc.)
I could have watched this story unfold for another two hours and would have been happy to do so, am I'm not one to sit still for long periods these days. That's how good this was....just Grade A film-making and storytelling.
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