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
When hostage negotiator, Lt. Nunally (Billy Burke) introduces himself to Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins), Crawford opens the dialogue with "Lots of vampires out there". Billy Burke played Charlie Swan in the successful Twilight Saga. See more »
By the expert's testimony in court we are informed that Ted Crawford's bullet pierced through the frontal cortex in the temporal lobe coming to rest upon the upper side of the brain against the skull. Yet when we see wife Jennifer's head hit the floor for a brief moment in a close-up, there is no injury visible at all. Furthermore in another scene Ted points to his left cheek bone when he describes where he shot his wife. Such an injury is very different from that described during the trial. The shot was fired at close range with a powerful .45, which makes it very unlikely that the bullet would come to rest within the skull. See more »
One guy asks another guy repeatedly "Where's the gun? Where's the gun?" for two hours. And that's it.
You will like this film if: You're not bored easily and don't mind wasting time without getting much out of it. Seriously, BORROW this movie, DO NOT spend any money as it will most likely annoy most of you when you probably hate it. Really, just in case.
You will hate this film if: You like progression and a rich story.
I'm amazed at people using such words to describe this film like "Tense and effective." "A cut above your average courtroom thriller thanks to a smart script and electrifying performances." Electrified to death by the scart lead, as it flies out, refusing to continue perhaps? I expect this film's rating to decrease a lot over time.
It doesn't take much to grip me with intensity, but I was bored within half an hour, and soooo angry when nothing had actually happened by the end. The gist is that someone wants to find a murder weapon. He looks for it a lot. Here and there. And there. He asks about it. He looks some more. He asks someone else about it, and even has one long, boring conversation about it twice in the film. Tedium soon set in.. There's too much concentration on the individual characters and a story with potential is ruined by a lack of ability to follow through. You can't JUST have rich characters who only say "Where's the gun????!". If there was a twist or mind blowing ending, maybe it would be better, but there isn't, you don't find out anything new.
By the end, little is accomplished and I even laughed aloud. All of us agreed we felt an underlying anger and boredom. My friend even apologised for putting it on at her house after she'd rented it. I don't watch many courtroom dramas. Some are OK but seriously here, nothing happens. It says "mind games" as a plot link on the IMDb page, there weren't enough games for me to make this an interesting psychological thriller. Besides evading police prosecution is supposed to be harder than that these days isn't it?!
The performances aren't electrifying... they're average, verging on vacuous. The script isn't smart, it's boring. And ugh, I just remembered Gosling's projection of character, I hated it, he was fake and too big for his tiny boots. I wanted to punch the screen whenever he was on. Just soooo annoying!
I know a lot of people love Hopkins even still when he can't seem to move on from you know what, and I know a lot of people perceive slow and boring as epic, tense and moving, but this one's too much of a risk. If you usually like this sort of thing and still want to watch it after reading all this, please, borrow it.
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