A Secret Service agent is framed as the mole in an assassination attempt on the President. He must clear his name and foil another assassination attempt while on the run from a Secret Service Protective Intelligence Division agent.
When the daughter of a psychiatrist is kidnapped, he's horrified to discover that the abductors' demand is that he break through to a post traumatic stress disorder suffering young woman who knows a secret...
High profile lawyer, Mark Hunter has an impeccable record putting criminals behind bars and is a shoo-in for governor in the upcoming election. But when ambitious rookie journalist, C.J. Nicholas begins investigating Hunter for tampering with evidence to secure his convictions, the district attorney's perfect record is up for scrutiny. Commencing a risky game of cat and mouse with Hunter, C.J. frames himself as a murder suspect to catch the corrupt D.A. in the act. Romantically involved with C.J. but unaware of his assignment, assistant D.A. Ella Crystal becomes caught between her boss's political ambitions and C.J.'s dangerous expose. As mounting evidence stacks up against both men, Ella's own life becomes threatened when she discovers incriminating proof that puts the fate of both C.J's innocence and Hunter's reputation in her hands. Written by
When Mark Hunter (Michael Douglas) goes to the prison to tell C. J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) that the phones in the prison can be spied, he leaves and surpasses a corner. Then, the camera changes to Nicholas, who insults Hunter. When the camera returns to Hunter, he is slightly before the corner again. See more »
Fascinating failure--great idea, poor execution, it's that simple.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)
Michael Douglas is impeccable whenever he has a role with brutal power, with cunning, with speechmaking the cuts through the listener, with selfish focus. And he is all these things here.
But he is properly the third name on the credits, and the two leads, both little known to me, are young and capable and unexceptional actors. With the three of them, there might have been a decent movie possible.
The hook here is an amazing, simple, audacious idea. A young reporter (Jesse Metcalf) is suspicious of a District Attorney (Douglas) who is faking evidence, so he sets himself up as the perp in a crime he didn't commit to trap the DA at his game. So it looks like a hero at work, an undercover reporter who is going to prove justice, Al Pacino style. And he has both a buddy (the not so handsome sidekick) and a girlfriend (Amber Tamblyn). The girlfriend, strategically, is on the staff of the DA.
But things go wrong. Very wrong. The DA is more ruthless than they realized. The girlfriend ends up taking over the investigation of her own boss, and ends up uncovering, with some improbability, some flaws in the reporter's character, too. The movie ends with a terrific (not) two word send off, probably meant to appeal to young people who have wanted to say those two words to lots of their boyfriends and girlfriends themselves. Or have.
Lots of crime thrillers have plots like this, good ones with twists that are calculated but great entertainment. This one is repeatedly hamstrung by bad writing, however. And this bad dialog is sometimes acted poorly, so that you almost groan out loud. It's especially painful because the plot is pretty intense if you give it a chance. In fact, sometimes it almost seems intentional the way a character acts a little flippant or silly, and yet it struck me as out of place. This might make it impossible to really get the depth of what was intended. Which is too bad. A remake done well would have the potential to really work.
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