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Shattered (2007)
"Butterfly on a Wheel" (original title)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  23 August 2007 (Israel)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 24,191 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 29 critic

A perfect family's dynamic is ruined by a kidnapper's brutally efficient plot.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Karwandy ...
Julie Patzwald ...
Female Teller
Jason McKinnon ...
French Waiter
Kurt Evans ...
Maitre D'


In Chicago, Neil Randall - family man and executive of an advertisement agency - has a perfect life. He expects to be promoted in his job soon, he has a beautiful and sexy wife, Abby, a lovely daughter, Sophie, and he lives in a wonderful house. When Neil's boss, Karl Granger, invites him to spend the weekend in his country cottage, Abby hires a nanny for Sophie, so Abby can spend the day with her sister, Diane. While driving Abby to meet Diane, a stranger who was hidden on the backseat appears with a gun, and informs them that he has kidnapped Sophie. He introduces himself as Ryan, and states that for twenty-four hours the couple will obey his orders, otherwise he will kill Sophie. By keeping the couple under his total control, he makes it clear that he is a calculating sociopath with nothing to lose, and the intention of destroying Neil's perfect life. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nanny | sociopath | gun | daughter | suburb | See All (46) »


No one knows how far they can go... until they are pushed. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

23 August 2007 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

Shattered  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (European Film Market)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel" is a quotation - sometimes misquoted with "on" in place of "upon" - from Alexander Pope's "Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot" of January 1735. The line has entered common use and has become associated with more recent figures. See more »


(at around 6 mins) The 3 of them are driving out of the city past Rush Memorial hospital out to a secluded location. They are really on East Bound I-290 heading INTO the city. See more »


Tom Ryan: Never pick a fight with someone who's got nothing to lose.
See more »


Remade as Cocktail (2010) See more »


I'll Take Care of You
Written by Brook Benton
Performed by Irma Thomas
Published by Famous Music Publishing Company Ltd.
Courtesy of Rounder Records.
See more »

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User Reviews

An absolute gem of a thriller
30 December 2007 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

Every once in a while a movie comes along without any great fanfare, advance hype or viral marketing – a true sleeper, as it were – and causes the viewer to wonder how such a gem flew under the radar. Such is the case with Butterfly on a Wheel (released in North America under the title Shattered).

The title Butterfly on a Wheel, taken from the Alexander Pope's 1734 poem "Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot", refers to someone putting massive effort into achieving something considered minor or unimportant, and is cryptically referred to at various points in the story and pretty much sums up the entire plot of this movie.

Gerard Butler plays Neil Randall, a Chicago advertising executive and rising star at his firm. He appears to have everything going for him. A boss who views him as the heir apparent, a loving wife, adoring moppet-headed daughter, nice house, car – he's living the American dream. That is until everything comes to a grinding halt when, on an outing with his wife (Maria Bello) they find themselves hijacked by Tom Ryan (Pierce Brosnan), a mysterious stranger who tells them his associate has their daughter captive and unless they wish to see her alive again, they must complete a series of arduous and cryptic challenges.

From there unfolds a cat and mouse game with Ryan's motives becoming ever more difficult to decipher as the movie progresses. With a plot peppered with enough red herrings to keep you guessing (I thought for sure I had it all figured out early on, only to be thrown for a loop), Butterfly on a Wheel/Shattered is paced to perfection, strongly acted by all three principals, and delivers a smart, almost too clever story.

What's more, it will leave you thinking about it long after viewing, and even motivating you to go over scenes again to try and find flaws, which may be there, but are very cleverly hidden.

While the media blitz that tends to foreshadow most movie releases undoubtedly benefits the film studios, in this case I can honestly say that knowing zero about this film going in actually worked in its favor, and has me marking it as one not to be missed.

48 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
if you ware 'Neil ' , what do you want to do after the end ? fnvry
Wow what a twist! bajetzkie
can anyone explain to me? ilajustatore
Good but what ruins it for me... nicknickv
Best comedy in years OGNzerox1
Better Title???? Your opinions belialprod
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