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Butterfly on a Wheel
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Reviews & Ratings for
Shattered More at IMDbPro »Butterfly on a Wheel (original title)

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141 out of 193 people found the following review useful:

Good film. Solid performances. Twist ending.

7/10
Author: CuddlesMacombs from United States
29 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Please keep in mind that I am one of a handful of people that saw this film ON THE BIG SCREEN IN A MOVIE THEATER instead of just on TNT, butchered for television, with commercial interruptions. It is much better the way it was intended to be seen. After seeing the film twice ON THE BIG SCREEN during its limited release, these are my comments:

Imagine a Yuppie Gerard Butler. Great looking. Confident. Successful. Gorgeous wife. Beautiful sweet daughter. The perfect life in upscale suburban Chicago. Enter mysterious menacing stalking stranger and their worst nightmare begins. He threatens the life of their daughter as insurance for their obedience to his demands.

Sound like the typical 'kidnapped kid' flick? It's not.

It's taut, suspenseful, edge of your seat storytelling combined with good solid performances by all, especially Bello and Brosnan. Butler is very good, but I've seen him better. I believe he filmed this on the heels of the grueling demands of 300 and it shows a bit. He may not be at the very top of his game here, but he still performs well.

Brosnan upped his credibility as an actor for me in this film. He played the menacing stranger perfectly. Just the right tone of voice and facial expressions, joined with his eyes and body language, spoke in unison to perfection in every scene. I'd really like to see more from him, he is a very good dramatic actor. I like him better as an older, mature man. More gritty, less suave.

Maria Bello is perfect as the mother held hostage by mother love and the need to protect her child at all costs.

I loved the score. Where you might expect a really intense, gritty score, this one opts for a quieter one with a hint of bluesy undertones and it works. It intensifies at the right moments, but never takes a front seat as often happens in thrillers. It melds with the action and helps makes each scene into an audiovisual, emotional emulsion.

In fact, the whole film is just quieter than one would expect, given what is usually served up with films of this genre. There are no car chases, no last minute rescues, no heroes. It never goes over the top. It has its feet on the ground and its eyes on what's human and real.

This film is no dud. Even though it had a very limited release, it is not the fault of the filmmakers or the actors. It is good movie-making. You may not think it's one of the best films you've ever seen, but there's a good chance you'll be satisfied that you got your money's worth. I give it a definite thumbs up.

Scale of 1-10? I give this an 8.

Warning: DON'T read much about this film. DON'T watch the trailer over and over. The less you know going in, the better your experience of it will be. Because of one seemingly innocuous remark made by someone who'd seen it, I guessed the ending about halfway through. I wasn't even trying. But things we hear stick in our minds whether we like it or not. I sincerely wish I had not guessed correctly. The rest of the film lost it's suspense for me.

Hint: This is a two timer. It's even better the second time.

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80 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

We Liked This Film A Lot

8/10
Author: kyndellsemail from United States
3 January 2008

I'd never heard of this movie until it showed up on DVD sites a couple of weeks ago. Then I read the comments here and thought, "Pass." But there was not much to choose from the other night, and the suspense/mystery/thriller genre is my favotire these days, so ... I picked it up. Glad I did because my wife and I enjoyed the movie. Certainly not a GREAT film, but very good. I liked the story, the film was nice and short, good characters. And we loved the ending and the twists. They were very clever. Overall, a solid suspense drama. Too bad this film didn't get released. Saw 4, on the other hand, goes wide and makes a ton.

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63 out of 86 people found the following review useful:

The less you know of this film ... the more you will enjoy it!

7/10
Author: Ken Vandenbussche from Belgium
10 October 2007

Every now and then: the huge Hollywood-engine creates a small and simple film that turns out to be far superior than any gigantic blockbuster made that year. "Butterfly on a wheel" is such a film. It doesn't feature amazing explosions or overwhelming car chases or anything of that kind. It has marvelous actors playing colorful characters in a gripping storyline. These are only the very basic elements but this film uses them wisely. Unlike most thrillers however, this one doesn't take an awful lot of time to set the mood but moves at a high pace.

The split-second where this movie instantly changes from a soft-drama to a razor-sharp thriller is absolutely gorgeous ... it's a real shocker! And from that moment forth we have ourselves a nail-biting ride which'll keep you firmly on the edge of your seat until the very end. On top of that: this movie's great twist ending beautifully blurs the line between good and evil.

Pierce Brosnan has already proved to be much more than 007 and continues to do so here. Maria Bello became famous as the sexy waitress/dancer in "Coyote ugly" but over the years she became a fine actress. And Gerard Butler has fought side by side with Lara Croft and 300 of the bravest Greeks, but now this Scottish actor takes a break from this senseless violence and plays a more fragile role.

In short: "Butterfly on a wheel" is an intelligent cat-and-mouse-game that steadily becomes a first-rate thriller.

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68 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent Thriller

8/10
Author: MelvynP from London, England
29 November 2007

When their happy lifestyle is suddenly interrupted and turned upside down by the forceful intrusion of a menacing kidnapper (Brosnan), Abby and Neil (Bello and Butler) are left with no choice but to follow the increasingly difficult demands and tests set them by this man. It's edge-of-the-seat stuff most of the way, with plenty of twists and turns and even when you get to that stage where you think you know all the answers, something else catches you off guard. The three leading actors all provide sound performances in this intelligent, edgy little thriller, with Brosnan proving yet again, because a lot of people seem not to have realised it before, that he really can act.

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65 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

Amazing film!!!

9/10
Author: fafafuey3 from United States
31 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hi, I live in Miami and I went to see this film on July 27.I will keep it short and sweet. This movie was a really great thriller. All three actors were phenomenal!!! I'm usually the type of person who figures out the end of these suspense thrillers, but this one had me thinking until the end, I love the twists and turns and the mind games. I thought Gerry was fantastic, his accent was fine with me, I love Pierce as the villain and Maria is spectacular. I always go into a Gerry movie without expectations but he went through every emotion in this film and he was right on. I was on the edge of my seat pretty much the whole time.

I give it two thumbs up and this film really needs a wider release!!!

I hope you all get to see the film because it is a roller-coaster ride!!

Will definitely see it again, I'm sure I missed a lot.

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53 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

An absolute gem of a thriller

9/10
Author: Craig McPherson from Montreal, Canada
30 December 2007

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.

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90 out of 160 people found the following review useful:

Sensational

9/10
Author: sergges from Romania
5 October 2007

It has been a while since i have seen a movie that i can't guess it's finally after the first 20-30 minutes....no more comments , just watch that movie.

I can't think at other comments that would not spoil the story but the damn guidelines are asking for minimum 10 lines....so.

The story is original, i can't remember to have seen this subject in a movie before, and the performance is almost perfect, the characters seem to be able to hide the motives behind their actions until the very last moment...contributing at the tension of the movie. In one word, i can't understand why so few people have voted for this movie...i vote rarely , but i could not stop myself to vote for this one

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55 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

TNT premiere showing of "Shattered"...

5/10
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
2 September 2007

The producers of BUTTERFLY ON A WHEEL (a/k/a SHATTERED in U.S.), didn't have enough faith in their project to seek widespread theatrical distribution of the finished film--even though it had GERARD BUTLER fresh from his box-office triumph in "300". Instead, they went a more direct route--directly to TV on TNT, which seems more like a last resort. Once again, a Gerard Butler film with limited distribution even though co-starred with PIERCE BROSNAN and MARIA BELLO.

Seeing it on TNT, it's understandable that the film had some problems in connecting with a larger audience. Brosnan's villain is below par for the actor and Butler has done better work elsewhere although he gives all his energy to the role of a distraught husband.

The plot is an elaborate cat-and-mouse game that Brosnan plays with the unlucky couple, Butler and Bello. While it does generate a certain amount of suspense, Brosnan's character remains an enigma for almost the whole story. Never once do we get a hint of why he's going to such extremes to torture the couple by demanding that they perform tasks at his bidding. A grungy looking Brosnan makes the villain a very unappetizing psychotic and we're never quite sure about Butler either, an ad agency man who gradually loses his swaggering overconfident manner.

Without giving away more of the plot (except to say that there is a mildly interesting twist toward the end followed by a double twist), the whole thing plays more like a made-for-TV movie than an actual film because none of the characters are more than one-dimensional despite the good acting. And the final scene between Butler and Bello is totally unbelievable as to motivation.

Summing up: Basically tricky and shallow at the core.

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29 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

A Suspenseless Suspense Movie

3/10
Author: gradyharp from United States
29 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SHATTERED (also known as BUTTERFLY ON A WHEEL) is one of those films that starts out with a solid cast of highly respected actors to pull audiences in and then proceeds to squander talent in a script that should be still on the reject shelf. The film has all the markings and big budget of a major Hollywood money maker, but there is a very valid reason why the theatrical run was brief and unheralded, sending the movie to television and to DVD post haste: it just is a very weak work.

Writer William Morrissey had a thought, camouflaged behind the meaning of an obscure line from Pope ('butterfly on a wheel') that refers to the degree of torture one can take before breaking. The problem is that this tale of the consequences of infidelity has been done many, many times before with far better results. The astute viewer will find all the cracks in the plot line of this supposed 'startling thriller' from the first few frames: watching suspicions play out is very anticlimactic. Morrissey depends on what he imaged as a 'big surprise' ending and it just doesn't surprise! Gerard Butler, Maria Bello, and Pierce Brosnan are all strong actors and one wonders why they opted to participate in this movie. It is not the best work of any of the three, trying to make credible characters out of the double-sided puzzle: kidnapping, testing of relationships, facing consequences of behavior. Director Mike Barker lets the drama sag when it most needs to be pushed. Unless the viewer just wants to see more of the three stars (even in a weak film) then that is the justification for sitting through this. Otherwise, pass... Grady Harp

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22 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

What a joke!

1/10
Author: dootchy from my livingroom
14 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Terror...infidelity...revenge...justice...

Ingredients of a bad tasting stew of crap. Add in the not-so modern film-making mandatory elements of "guess who's the good/bad guy" and the apoplectic twister ending -- and what you have in front of you is a revolting steaming pile of bile-inducing gag-re flexing dog sh1t. It leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth while wasting your time. Oh, Pierce Brosnan, 007, is in this movie.

If you are interested in wasting your time watching this flick, let me try to dissuade you from doing so (and in the end you can thank me later for saving your precious 2 hours). THINK about it. What else can you do in 2 hours? You can shave those hard to reach curled up pubes in the back of your scrotum that haven't been touched since they grew during puberty. You can watch grass grow. You can brush your teeth. Anything basically, but watch this movie. But it's up to you. Like I said you can thank me later, or hate yourself for a long time after deciding to watch this crap after heeding my advice.

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