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One of the best action movies of the decade; Ford and Jones are in top form.
movieman926 June 1999
Nothing is more thrilling to see than two characters with superior intelligences, pitting their wits against each other. A thriller does not require a great deal of plot or techno-babble to be involving or complex, although many distributors of blockbusters today seem to think so. For these reasons, "The Fugitive" is a huge blessing for a movie critic such as I. I was just thrilled by the excitement, the performances by Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, and the whole Hitchcockian aura that this sensational film delivered. Even though we have been seeing too many films based on television series come out lately, "The Fugitive" is certainly not one of those that we can add to that routine bushel.

Ford is Dr. Richard Kimble, a vascular surgeon who is wrongfully accused for the brutal murder of his wife (Sela Ward), and therefore sentenced to be executed. After escaping from a bus crash/trash collision, he finds himself running from the Chicago police and especially the U.S. Marshall service, led by Lt. Gerard (Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones). At the same time, Kimble attempts to prove his innocence and in turn discover who did kill his wife. What ensues is a tangled web of medical conspiracies, along with a search for a notorious "one-armed man." As I have stated, this is a simple plot that requires no superficial decoration.

Ford, who has always been a less dramatic presence in movies and more of a subtle but affected persona, fits the part of Kimble perfectly. With this role, the last thing required is a melodramatic actor that sticks out like a sore thumb. Ford casually settles into the role of the man on the run, bringing intelligence and style to a less ostentatious character. Jones, who has never really been considered a headliner until now, creates a character that is extremely humorous but also calmly diligent. His only goal is to carry out the task he is assigned to, and nothing will stand in his way, least of all a rivaling police force or Richard Kimble himself. One of the fascinating Hitchcockian elements of the film is how it allows its audience to not be able to take sides. We are constantly rooting for both Ford and Jones when either of them come into perspective. We familiarize with both of them and are amused by both equally. The film's finale, which I won't dare give away, satisfies both sides of this rooting coin.

I have not previously been a fan of the director Andrew Davis's work, but with this entry, he certainly has sparked my interest. With such films as "Under Siege," "Code of Silence," and "Above the Law," he has been able to work with action stars that are both larger than life (Seagal, Norris). Here, he uses more intrigue and atmosphere to reach his audience, building suspense and excitement through simple film tools rather than things blowing up or guns going off (However, there is a phenomenal opening crash scene to boot). With quick pacing, a never-a-dull-moment storyline, and great actors, "The Fugitive" ranks itself as one of the best action films of this decade, and definitely one of the best films of 1993. Rating: Four stars.
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Good acting and directing, constant action and tension. Even after many years this movie still stands
Philip Van der Veken26 December 2004
"The Fugitive" is one of those movies that you may already have seen a dozen of times, but which still seems to surprise every time that you watch it. I don't know what it actually is that makes this movie so good, but it sure works. It's probably the combination of a good script, good acting and the abundance of action that's always present, but never exaggerated.

The movie is about a doctor who's wife has been murdered by a one-armed man. He's innocent but is accused of the murder and convicted by court. He will get a lethal injection soon, but as he is transfered to another jail, the bus in which he is transported with some other inmates, crashes. He knows to escape and is determined to find his wife's murderer, but has to try to stay out of the hands of the police. The result is an interesting cat-and-mouse game between him and the police that never allows your attention to fade away.

The story is perhaps not exceptional, but thanks to the good directing and acting and the constant action and tension, this movie really delivers everything that you can expect from it. I give it an 8.5 - 9/10.
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Fabulous Thriller That Endures
ccthemovieman-117 October 2005
This a one of the best thriller/suspense/action films I have ever watched, and I've seen tons of them for almost 50 years. It "endures" because it is just as entertaining on the sixth viewing as it is on the first.

Of course it helped it was based on a TV show that people my age watched religiously every week, so the plot if familiar and many of us wanted to see how the movie would stack up to the TV program. Well, as good as the TV series was, this was far better. Two scenes alone: the train wreck and Harrison Ford taking a swan dive - were worth the price of the film. Great stuff.

The story has been discussed by many so let me just add how much I appreciate the sound in this movie. When this film first came out on VHS, I used the opening moments as a demo model for various surround systems. The DVD has enhanced that as well as the picture.

The film has just the right amount of action scenes, very interesting characters and a storyline complex enough to bring you back for multiple viewings to totally understand it. Ford, of course, is the star with Tommy Lee Jones a close second, but the more you watch this, the more you appreciate EVERYONE'S acting in this movie.

And, by the way, filmmakers take note: here''s another example how you can make an "edgy" modern-day crime film without a ton of unnecessary f-words.
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One of the Great Thrillers!
Ben Burgraff (cariart)10 September 2003
There is a kind of magic when a superb cast, a truly gifted director, and a literate script with equal parts 'over-the-top' action, riveting suspense, and rich characterization, come together. The end result attains a luster that only grows through the years, as new audiences, through DVD and VHS, experience the same excitement we felt, viewing it on a theater screen. In the last decade, only a handful of suspense films could be called 'great'...and on top of the list is THE FUGITIVE.

Based on the popular David Janssen TV series, the film faithfully follows the same premise; a doctor is accused of his wife's death, but escapes before his execution, and tracks down the 'one-armed man' responsible for the murder, as a driven law officer attempts to recapture him. Being a big-budget film, however, the scale of everything is expanded...Dr. Richard Kimble is now a brilliant vascular surgeon, at a major Chicago hospital; the handicapped killer is a dirty ex-cop working on orders from crooked board members of a billion-dollar pharmaceutical firm; and the lawman is no longer a solitary police lieutenant, but a deputy United States Marshal, and his team of agents! While some fans of the original series complained that the 'intimacy' the series had was lost, director Andrew Davis only used the 'bigger' aspects as plot elements, placing the focus, wisely, on the dual stories of Kimble's search, and Gerard's pursuit.

Despite the esteem the film has achieved over the years, Harrison Ford has gotten a bad rap for his very understated performance as Richard Kimble. While Tommy Lee Jones certainly had a far flashier role (earning him an Oscar as 'Best Supporting Actor'), Ford's intent wasn't to play 'Indiana Jones', but a man whose whole life was dedicated to his career as a surgeon, and his wife (played, in flashbacks, by the lovely Sela Ward). Seeing his wife brutally murdered devastated him (his scene in the police interrogation room, going to pieces, was largely improvised on the set, and displays some of his finest acting). His search for the killer was not the confident quest of an action hero, but based on uncertain, spur-of-the-moment decisions made by a desperate man, whose medical background was his only tool. Fear does not lend itself to flashy theatrics...

Jones, as Marshal Sam Gerard, on the other hand, was a seasoned veteran, the best at what he did, and pursuing a fugitive was 'old hat' for him. With a confidence bordering on arrogance, he ordered people about like chess pieces, multi-tasked without breaking a sweat, and still could charm with a wicked smile and sarcastic remark. Of COURSE he wins the audience's heart!

Featuring some of the most spectacular action scenes ever recorded on film (the train/bus wreck that frees Kimble, the dive off a dam into the churning maelstrom of the reservoir), as well as two slam-bang fistfights when Kimble finally gets 'justice', THE FUGITIVE still is remembered primarily for the suspenseful Jones/Ford 'cat-and-mouse' chase, cross-country, and the grudging respect that grows between them...which, ultimately, was what the TV series was best remembered for, as well.

There is magic, here!
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Pure action and Tommy Lee Jones make this an unforgettable masterpiece
Dan Grant2 July 1999
Arnold and Sly are great action heroes. Their characters are always larger than life. Rambo and Rocky are household names and The Terminator and films like Commando are great partly because of Arnold's physical presence. But as good as they are, I don't think they can hold a candle to Harrison Ford. Sure he is in great shape, but have you ever seen an actor take average guys and make them so real that you want to know them? Take your pick, Han Solo, Indy and even his character in Six Days and Seven Nights was an adventurer. Add Richard Kimble to that list. As Kimble, Ford is perfect. He is the wronged man that has to avenge his wife's death and clear his name at the same time. He is so great in this film and I'm sure that's why so many people went to see this film at first. But I think what kept them coming back was Tommy Lee Jones. We'll get to him in a minute.

Andrew Davis proved here that he is one of the best action directors in the business today. Along with Under Siege, he showed us that he is an efficient artist that knows how to keep the action flowing. He never seems to let up with his relentless pursuit of the perfect scene. But since the film did so well and everyone pretty much knows what it is about, let's talk about the true strength of the film, and that would be Tommy Lee Jones.

" I don't bargain." " Well that's odd!"

His portrayal of Samuel Girard is an exercise in how to make the audience relate and understand a character. He starts off as a manic perfectionist. He is obsessed with capturing Kimble and that is all that matters. But as the film proceeds, you can sense his unease, his wonder and his ethos. You can tell by a simple expression that he is beginning to solve a crime and not just chase a criminal. And the turning point to me was his simple scene where he says " You know Devlin and McGregor made 4 and one half billion dollars last year? That company's a monster. " It is all in his face. He knows that Ford is innocent but he still has a job to do. It is Jones that makes this film so much fun. And I didn't think that there would be a more worthy recipient of best supporting actor in '93 than Kilmer in Tombstone, but Jones' work here was well deserving of his Oscar.

The Fugitive belongs on every top 100 list and if the AFI wasn't so enthralled with older movies, they would see that films like this are more worthy than some of the mediocrity that graces their findings. This is an incredible film.
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A great chase thriller with star power
NewEnglandPat22 June 2005
This excellent film details the adventure of a man's search for his wife's killer and to clear himself of her murder. Harrison Ford is the hero and wanted man and on the run to escape capture by a determined U.S. Marshal in one thrilling scene after another. A spectacular train wreck with a bus of prison-bound felons gets the action underway at which point Tommy Lee Jones enters the picture and takes over the film by sheer force of personality and doesn't let go. Harrison, a resourceful type, stays just ahead of Jones in this taut cat-and-mouse thriller and adroitly leaves just enough clues for the police as he closes in on the killer. Ford and Jones are well matched here in one of the best urban crime mysteries ever filmed. Cast and Chicago locations add realism to a great story.
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Great Action Thriller starring Harrison Ford
marcus aurelis18 September 2012
The Fugitive is a complex thriller with every detail playing a significant role in the outcome of the movie. It's the story of a conspiracy surrounding Dr. Richard Kimble, a surgeon who is on the run while U.S Marshal Samuel Gerard tries to find an explanation of why Kimble was framed for the murder of his wife. The movie has a sticking nature to it, every detail in the actors face will prove that Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones deserve every praise they have received for their performance.

Based on the 1960's Television series, this movie does not disappoint. It makes the watcher want to go back and view the original series to see how it compares.
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Excellent thriller
Dennis Littrell23 December 2003
This is a fine vehicle for Harrison Ford made even more agreeable by a clever, somewhat tongue in cheek performance by Tommy Lee Jones as a US Marshall out to have a good time getting the bad guy, even though the bad guy might not be so bad, and even though that's irrelevant, but hey, don't think so much and get me some coffee and a chocolate donut with those sprinkles on top, ya hear?

This is also a Hollywood producer's orgasmic dream with a chase scene beginning in the first reel and lasting throughout. It is based on the 60s TV show of the same name, but gets its premise from a true crime story, that of Ohioan Dr. Sam Shepherd who actually went to jail for murdering his wife in the 50s. He too claimed to have fought off the real killer, but the forensic evidence and his personality were against him. Here we have Harrison Ford as the good doctor, and it doesn't take a Hollywood genius to tell you that the most popular leading man of the late twentieth century ain't about to play the kind of guy who murders his loving wife.

Ford does a stand-up, competent job, saving lives and patting kids on the head as he plunges through sewers and off the top of a towering waterfall, steals an ambulance, survives a bullet wound and a bus wreck, etc. His fans will be pleased, but Tommy Lee Jones steals the show (and got a Best Supporting Oscar for his trouble) as a clever, wise-cracking good ole boy who has a lot of fun leading the posse. I wonder if he or director Andrew Davis invented the spin because without it, this wouldn't be half so good.

This is not to be confused with, nor is it a remake of The Fugitive from 1947 starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford, a cinematic gem of an entirely different sort.

See this for Tommy Lee Jones who has made a career out of turning oh-hum parts into something special.
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Fast-paced action thriller is even superior to the TV series...
Neil Doyle14 June 2001
For a good "chase" film, you can't beat 'The Fugitive'. Not all films taken from TV series manage to make it to the big screen with a style of their own and a story worth telling. Exceptionally fine performances by Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones are the icing on the cake. The picture scores on all levels: photography, music, editing, script and performances. The bus/train crash at the start is a spectacular piece of filmmaking that gets the story off to a good start with powerful urgency. While you're rooting for Ford all the way, as the doctor wrongly accused of the murder of his wife, you sometimes find yourself in the shoes of the crafty, quirky detective with a sense of humor (Tommy Lee Jones) who is relentless in his pursuit. The battle between the pursued and the pursuer is the dominant theme and it is carried off with great wit and style.

As absorbing as any action drama of the '90s. I would have been happy if Harrison Ford, as well as Jones, earned an Oscar for his earnest and highly physical performance. Highly recommended.
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The most intense picture of the decade
MisterWhiplash29 April 2000
The Fugitive is the biggest heart-pounding thriller I have seen in a while (and the best one this decade). The story revolves around Dr. Richard Kimble, played by Harrison Ford to pythagorean procision. Kimble is accused of killing his wife and is chased all over Chicago by Marshalls while looking for his wife's one armed killer. One of these Marshalls is Samuel Gerarg (Tommy Lee Jones terrific and Oscar nod performance) who after a while believes he is innocent.

Spectacularly done in the tradition of crime/drama thrillers with Ford and Jones working better together than ever before. I found this film to be the best film experience of the early 90's, and hopefully you will too. A++
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Great thriller
blanche-226 June 2008
Harrison Ford is "The Fugitive" in this 1993 version of the popular television series. The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard, Sela Ward, Julianne Moore and Joe Pantoliano. For you young 'uns out there, "The Fugitive" TV show starring David Janssen was based on the 1954 Sam Sheppard case, the subject itself of 10 books and two movies. Dr. Sheppard. accused of murdering his wife, claimed to have seen a "bushy-haired man" at the scene. It was a landmark case, resulting in the creation of the "change of venue" motion.

The film "The Fugitive" keeps the basics: Dr. Richard Kimble, en route to prison to await execution for the murder of his wife (Ward), escapes after a terrible accident. On his trail from the beginning is a U.S. Marshall, Sam Gerard. Both men have way above average intelligence, so while Gerard is able to get close, Kimble always eludes him. After stealing clothes, shaving his beard and dying his hair, Kimble goes to the hospital where he worked and gets into the computer database to find the one-armed man. He knows he injured the man's arm in a fight, and repair of the arm would have necessitated a visit.

This is a real on the edge of your seat thriller, with an absolutely spectacular beginning sequence that grabs the audience and doesn't let go. In the TV series, the one-armed man is an intruder; here, a different storyline has been added, and it's quite good. One of my favorite parts occurs when Kimble, disguised as a janitor at the hospital, overhears an incorrect diagnosis for a young boy. Because the ER is so busy and there is no one available, he's asked to take the child to another floor. While doing so, he conducts his own quick examination and writes a change of orders; the boy ends up in surgery. The OR doc (Moore) catches Kimble looking at the child's x-ray, and when she learns the boy never arrived at his destination, alerts security. Gerard asks her later, "What happened to the boy?" "He saved his life," Moore says.

Both Ford and Jones are at the top of their games and very well matched, Jones bringing a lot of humor to his role as the determined Gerard. Ford looks a little like the Ape Man in the beginning with all the facial hair; as Kimble, he's sympathetic and his desperation and determination are more internalized than Gerard's.

It wasn't until 1998 that DNA evidence finally exonerated Sheppard, who was released in 1966 after a retrial (in the original trial, the judge told reporter Dorothy Kilgallen that Sheppard was guilty). Sheppard died in 1970, his life ruined. Fifty years after the case, it continues to influence courtroom proceedings and inspire books and films. This "Fugitive" is particularly excellent.
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Superb Action Thriller
gary-44416 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Probably the greatest modern post Hitchcock action thriller. A terrific cast led by two towering performances from Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones makes the most of an intelligent script and superb direction. The 60's television series provided a firm base for the story, but this feature length, densely plotted movie, takes proceedings to new heights of drama, and excellence.

The central premise is as old as the hills. "The wrong that must be righted". Ford playing Dr Richard Kimble is falsely accused of murdering his wife and the forces of good, the Police, become the agents of bad, in trying to recapture him after he escapes in a spectacular train and bus crash, as good an action sequence as you will ever see at the cinema.

Tommy Lee Jones is imperious as Marshall Sam Gerrard charged with tracking him down. Wonderfully gnarled and taciturn, Gerrard starts out simply doing his job, but things change as he not only comes to respect his quarry, but also starts to have doubts about Kimble's guilt.

The first half is all action, particularly the magnificent scene where a cornered Kimble dives down the face of a dam to escape his pursuers. The second half becomes a detective movie as Kimble returns to Chicago to find the real murderer- and clear his name. Full of twists and turns, there is an inevitable showdown at the end, and a text book ending as to how you wrap this sort of story up.

Director Andrew Davis's previous work gave no hint of his ability to deliver such a masterpiece, although his previous effort "Under Siege" will have sharpened up his action skills. And subsequently, he never quite scaled these heights again.
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"I didn't kill my wife!" "I don't care."
Scott LeBrun23 August 2017
Roy Huggins' original 1960s TV series gets reinvented for the big screen, with engaging results. The premise is that an esteemed vascular surgeon, Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), is tried and convicted for the murder of his wife Helen (Sela Ward, in a pretty thankless role), despite his claims that he'd tussled with the REAL killer, a one-armed man (Andreas Katsulas). On his way to prison, Kimble seizes a chance to escape, and takes it on the lam. Naturally, he's determined to solve the crime, but almost always manages to stay one step ahead of the equally determined Federal marshal (Tommy Lee Jones) on his trail.

While the story is not a great one (and won't bear a lot of scrutiny), it's still a solidly entertaining one. Director Andrew Davis ("Code of Silence", "Under Siege") does a masterful job of directing this chase thriller, guiding us towards some pretty impressive set pieces, such as an amazing bus crash / train wreck, and a VERY long dive off of a dam. Davis and company hit the ground running, and even though their film runs two hours and 11 minutes, the pacing never drags. Every scene serves a purpose, and commands ones' attention. Great music by James Newton Howard and superb location shooting in Chicago are all part of the slick and stylish package.

Of course, one of the most compelling facets to the film is the cat and mouse game between two very strong personalities, and both Ford and the Oscar winning Jones are extremely well cast. Not all of the supporting actors & actresses get a lot to do (Julianne Moore is only around for one section of the story), but the other roles are also nicely cast: Joe Pantoliano, Jeroen Krabbe (in a role originally intended for the late Richard Jordan), Daniel Roebuck, L. Scott Caldwell, Tom Wood, Ron Dean, real life Chicago cop Joe Kosala, etc. Jane Lynch can be seen in one of her earliest film roles.

"The Fugitive" holds up pretty well almost 25 years later. It's just good, straightforward entertainment all around.

Eight out of 10.
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Insider review from an Extra on the Movie
A Nielsen9 August 2008
Well, looking back on this movie it is pretty decent, but not one of the better ones I have seen (I have worked as an extra on a few movies and sadly, none of them were all that great).

The plot was OK, but hate to say it the acting was a bit stilted and somewhat over the top.

I do have to agree with the "tounge in cheek" comment on the performance by Tommy Lee Jones. It is subtle, but the irony is there.

I was in a few scenes but the "Convention Dinner" scene where they end up chasing the Fugitive through the hall was pretty realistic (if you discount the fact that you have to repeat it 5, 6 or 20 times) and Tommy Lee had this scary-intense aura about him.

You can see me - I am the redhead who flips around in her seat a moment before he and the other guy leave the room and continue their battle. Funny sidebar - during one of the repeat takes Ford tripped over the leg of my chair and nearly fell face down. A PA (producton assistant)came over and gave me a dirty look and told me to move my chair in further(duh).

This one scene took all night to film ( extras arrived at about 8pm and left somewhere around 7 the next morning). I would never choose to do this as a profession.

If you ever decide to be an extra, bring a good novel or some homework with you to read during the 4-5 hours of down-time that usually is the norm, and expect to be there for 10 - 14 hours.

No wonder movies cost millions to make.
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Thankfully this version of "The Fugitive" wraps up in two hours rather than a couple of seasons.
Aaron13752 March 2010
This was a thoroughly enjoyable movie that has good acting, a good story, and good action. Based on the television show of the same name it is also probably the most successful and best television show to movie I have ever seen. It also has that major plus in that at the end of the movie you are done with your journey and everything wraps up rather nicely. The story has Dr. Kimble accused of murder and we speed through the trial as the police do not believe for a minute Dr. Kimble's story of a fight he had with the actual killer, the one armed man. Well through some good and bad luck at the same time, he finds himself free of the prisoner transport he was on and now he is set loose to try and clear his name and bring the real killer to justice. On his trail though is a United States Marshall played by the very good actor Tommy Lee Jones. In fact, Jones would win an Oscar for his performance in this movie. He would later reprise this role, but with little success in the film "U.S. Marshals", my thinking is though that it might have done better at the box office had they not simply made almost a remake of this movie with the wrongly accused escapee, but instead had him track someone actually guilty of the crime. This one though has some great cat and mouse as you really pull for Kimble (played by the excellent Harrison Ford) to connect all the pieces and find the party responsible for his wife's death. Most of the action is confined to the city of Chicago I think it was, but there is enough action and such to make up for the lack of locales. Though there is a great scene involving a dam and the inner workings of it as Kimble is almost caught right off the bat by Gerard (the marshal). All in all a fine film and in my opinion still the best television show to movie film there is.
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Chase Movie That Often Jumps The Shark
Theo Robertson23 February 2013
Seeing the Nick Love big screen version of THE SWEENEY I was struck as to how cynical the marketing was . It could be any high octane thriller set around a bunch of bank robbers in London with a crime squad led by a rough diamond cop trying to bring the crooks to book . In other words it's simply called THE SWEENEY because it's got a ready made market for people who fondly remember the original TV show . This is pre-dated by this big screen version of the television show of THE FUGITIVE which features Harrison Ford playing a character called Dr Richard Kimble being pursued by a cop called Gerard in a film that is nothing more than a cynical exercise in trying to cash in on a half remembered TV show from yesteryear . That is not to say it's a bad film as such but anyone expecting anything along the lines of the TV original won't recognise this film as sharing anything in common with the David Janssen series

As it stands if you like loud , brash , action packed muliplex entertainment then you'll certainly enjoy this movie . The downside is that you have to take the rough with the smooth and this comes in the form of plot contrivance . Interestingly the original court case is skated over and the audience never given a reason why Kimble is found guilty of the murder of his wife . Of course sharing the name of the TV series THE FUGITIVE and a character played by Harrison Ford in 1993 the audience know Kimble must be innocent but even so the evidence must have been rather damning . Being a contrived plot means that in order for the story to progress more and more ludicrous things involving good luck/bad luck has to happen which strains credibility when you stop to think about anything . The shark is well and truly jumped relatively early in the film where Kimble takes a dive of a dam falling several hundred feet in to a waterfall which must contain several thousand tons of water and surviving

This sequence ties in with the protagonist's nemesis US Marshall Samuel Gerard who has the almostsupernatural ability to be one step ahead of the other characters . Kimble disappears in a blocked off tunnel ? He's obviously escaped down a drain . He jumps off the top of a dam ? He's obviously survived the fall . He looks through some garbage and concludes Kimble is using a false ID One almost hopes Gerard does something credible such as throw his hands up and say " Hey guys the trail has gone cold " but I guess that would mean less tension and excitement in a film that merely exists to wretch up tension and excitement to a multiplex audience . A fact reflected in its massive box office takings
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The fugitive's name is Doctor Richard Kimble.
Spikeopath25 May 2008
Dr Kimble is falsely accused and sentenced for the murder of his wife. Whilst being transfered to prison a breakout occurs, seizing his chance, Kimble goes on the run in a desperate search to clear his name. Hot on his tail is staunch Marshall Sam Gerard, a man who always gets his man.

Based on the long running and popular TV series of the same name, The Fugitive stands up as one of the best thrillers of the 90s, it's full of action and tight sequences that dovetail excellently with the who done it plot. The film opens harshly with the murder of Helen Kimble, and we are shown that it wasn't Richard who killed his wife, this puts us firmly onside with Kimble and his pursuit of the truth. Much credit must go to Harrison Ford who layers Kimble perfectly, Kimble is an honest hard working man reduced to fugitive tactics to avoid capture, always seemingly one step away from being caught, Kimble becomes something of a modern day hero figure, and in this Ford excels. As Sam Gerard we have Tommy Lee Jones having the time of his life, gruff and ready for a rumble, and with a quip at every turn, Gerard is a man we know is not to be messed with, and Jones portrays him wonderfully as the obsessive pursuer he is.

From that harsh opening, to a quite breath taking sequence with a train, the film cements itself as a bona fide top draw thriller, however, the second half of the picture, whilst still an intriguing mysterious chase movie, does veer down the formulaic road with it's conspiracy plot line, but it really is a minor complaint that doesn't send the film to averageville. The Fugitive at any one point is never less than great fun, high on action and containing great performances to crown the smart David Twohy/Jeb Stuart screenplay, the film is a winner from start to finish. 9/10
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Good, but definitely not great
Robert Morley12 October 2008
This was a decent action/detective movie with good pacing and good acting all around. My main problem with the movie centers around the holes in the plot: while it's suggested, it's never clearly stated why Helen was murdered; the fudged clinical trials of the drug all being ultimately controlled by one doctor seems rather unlikely; the number of times Kimble goes unrecognized by people who should know him on-sight (even without the beard) goes beyond the realm of unlikely into the realm of ludicrous; Kimble's skill at creating a false pass and faking out people who work at the hospital also seems rather lame. I'm sure I could come up with more if I watched it again.

In the end, it was a good enough movie to be enjoyable, but some very basic believability issues marred the overall story. Obviously the 90% or so of users who rated this movie better than I did will disagree with me on this, but I have a hard time understanding why this movie is so highly-rated. It was okay, but I don't feel any pressing need to watch it again at any point.
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on the run...
dbdumonteil2 April 2004
An adaptation of a famous TV series, "the fugitive" was a blockbuster when it was launched in 1993. Did I enjoy it? Yes and no... We deal with a spirited action movie, led without any dead times and with a well-balanced performance. I was told that Tommy Lee Jones almost stole the show from Harrison Ford. Honestly, I didn't have this impression.

But "the fugitive" is also a movie without any major surprises and where you can detect a lack of inventiveness because it confines itself to the usual rules of the detective movie: a man wrongly accused of a crime he didn't commit, a will to discover the real culprit, police on his tail, a predictable progression sprinkled with stirring chases. Furthermore, the script, which is sometimes repetitive doesn't exclude unlikelinesses and the end makes the whole conventional.

Nonetheless, Andrew Davis knows his job and "the fugitive" remains a spectacular and watchable movie but also too much superficial to call it a masterpiece.
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The chase is on!
MJB78410 June 2018
I have always loved this movie because of its performances and classic story. The action scenes are just as timeless. From the jump off a bus before the train crashes to the plunge from the sewer drain to the lake plus the red lights flickering back and forth while Richard Kimble attacks the one armed man in a subway through its conclusion where Richard discovers that more than one man is in on the murder of his wife, there's plenty to see. This includes the speech Deputy Gerard gives while Richard is running through the forest and the flashbacks of his wife's death. There are many other exciting moments.
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Great! Better than any Jim Carrey movie or 'Silence of the Lambs.'
"I don't care!"

In "The Fugitive," when, after Dr. Richard Kimble (played by Harrison Ford) insists to the Federal Marshall (played by Tommy Lee Jones) chasing him -- over a levelled-at-him gun, no less -- that "I didn't kill my wife!" he gets a response along the lines of: "Good for you! Tell it to the judge! Sadly, that's not my job."

The look on Harrison Ford's face is priceless -- this is what's been consuming his life, after all, and it's not the response he's expecting -- and the whole movie taking a double-antagonist, "chase him!" "now, run away!" position where you're rooting for both the two main characters -- they each have their reasons -- is very curious and a weird place to put the audience in. One of the best blockbuster movies of the '90s, and sadly neglected, though it's a lotta fun (great train wreck) and periodically very funny (never mind it's an apt pairing, for once, of two giants of the screen against each other -- isn't this what we go to star-driven movies *for* ... ?).
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One of the most purely exciting and suspenseful films of its kind; a mile-a-minute, edge-of-your-seat thrill-ride.
Pjtaylor-96-1380441 March 2018
'The Fugitive (1993)' is a suspense thriller funnelled through a late 80s action flick, ala 'Die Hard (1988) or 'Lethal Weapon (1987)', and is actually one of the most purely exciting, and indeed suspenseful, films I've seen in a long time. It's mile-a-minute, edge-of-your-seat thrill-ride that keeps ratcheting up the tension and masterfully plays its audience like a fiddle. It holds all its action to a tangible and fairly realistic standard, with the cat-and-mouse elements being some of the absolute best of their kind, and it's the sheer, palpable desperation of Ford's eponymous escapee that makes every close call he has with Jones' charismatic but calculating US Marshal both totally riveting and extremely entertaining. A brilliantly made, wholly enjoyable piece that may be slightly baggy but is fun from beginning to end. 8/10
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One of the best thrillers of the decade
Leofwine_draca18 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The 1990s wasn't exactly a decade known for quality cinema. Particularly in the second half of the decade, Hollywood became obsessed with poor quality CGI and the like and the quality of movies in general plummeted. However, in terms of action movies and thrillers, there were still plenty of interesting titles being released, none more so than THE FUGITIVE. A remake of the cult 1960s TV series, this blockbuster hit pitted hunter Tommy Lee Jones against wronged man Harrison Ford in a refreshingly adult and old-fashioned story that could have been directed by Hitchcock back in the day.

There's a lot to love about this one. Harrison Ford plays his usual resourceful hero, but he's more grounded and believable than most and as a whole the story is far more realistic than expected given the excesses of the decade. Jones is the scene-stealer here and deservedly won the Oscar for his wry, finely-judged performance that contains a lot of humour. The supporting cast is also of a high calibre. However, the real winner is director Andrew Davis, who brings back half the cast from UNDER SIEGE and crafts a film which is just as thrilling and edge-of-the-seat exciting. Despite a fairly lengthy running time, this journey is never slow, and it's only occasionally clichéd. It has a real drive to it, a sense of momentum that sees it through. A fine sequel, U.S. MARSHALS, followed.
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three great performances
HelloTexas1122 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
'The Fugitive' is quite a bit more faithful to its source material than many other feature films inspired by old television series, at least in an elemental sense. Most of the key reference points are there; innocent Dr. Richard Kimble, his wife's murder, the dogged pursuit by police Lt. Gerard, and of course the one-armed man. We hardly expect the main actors to impersonate their antecedents and they don't, though the thought of Harrison Ford mimicking David Janssen is an amusing one. But where the film really deviates from the TV show is in Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal of the Gerard character. Barry Morse's staid police lieutenant may have had just a touch of deviousness to him, but it's nothing compared to Jones' flamboyant, in-your-face, control-freakish turn as the U.S. marshal on Kimble's trail. Jones' Gerard is every bit as much a lead character as Ford's quieter, determined Kimble. There are new twists (and a new sub-plot concerning pharmaceutical subterfuge) added to the familiar plot of Dr. Kimble on the run, trying to locate evidence that the one-armed man killed his wife and thus prove his innocence. Kimble is certainly nothing if not resourceful and not surprisingly, a certain suspension of disbelief is required by the audience to accept his ability to get out of scrapes and avoid the police throughout the film. In fact, there are primarily two sources of great enjoyment in 'The Fugitive,' one being Jones' over-the-top performance and the other Kimble's ingenuity at tracking down the murderer even while he himself is being pursued. Another actor deserves mention: Jeroen Krabbe, who plays a doctor friend of Kimble's who ultimately turns out to be one of the baddies. With his cultured accent and sophisticated manner, Krabbe exudes a kind of upper-crust menace very effectively, so that when his character's true nature is revealed, there is a real sense of justice prevailing in his getting his comeuppance. There is a certain infuriating quality about Gerard, for all his wiseass remarks and endearing devil-may-care attitude towards protocol, in that he seemingly never stops to consider whether Kimble just might be innocent, at least not until very late in the film. It stands in contrast to some of Kimble's old friends at the hospital he visits, who are just as unswervingly convinced that he isn't guilty without any physical evidence or proof to back up this belief. Kimble inhabits a no-man's land in the middle, slipping in and out of each alternate universe, one where he's damned for all time and the other where he's a great guy, and don't be silly, of course he didn't kill his wife. It's that tension that propels 'The Fugitive' along but also makes the ending not entirely satisfactory. You want to hit Lt. Gerard on the head when he finally realizes the truth and tell him, "Of course he didn't kill his wife, you fool!"
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A well-written adaptation and film
somegravity12 July 2007
Truth be told,the job of a vascular surgeon is not the most pleasant job that there is to be found out there. But,for vascular surgeon Richard Kimble(Harrison Ford),life could be better. This is due to Richard Kimble being a rich,successful,and respected vascular surgeon. On top of that,Richard Kimble has a beautiful wife with whom he has a loving relationship with,Helen (Sela Ward). This has made Richard Kimble's life perfect,and given Kimble what most people dream for/of.

But,one night,everything perfect and wonderful in the life of Richard Kimble suddenly comes to an end. This is when Richard Kimble comes home,only to discover that his beloved Helen is being murdered by a man with a prosthetic arm. And then,before Richard Kimble knows it,he is falsely convicted for the murder of his wife. The result? Kimble being sentenced to Death Row.

However,one night,a stroke of "fate" steps in for Richard Kimble. This stroke of "fate" allows Richard Kimble to escape imprisonment,and allows Kimble to return to Chicago(his hometown)to solve the murder of his wife. Richard Kimble has several loyal,trusted and respected friends/colleagues. Because of this,Kimble has a very strong chance at solving the murder of his wife,and bringing the people who are responsible for it to justice. But,the Chicago Police and the United States Marshals have a tight watch over Richard Kimble. This complicates Kimble trying to solve the murder of his wife and bringing the people who are responsible for it to justice. On top of that? The man leading the case against Richard Kimble is Samuel Gerard(Tommy Lee Jones),a United States Marshal who's determination and obsession in finding Richard Kimble is aided by his intelligence.

The only things that will tell who is able to win the whole "case" between Richard Kimble and his friends/colleagues and Samuel Gerard and his team of United States Marshals,alongside the Chicago Police Department? Time,decisions,and intelligence.

The script for "The Fugitive" is a bit unarranged,and could have been easily fixed by director Andrew Davis before its release. But,other than that,"The Fugitive" is a well-written film and adaptation. Based off of a 1960's television series created by the late Roy Huggins (RIP),"The Fugitive" succeeds in taking the television show that it based off of,and keeping several elements of the show,remaining true and original without recycling the show. There are a lot of original elements to "The Fugitive",which helps it out a lot,at the same time. And,despite the fact that the script for "The Fugitive" happens to be a bit unarranged,it does a good job at documenting Richard Kimble trying to solve the murder of his wife,and the case being lead against Kimble. The way that everything leads up to another is perfectly arranged. At the same time,"The Fugitive" successfully takes crime drama,action,and plenty of chemistry,alongside a small amount of humor,and blending it all together in one.

There are also a lot of strong performances that are to be found in "The Fugitive". In Harrison Ford's performance as Richard Kimble,Ford turns in a richly executed performance. This is by Harrison Ford understanding how his character of Richard Kimble is feeling,and bringing Kimble's feelings to life. The beauty of it? Harrison Ford's performance as Richard Kimble does not find Ford portraying Kimble as a big,tough guy who's enemies better look out for themselves. Harrison Ford's performance as Richard Kimble paints a picture of Kimble as a smart and laid-back man,who is just trying to solve his wife's murder and bring the people responsible for it to justice. What makes this performance tick is viewers seeing that Richard Kimble is no tough guy whatsoever--letting the plot and script have an interesting and creative "twist" to them. In Tommy Lee Jones's performances as Samuel Gerard,Jones understands how Gerard feels about the case of Richard Kimble,and Gerard's determination and obsession to find Kimble,alongside the intelligence of Gerard. This keeps "The Fugitive" moving along well at a well-structured and constructed pace. It helps viewers of "The Fugitive" clearly know and understand the two sides of the story. Anytime a scene in "The Fugitive" calls for humor out of Tommy Lee Jones' performance of Samuel Gerard,Jones takes the humor and brings it to life,allowing the humor to be worthwhile and viewers of "The Fugitive" have a few laughs. All of these elements all work not only being blended together,but also for the scenes in this film that feature both Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones and the scenes with action (the action here is well-mixed in with the script;it is fitting and suitable,but does not push itself a mile to being an action film,on behalf of the way it is arranged in the script for "The Fugitive" and the performances in the scene with the action).

It is also worth noting that even though you will only find Sela Ward through a small half of "The Fugitive",Ward's performance as Helen Kimble is one of the film's highlights. Why? In Sela Ward's performance as Helen Kimble,Ward puts a good amount of compassion into her scenes,and even though very little,emotion when it is called for (You'll know what I mean.....). Sela Ward's performance of Helen Kimble contribute to "The Fugitive" being as good and successful as it turned out to be. It also succeeds in allowing viewers of "The Fugitive" know how Richard Kimble feels as they watch Richard solve Helen's murder. All of this allows "The Fugitive" to fully come together,and be the good and successful film that it turned out to be.

Overall,whether you have or have not watched the television show that "The Fugitive" is based off of,if you enjoy crime drama films and enjoy a film with a good cast and good acting (most of the cast here is obscure,but they are all great actors who are perfect in their roles here),"The Fugitive" is the film is for you.

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