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Willy Beachum: "I'm not going to play any games with you." Ted Crawford: "I'm afraid you have to old sport."
Galina27 April 2007
"Fracture" (2007) is directed by Gregory Hoblit who has also made "Frequency" (2000), "Fallen" (1998) both of which I like and "Primal Fear" (1996) - his feature debut that I love.

Crime /Thriller/Mystery /Court Drama are among my favorite genres and as long as the combination of these genres is clever, gripping, atmospheric, well acted, keeps me guessing and entertains me, I am happy. I know that many viewers were very insightful and figured out the twists and the ending within first half of hour or so but I did not and I was impressed by the way the disappearance of the crucial evidence had been handled - very clever. Besides being an entertaining crime movie, the most interesting element of "Fracture" is a struggle of wills and intellects between two main characters, self-made inventor - millionaire Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) who shot his unfaithful wife in the face and put her in a coma and young, successful and smart assistant D.A. Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), who has a 97% conviction rate and is assigned to prosecute Crawford just when he is ready to accept a lucrative offer from the prestigious LA law firm. The game of cat and mouse that highly intelligent and malevolent Crawford plays with Beachum makes the film interesting and the scenes between Hopkins (in his "playful Dr. Lector" mode) and Gosling (whose character does change as he realizes what he is dealing with from the unsympathetic self-centered hot shot to the man who becomes obsessed by the case, vows to put the murderer behind the bars and makes it his priority) - riveting and joy to watch. I also would like to mention David Strathairn as Willy's boss, DA Joe Lobuto in yet another understated effective performance. Strathairn's Lobuto is so interesting that he could be a main character in another move. "Fracture" is not perfect. For example, Willy's affair with Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike), a beautiful lawyer and his perspective boss was lifeless - they did not have any chemistry together. I think that Nikki's purpose in the movie was to introduce Willy to her father, a judge, whose help he would desperately need in one of the later scenes. I'd rather prefer more scenes between Willy and Crawford but even the way it was, the movie kept my attention all the way through and despite the rather weak ending, I found "Fracture" quite good.
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style with the substance to match
Mike Keating12 October 2007
Fracture is the story of Ted Crawford (Hopkins), a rich engineer who shoots his wife after discovering she is having an affair. When the police arrive, he confesses and hands in his weapon, and the case is passed on to hotshot DDA Willy Beachum (Gosling), who sees this, his final public service trial before he moves onwards and upwards, to be a slam-dunk case; but alas, thanks to Crawford's mind games, things are not what they seem and the case undergoes a series of twists and turns as Crawford and Beachum engage in a tense battle of wits.

The most obviously noticeable thing about Fracture is the how well-polished it all is. The whole thing looks so...expensive. The cars are expensive. The phones are expensive...even the cutlery during the Thanksgiving dinner scene looks expensive. Beachum seems to wear a new suit in every scene, and even the outdoor location shots look glossy; South California looks like it has been lacquered up especially for the camera lens.

It's all very smooth, well edited, cleverly shot, and well-paced, but without these two actors, this movie would have been nothing more than a glossy second-rate courtroom "thriller". Hopkins and Gosling take it to the next level with great lead performances. Hopkins clearly enjoys playing this sort of manipulative role, controlling events, making sly remarks, and winking in that very obviously shifty way, and he gets to drive flashy cars and live in a big house while he does it, which I imagine only increases the amount of fun he has. Similarly, the cockiness arrogance of DDA Beachum allows Gosling to strut around, make wisecracks, and generally be a smug git. While the Hopkins-Gosling clashes make the movie, they are ably supported by David Straitharn, Rosamund Pike, and Billy Burke, who all inject a bit more life and background into the film.

While the ride is comfortable for the most part, Fracture slips a gear towards the end; the shift from murder mystery to moral crusade feels a little bumpy, but nonetheless, strong performances and great artistic direction make Fracture a stylish, clever and enjoyable thriller that's definitely worth a look.
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Playing Games With The System
Lechuguilla9 December 2007
Very elaborate and detailed production design contributes a sense of authenticity to this story, set in Los Angeles, about a highly intelligent and wealthy older man named Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) who kills his unfaithful wife. He then dares the criminal justice system, in the person of assistant district attorney Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), to convict him. That Crawford likes playing games with the system quickly becomes apparent, and is the force that propels the plot forward.

The story has some believability issues. I question how Crawford can know all that he knows, with such certainty. There are also some problems toward the film's end that involve hospital protocol. And the overall plot progression depends on various contrivances that include, but are not limited to, police procedures. The entire concept borders on implausibility. But, if you don't pay too much attention to these annoying little details, the plot does roll merrily along with some good drama and suspense.

Anthony Hopkins is well cast as Crawford, and gives a predictably adroit performance. I would not have cast Ryan Gosling, with his boyish looks, as an assistant DA. Nevertheless, Gosling's performance is both lively and credible. And it's the back and forth verbal sparring between these two that make "Fracture" so entertaining.

The film's color cinematography is very good, and includes some unusual camera angles. I also liked the use of a wide-angle lens in the courtroom scenes. And sound effects, so often ignored in many films, further add to the realism of the settings.

Dialogue is generally effective, and includes some witty lines. When Willy's boss talks with him about being taken off the case, Willy responds: "Even if I find new evidence?" To which his boss retorts: "From where, the evidence store?"

Despite a seriously flawed script, "Fracture" is a highly absorbing movie, thanks largely to meticulous production values, and to shrewd performances from Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling.
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Will keep you glued to your seat
sdj8818 May 2007
The tagline of this film sounds interesting, but also shows the movie's thin plot. 'I shot my wife. Prove it.' Ultimately, the film is smart and witty and keeps you intrigued the entire time as you try find a way to do what the tagline asks you to. However, that's it. Naturally, Anthony Hopkins can do now wrong and 'newbie' Ryan Gosling does really well. Together in a scene, these two are awesome.

What I like about this film is that it totally focuses on the Hopkins/Gosling story-line. In many other films like these there's always that the policemen/attorneys (in this case Gosling) fall in love and then mess it up/ruin their marriage because the case is tearing them apart, you know the drill. There's always some sub story-line involving romance. Gosling finds romance in this movie with Rosamund Pike's character, but it doesn't evolve into another story-line. It doesn't take Willy Beachum's (Ryan Gosling) eyes off the price and even when it falls apart, he doesn't appear to care much (it's all about getting Crawford behind bars) or to feel a need to make it right. I like that. I mean, I love romance in films, but this movie shouldn't be about that and it's not.

Also, the fact that Ted Crawford (Hopkins) is in complete control over everything and everyone in this film astonishes me. This man plays roles like these so well! He just keeps you glued to the screen. The way he is in charge of Willy for (almost!) the entire film is just enjoyable to watch, making the end of the film even more enjoyable when the story comes out and the roles change.

Another reason to praise Gosling for the way he portrayed Willy Beachum. Anthony Hopkins is a legend. He is what draws people to theatres and he is one of the most brilliant actors of all times. Plus, he portrays such a strong character here that I can't help but praise Gosling for holding his own in a very strong manner. Scenes with Gosling are entertaining to watch. You feel drawn to him in almost the same way you feel drawn to Hopkins, even though Willy is in a dark place for most of the film and is hardly in control. Gosling's got great timing.

The story-line might be a little thin and fragile, the outcome is worth it. The movie surprises in more than one way, not in the last place because of the pretty much brilliant performances of both actors. Gosling is going to be big.

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shrewdly executed courtroom thriller
Roland E. Zwick29 April 2007
Blessed with a smart script, stylish direction and first-rate performances by Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling, "Fracture" emerges as more than just the "Silence of the Lambs" knock-off it would appear to be on the surface.

In a role reminiscent of a somewhat toned-down (i.e. non-cannabilistic) Hannibal Lecter, Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, a wealthy L.A. businessman who shoots his wife when he discovers she's having an affair with a hostage negotiator. Crawford readily admits to the crime, giving the police a signed confession and insisting on defending himself in court. Gosling is Willy Beachum, a cocky, up-and-coming public prosecutor who takes the case believing it will be one last slam-dunk victory for him before he moves on to bigger and better things at a prestigious private law firm downtown. Beachum gets more than he bargained for, however, when the creepy and unnerving Crawford begins to play the legal system for all it's worth, tweaking the hotshot lawyer by outthinking him and continually knocking him off his game.

In less capable hands, "Fracture" could easily have been a standard-issue, twist-and-turn courtroom drama, but thanks to the talents involved, it transcends the limitations of its genre. Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers have written a screenplay filled with witty, crackling dialogue and sharply observed insights into the psyches of its two principal characters. Hopkins and Gosling play the cat-and-mouse game with conviction and gusto, while director Gregory Hoblit and cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau use a smoothly gliding camera and a barely perceptible visual distortion at the edges of the picture to highlight the "fractured" nature of the piece. Moreover, the film has a nice L.A. feel to it, as it takes us to various interesting sites around town, including the ultra-modern, near-surrealistic Disney Concert Hall located in the heart of the city.

There is strong supporting work by David Straitharn ("Good Night, and Good Luck"), Billy Burke, Rosamund Pike and Fiona Shaw ("Mountains of the Moon"), among others, but it is Hopkins and Gosling, locked in a life-or-death battle of acumen and wits, who make "Fracture" a perpetually compelling and watchable courtroom thriller.
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Great chemistry
mbplex30 April 2007
I thought the intellectual chess game between Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling was pure joy. What a pleasure to watch the two play mind games with each other -- with the audience in on the action. Thought the pace was good, the direction suspenseful. The only aspect of the movie that I would say was less than A+ was the love interest between Ryan Gosling and Rosamund Pike. I thought it a bit confusing that she was both his boss and his love interest. Not sure they needed the full love interest in the plot. All in all, a most entertaining movie. Other than that, the plot line of the legal case was engaging, understandable and realistic. I highly recommend it to those interested in movies that make you think.
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"Fracture" – A Break into the Abnormal
frankwhat7 May 2007
I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed watching this film as I heard many positive critical reviews before going into it so I had high expectations to begin with. However I was not let down one bit since "Fracture" more than held its own. It contained a very simple plot structure but also offered a very original take on a different type of court case. While it might not be possible in real life, it worked magic on the big screen and transformed into an excellent film almost within the first few minutes.

Even though Sir Anthony Hopkins played a role almost exactly identical to that of his previous Hannibal Lecter, it was still great to see him back in this form because that's what I always thought he was best at: the maniacal genius. Although I will admit he does have an incredible range. He didn't add anything new to his character that we haven't seen him do before, yet I still loved watching him whenever he was on the screen. The big shock for me was Ryan Gosling. I knew he was a good actor and that he has been in some great movies but this was his best performance by far. He just calmly waltzed into each scene and was able to hold his own against the veteran Hopkins. Gosling's natural ability is simply breathtaking with how much of it he was blessed with. Any doubts of him I had before are now officially thrown out the window. The rest of the ensemble was at least adequate and the only one who I was a little disappointed in was Billy Burke since he didn't seem completely convincing.

There is somewhat of a twist waiting for the viewer at the final showdown and what I loved about it was it wasn't thrown in there for no reason. It actually went with the story, which is what's supposed to happen but hasn't lately in numerous other cases. It won't throw you for a complete loop but rather ties up some loose ends that had me scratching my head up until then. While there's elements of the legal proceedings that are completely Hollywoodized and could in no way happen in real life, I didn't seem to mind at all and was actually glad they did that. This was most likely because it flowed with the story and offered a fresh perspective.

"Fracture" will be one of those small cinematic feats that goes overlooked and prematurely fades into oblivion but for those that do get to see it you won't be disappointed. You may not agree with some parts and might even spot some dead on plot flaws, but if you can overlook that and instead focus on the film as a whole you are in for a treat. The courtroom drama is suspenseful and is presented just as it should be. The quips taken from both sides are clever and offer some well-timed comic relief. The love story while not necessarily essential didn't take anything away from the other parts either. Job well done to mostly everyone on this production, this was a tightly wrought law thriller that was no chip off the old block by any means!
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Could have been so much more....
Phat Beast22 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The first 3/4 or so of Fracture are amazing. The acting is dead-on, the writing is solid, and the plot is done just well enough that it's incredibly entertaining without being either trite or pretentious. The story is simple enough: Ted Crawford (Hopkins) -- ostensibly an aerospace engineer who runs a successful company -- catches his wife having an affair and shoots (but doesn't kill) her. Being incredibly meticulous, he is able to plan every detail of the attempted murder to assure himself of an acquittal. Willy Beachum, Assistant DA handling the case (Gosling) is a hotshot who's on his way out the door to bigger and better things and, at first, neglects to prepare well for the case. The middle half of the movie is essentially the legal struggle between Beachum and Crawford. Ultimately, the overconfident Beachum is no match for the cunning Crawford. Toward the end of the trial, there is a scene in which Beachum must decide whether or not to plant evidence in order to obtain a conviction. The tension is palpable and the scene comes off as one of the best and most dramatic in the movie. In the end, Crawford is acquitted and, as he leaves the courtroom, his wife's grief-stricken lover shoots himself. This would have been an almost perfect ending to the movie, and would have guaranteed it at least an 8 or 9 rating from me. Up to this point, it was a solid film that was realistic, and just unconventional enough to stand out.

But apparently that wasn't enough for the folks behind the movie. Unable to cope with his failure, Beachum takes a personal interest in Crawford's comatose wife. What follows is a ridiculous and clichéd attempt by Beachum to obtain a court order preventing Crawford from pulling his wife's life support. This portion of the film is unrealistic and filled with false drama. The story does not sell Beachum's sudden dramatic change of character well, and it gives little reason to care about what happens to the wife (her doctor all but says that she's almost gone anyway). Beachum fails to stop Crawford from pulling the plug (legally), but then in an even less believable sequence, realizes where the crucial piece of evidence was, and then extracts a confession from Crawford, who believes he's protected by prohibitions on double jeopardy. Using a seemingly flimsy argument, Beachum takes Crawford back to court. The movie ends, fortunately, with the new trial beginning, rather than a conviction, which, in my opinion, would have reduced its score even more.

The acting in Fracture is fantastic. Though Gosling gets most of the screen time, Hopkins (as usual) steals the show. Strange side note: Hopkins seems to change accents throughout the movie. The writing and the plot are outstanding for the first hour to hour and a half. And the music is excellent (especially when Crawford returns home after his acquittal). What would have been a great movie is no more than mediocre or slightly above average simply because it tried to fix what wasn't broke.

My Recommendation: See the movie, but leave shortly after the trial ends.
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A Knockout of a movie, Gosling and Hopkins are Great.
LittleWill9211 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
My father received movie passes from his work or something for an exclusive premiere of this movie and we just got back from it about 2 hours ago. Wow. If you've seen the previews and trailers for this movie, you'd think that this will be a cool cat-and-mouse thriller. And surprisingly, it really is.

Fracture is the twisting story about a young attorney named Willy Beachum(played by Ryan Gosling) in the fast lane to success. Willy is brought into a case where a man named Ted Crawford attempted to murder his wife(Embeth Davidtz) after discovering that she had been cheating on him with the cop that had actually arrested Crawford for the attempt. This Crawford guy is pretty sick and demented, but very clever, and really knows all the rules to play a creepy mind game. When Beachum can not find any evidence proving Crawford is guilty, everything turns into an all-out psychological fight for proof. Cleverly titled Fracture, referring to a break or breaking point, Crawford tells Beachum that he will find Beachums weak spot, and will break him down.

Ryan Gosling. What a year for him- nominated for his first Academy Award for his powerful role in Half Nelson (which was excellent- go see that too) and now puts on another pitch perfect performance in Fracture. I don't think this performance will go unnoticed, and he really proved himself as one of the best actors in his generation. Amazing.

And what about Anthony Hopkins? He was nothing less than excellent for his role as the psychotic Teddy Crawford. I think that there will be no fans of Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal disappointed by his performance. Very creepy.

Not only is this film packed with drama, excitement, and suspense, it is also dusted with just enough humor to make it one of the most supremely entertaining movies of the year. Hopkins' quick wit and Gosling's humor jump off screen and brings the whole audience to many laughs.

All around, Fracture is a superior psychological thriller that keeps you guessing. I loved it, and I'm sure millions more will too.

*p.s.- about an hour and a half into the movie, watch David Strathairn's character when he goes to Beachum's house. His car is parked in one direction, and then when he goes back to it, it's in a completely different direction. i just thought i'd throw in that goof. =]*
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Classy, Entertaining Battle-Of-Wits Film
ccthemovieman-115 August 2007
If you like courtroom dramas, appreciate excellent acting and an expertly-filmed movie this is for you. Only once, I think, have I ever proclaimed something "best movie of the year" and all that, because it's all too subjective and also a cliché but that's how I feel about this movie unless something better comes along the last few months of 2007.

This is just a fabulous movie with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling playing battling characters who engage in a battle of wits. Hopkins plays a husband who discovers his wife having an affair, shoots her, confesses the same night and then has things cleverly arranged where it's almost impossible to convict him. Gosling plays a young, hotshot prosecuting attorney on his way to bigger and better things with a change of scenery to corporate law but gets stuck with this open-and-shut case right before he switches firms. The trouble is, it's a lot more than he figured and he isn't used to losing. Hopkins knows this, of course, and plays on his vanity.

Gosling evolves from a me-only lawyer to someone who really wants justice, even if it costs him. Both characters are cocky and smart and the twists and turns just add to the fun.

I enjoyed watching all the actors performances and was very impressed. The camera-work by Director Of Photography Kramer Morgenthau should also be recognized, along with director Gregory Hoblit, who seems to direct very entertaining films ("Frequency," "Fallen," etc.)

I could have watched this story unfold for another two hours and would have been happy to do so, am I'm not one to sit still for long periods these days. That's how good this was....just Grade A film-making and storytelling.
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Plot holes you could drive a truck through.
haydn-1026 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Mildly entertaining but only for Hopkins on screens. Rest of movie was dreck. Subplot with the corporate law firm was a complete waste of time.

I didn't understand why Crawford fired the pistol through the window. What was the purpose of that and didn't this provide ballistic evidence when those bullets were retrieved? Now the big holes...

Crawford had to check the make of the Nunally's sidearm well in advance to purchase an identical pistol.

Is it possible that Nunally might have noticed a difference between his personal sidearm (nicks, scratches, general feel) and the "identical" replacement weapon? Why didn't Nunally (or anyone else) think it unusual that the murder weapon was the exact same pistol that he himself carried? How did Crawford know that his wife would not have divulged her identity to Nunally at some point in their liaison? Assuming that the only ballistic evidence was in the wife's head, how could Crawford know in advance of the shooting that it would not simply pass thru, at such close range, or that the bullet could not be surgically removed or that his wife would not have died from the shooting? Any would provide ballistic evidence that Nunally's pistol was the murder weapon.

The big, big hole. How did Crawford know that Nunally would be the officer arriving on the scene? Is he the only homicide detective in town? It all falls apart if anyone else shows up.

Raised by Gosling, but unanswered in the plot, why did Crawford remove his wife from life support when he could have simply left the country for good as a free man.
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Five stars because this is like half an excellent movie (wait for in on DVD)
banana-8322 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This one of those movies that succeeds in spite of itself. There is witty, charming dialog and enough mystery to keep your attention. When Hopkins bears down on you, your guts churn! But Fracture is like a ride in a small plane—you take off and arrive safely, but you don't fly very high or very far.

Hopkins plays an engineer with a trophy-wife. She's cheating on him with a cop. (they meet in hotels; he doesn't even know her last name or where she lives.) This movies is about Hopkins's half-baked plan to commit a perfect murder, beginning with sneaking into the hotel room while his wife is at the pool with her paramour and taking the cop's gun, leaving his own (same model) in it's place.

He shoots his wife once in the head at a time when he knows the cop (a local) is on duty. He's the first one on the scene. He enters into dialog with Hopkins. They both agree to put their guns down. When the cop sees who the wife his, he goes hysterical. At that moment, Hopkins switches back his gun for the cop's.

In retrospect, that's where the whole thing falls apart. 1. The odds of one man being able to orchestrate something like that perfectly are about ten billion to one. He had no way of knowing whether the cops would swarm his house, break in or demand that he come out. 2. He certainly should have made sure his wife was dead, but she wasn't. She lives, so the charge is "Attempted Murder." He beats that wrap but winds up going down for Murder when she dies later and his plan unravels.
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Sympathy for the devil
robin_rubin13 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I expected a lot from this movie, and it didn't deliver.

The plot, worth a B- in a scriptwriting class, pitted the complex villain played by Anthony Hopkins vs. all the one-dimensional good guys.

I wonder, where were the viewer's sympathies supposed to lie? Mine were with the villain. Because Mr. Hopkins was the best actor? Perhaps. But perhaps moreso because his character was the best drawn, the smartest, and the most emotionally complex.

Before he shoots his wife, who has just returned home from a weekend's assignation with her lover (who later turns up as the policeman dispatched to the house as a hostage negotiator), Hopkins' character tells her he loves her. She, cold as ice, tells him, "I know." Her lover, in the scene just before, had just told her pretty much the same thing, and her response had been equally cold.

So, I had no sympathy for her.

Her policeman/lover is cheating on his own wife and kids, responds unprofessionally at the scene of the crime and by taking Hopkins' confession despite blatant conflict of interest, and later plants fake evidence. He came off less as a distraught lover than an unscrupulous and incompetent sleaze.

I felt no sympathy for him, either.

And then there is Beachum, the lawyer: smug, conniving and ambitious. The best that can be said for him is that he refuses to take the bait of the faked evidence.

But he seemed much less smart than he thought he was, and so I wasted no sympathy on the lawyer, either.

Hopkins' was the character I was rooting for because Hopkins' was the only character with any depth, with more than a single dimension.

I wanted to see him prevail and was extremely disappointed when he did not.

And I don't usually side with the bad guys. I never sided with Mr. Hopkins' Hannibal the cannibal, for example. And I don't see the similarities that some reviewers do between that role and the one he plays in this film. I believe that if his wife had said she loved him, or seemed in any way conflicted, he would not have shot her.

No, I only side with the bad guys when their motivations are actually honorable, for this truly was a matter of "honor" in an old-fashioned sense, and/or when the good guys are no more than cardboard cutouts.

All in all, Fracture was nowhere near as well written or as satisfying as an episode of Law and Order.

But it's a huge credit to Mr. Hopkins that he did not simply phone in his performance in this film as Sam Waterson so often does on L&O. Hopkins, in fact, turned in a much better performance than the material deserved.

I give it six stars only because of the talented Mr. Hopkins. Leave out his performance, and it merits only three.
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Good acting by the leads, but everything else was boring
Dave (freaky_dave)21 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The movie Fracture was a crime movie and played as a game of cat and mouse between an assistant DA (Ryan Gosling) and a manipulative man name Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) who is charged with killing his wife who was having an affair. The two leads were superb, but the storyline was weak and the pacing ever so slow.

Ted Crawford (Hopkins) is a millionaire who one day discovers his wife is having an affair with a detective. More disappointed then angry, he confronts her at home and shoots her in the face, putting her in a coma. The detective who was having the affair with the wife comes to the crime scene where Crawford confronts him and tells him that he has shot his wife.

Once in court, Crawford becomes his own attorney, and discovers that the prosecutor trying his case is a young assistant DA name Willie Beachum (Gosling) who has a perfect record in convictions. Beachum doesn't want the case at first because he is about to move up in the world, but decides to take it when it appears as if it will be an easy conviction. However the gun that was used in the shooting can't be found, and so the game is on between both men. One who is trying to gain his freedom, and another who wants to put the killer behind bars.

Both actors were great, and it's too bad that the rest of the movie's pacing and storyline couldn't hold up. Included in the story is a lame affair between Gosling's character and his new boss to be named Nikki (Rosamund Pike.) It never really works, but I guess the movie had to have a love interest.

There were also no real surprises and no real shocking twists, other than how the murder weapon disappeared from the crime scene. That twist with the weapon was all right, but other than that, this movie offered nothing new.

I really wanted to like this movie because I liked both actors, but even their performances can't make up for all the other boring stuff that we as the viewers had to struggle through to get to the finale. The finale was nothing spectacular, but I won't dare spoil it for anybody who wants to see it. If I were the moviegoer, I would go and see this at the matinée instead. It isn't worth the 9 to 11 dollars that you will have to pay if you go during prime-time.
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The Old Master and the Rising Star play chess
A_Roode15 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The character played by Anthony Hopkins tells a story in the film to Ryan Gosling. The story is about sorting eggs on a farm when he was a boy and about putting aside 300 eggs that all had minute cracks or imperfections. The moral is that everything has a weakness if you look closely enough. Hopkins is using the story to warn Gosling that his near perfect conviction record is about to be tested like never before.

I caught an advance screening of 'Fracture' and am counting myself among the lucky. 'Fracture' showcases two terrific performances. The first is Ryan Gosling who plays a hot shot Assistant District Attorney on the verge of joining a very lucrative private law firm. He's only got one case left to handle and, although it looks like a slam dunk on paper, he'll soon find it to be a bit more formidable than he first thought.

The second great performance is Sir Anthony Hopkins. Stealing every scene he's in with charm, humour and menace, Hopkins turns in one of his most enjoyable performances of recent years. Hopkins plays the accused in Gosling's last case and goes out of his way to give Gosling a very bad day. The battle of wills between the two leads is central to the movie and their combat is electrifying.

One of the main questions in the movie is the location of the murder weapon. The film quite explicitly shows the crime of the film and how it is carried out in the first ten minutes of the movie. It seemed obvious to me where the gun was (although my friends told me after the film they had no idea). For my part, knowing where the gun was didn't hurt the film at all because although Gosling's battle to solve the case and get a conviction are certainly a core part of the film, 'Fracture' works better as a character study. Both leads are over-flowing with pride. Both believe themselves to be as flawless as the eggs from the story are supposed to be, but both will come to realize that they have micro-fractures too. This movie is about their arrogance and ultimately about how they deal with the discovery that perfection is a little more elusive than they thought. 'Fracture' shows all seven deadly sins at work and places Pride as the deadliest -- all else springs from it.

'Fracture' has a great score, a terrific script and dynamic characters who are believable in everything they do. This is a rich and highly enjoyable film. I fear it might get lost in the shadow of huge summer blockbusters like Spiderman 3 which is really a shame -- totally engaging little gems like this are why I love movies. 'Fracture' is well worth your time and the price of admission.
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great noir
blanche-218 February 2012
Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, and Rosamund Pike star in "Fracture," a 2007 film directed by Gregory Hobbitt.

I only have one complaint about this film, which is that I had eye strain because it was so dark throughout. I'm not talking about the atmosphere, which yes, was dark, but most of this film was done in darkness.

Nevertheless, it is a very effective modern noir. Hopkins plays a man who knows his wife is cheating on him and kills her. Then he confesses. A young, ambitious assistant DA, Willy Beachum (Gosling) is talked into taking the case, an apparent slam dunk, even though he's about to take a job with a huge corporate law firm. Unfortunately, it's not the slam dunk he thinks, and before he knows it, he's been disgraced in court and his new job is on the line. Desperate, Willy begs his boss (Strathairn) to see it through.

Great story, very clever, with Hopkins and Gosling playing an effective cat and mouse game throughout. I'd hate to have to act opposite Anthony Hopkins unless my name was Emma Thompson, but Hopkins underplays this beautifully, and he and Gosling make a very effective team. With both men, it's almost as if one can read his thoughts as Hopkins gives a half smile and Gosling stares and sets his jaw.

Though this story is about the conflict between two massive egos who always win, the underlying mystery is excellent as well.

If you like this kind of film, and I do, don't miss this one.
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Sirus_the_Virus2 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling star in the excellent film, Fracture. Fracture is about Ted Crawford(Anthony Hopkins). Crawford finds out that his wife is having an affair with detective Nunelly(Billy Burke). Crawford shoots his wife. Of course he is put in jail. But here's the weird part... when the police asked him what happened, he confessed. Crawford soon meets Willy Beachum(Ryan Gosling), a lawyer who is testifying against him.Crawford starts getting inside his head. Willy is under the impression that Crawford is enjoying all of thee madness going around, which he is. Fracture has a brilliant twist in the end of the film. Hopkins can still play that creepy guy. During the last five minutes of the film I thought he was going to bite Ryan Gosling. Or do something to him. It turns out I thought this film would be more gruesome. Ryan Gosling is very good as Beachum also. The movie wouldn't have been the same without Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins. No matter what happens, Hopkins will never give a bad performance. Neither will Gosling.
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Hopkins-aided TV schlock
Christopher Van26 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
With a title like "Fracture" and a star like Anthony Hopkins, I expected a taut, high-end classic thriller.

Instead, I rather got the feeling that the movie was put together by talented but lazy people who treated their audience with the same disdain that the Ryan Gosling character (Beechum) had for his final prosecuting case.

It's simply not good enough to have gaping plot-holes at this level of feature movie-making. We can all forgive weak writing, or less than brilliant directing and acting from time to time, but it's not nice feeling taken advantage of just because the movie makers knew they had Hopkins on board playing his stock-in-trade psychopathic killer, and could then get away with any old TV-derived schlock.


If nothing else, the movie should have set up how the Hopkins character (Crawford) would know for sure that the officer who was screwing his wife would be the same one to investigate the shooting at his home. Also, how could she not die when shot in the head at point-blank range with a Glock .45 by a man as cool and competent as the Crawford? Fracture's various plot-problems have been well documented by other reviewers on this site, so I won't draw attention to them, other than to inquire as to the relevance of the girl - at all - and the rolling-ball contraption? I find it ironic that a complex metaphor like "fracture" is used alongside a gaping plot. (I still don't really understand its relevance in the movie, but maybe I'm a bit dumb.)

I'd also like to make a confession:

I was rather sorry that the Hopkins character got nailed at the end. I had gotten to like him and, to compound my disappointment, I didn't really believe the (predictable) ending. Crawford was far too clever to be caught out like that. It would have solved a whole bunch of plot problems had he got off. It would also have introduced a theme into a theme-less movie: That you can't always make up for lost time if you didn't do your job with heart and soul when you had the chance. This, ironically, is the theme that the movie-makers of Fracture will take with them as their picture disappears into the morass of unremarkable celluloid.
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ryancm19 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Why oh why are movies like these made??? Would love to speak to the screenwriters on this one. There are so many plot holes . The biggest and unexplained one is how in the world

did the Hopkins character KNOW that the Detective his wife was having an affair with would be the ONE TO COME TO THE HOME THAT NIGHT??? The stupidity of it all. That's just for starters. When the detective kills himself why didn't he shoot Hopkins first, then himself? He had nothing to lose!!! Also the switch in the gun was ludicrous. Surely that would have been noticed in time that the gun wasn't the detectives. And how exactly did Hopkins know what kind of gun the detective had. You expect some films to have some minor implausibilities, but not so MANY. There are lots more stupid things in this movie, but to go on would take months!!! I'd like to ask the screen writers what they were thinking...OR WERE THEY THINKING? I realize not many of these kinds of films make much sense, but this one makes NO sense.
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Absolutely Unremarkable
christian12328 August 2007
When structural engineer Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) learns his wife is cheating on him, he concocts the perfect murder to get revenge without being caught. Assigned to the case is hotshot attorney Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) who is ready to leave the D.A's. office to join a big money legal firm, but when he's challenged by Crawford's case, he's willing to risk everything to prove the man is guilty.

Given the talented cast, Fracture should have been more than a by-the-numbers thriller but that's exactly what it was. It features a few good performances although they are working with some unremarkable material and can't quite lift the film above mediocrity. The uninspired direction was a bit surprising given the track record of director Gregory Hoblit. He managed to keep things safe and predictable without really adding anything special to the film. I guess he was relying on the strength of his cast which only worked to an extent. The scenes with Gosling and Hopkins were interesting to watch but whenever Hopkins was absent, the film seriously dragged and Gosling's character was really unlikable so it was hard to root for him.

The screenplay was only average with some decent dialog being the highlight of it. The way the screenwriter played out the crime was very formulaic and pretty predictable. The ending was fairly obvious from the beginning and it wasn't a big twist ending that makes the viewer feel smart for figuring it out but rather it was an ending that makes the viewer wonder how these supposedly smart characters weren't able to figure it out. So save for some scenes with Gosling and Hopkins, the audience gets to watch a bland story unfold without any real sense of interest.

Luckily, the casting director did a great job and the performances were able to save the film. Anthony Hopkins was playing a familiar character yet it was still great to watch him on screen and he was the best part about the movie. Ryan Gosling was also pretty good and he managed to keep up with Hopkins. Rosamund Pike was decent, a bit dry though. I really liked Embeth Davidtz and it's such a shame that she didn't get a lot of screen time although this was expected. David Strathairn was decent although a bit wasted with an undeveloped character. Overall, Fracture features a strong cast stuck in average material and it ends up being forgettable. Rating 6/10
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Enormous plot holes
Jaymay29 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Several film critics, including Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune, gave Fracture a good review. Some have even compared it to Hitchcock.

This is utter nonsense. Fracture is dreck. It's half-assed work by all involved.


Let's see if you can swallow these giant coincidences and plot holes:

1) A man and a woman have an affair, and never get each other's last names. One happens to be a police hostage negotiator who happens to show up when the woman he's been seeing has been murdered.

2) There are two guns on the scene when the body is discovered by police. For the entire length of the movie the investigators never think to check out one of those guns to see if it's the murder weapon.

3) The district attorney's office is given a single long weekend to come up with extra evidence in an attempted murder case when a witness is compromised. Anyone who's ever been involved in any aspect of a real murder case knows how laughable this is.

4) A hospital agrees to a man's Do Not Resuscitate request for his wife the day after the man has been acquitted for attempting to murder her. No one intervenes on behalf of the wife, no family, no friends, no victim's advocates, no one.

5) A man who has planned out a brilliant scheme for getting away with murder, covering every last detail with psychotic foresight, neglects to read the fine print in the Double Jeopardy laws and carelessly re-implicates himself.

Anthony Hopkins is sleepwalking through a second rate Hannibal Lecter impersonation here. Every plot point is sloppy and rushed (how about jumping in bed with your boss the night after you are hired? lol) Ryan Gosling, a fine actor, is wasted.

This movie's best attribute is that it makes a good primer on how not to write a legal thriller.
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Brilliant Crime Thriller
chrislef2127 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
If you love a really good film, then I implore you to watch the superb 'Fracture'. Starring the fantastic Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling, 'Fracture' is a brilliant crime thriller. The opening to this movie is so well constructed as we follow Ted Crawford (Hopkins) secretly watching a couple as they frolic in the sun and the pool at a hotel. When he returns to his home we discover that the woman he was watching is his wife and he raises a gun and shoots her. When the police arrive, one of the detectives on the case is, yup you guessed it, the man she was having the affair with. All the facts are shown to us, we watch as Crawford shoots his wife, we watch as he readily confesses, we see the lead detective retrieve the gun from him and all seems straight forward, it would appear that Crawford's fate seems obvious right? Well, to Willy Beachum (Gosling), the young deputy DA who is assigned to prosecute him, this also appears to be an open and shut case, however following some clever twists and surprises in court, and the apparent lack of evidence, a battle of wits ensues resulting in Willy's obsession to see him proved guilty. This is a very clever and compelling thriller, and there are some very witty moments. The performances from the two lead actors are seriously impressive. Ryan Gosling plays this role so well, his character is a cocky hot shot lawyer and you really get that his focus, at first, is not really on this case. It seems so open and shut and it's his last case with the firm he is with before he moves on to a bigger and much more prestigious company, and that is his focus, but as the case progresses we see his determination, focus, and ultimately his ethics, take a turn. Hopkins is, as always, magnificent and the way he portrays Crawford with such a cool, calm and actually quite witty confidence is actually quite creepy, and you find yourself really rooting for Willy to get this guy put away. There are some great stand-out scenes and the reveal to the court of the detective's affair is so well done and the way that Gosling reacts you could almost think that he, the actor, didn't even see it coming. Superb The director is Gregory Hoblit, who was also the director on another brilliant courtroom drama, 'Primal Fear', with Richard Gere. He really knows how to take you along and draw you into to the story. Please get to see this film.
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Excellent Creation by the writer well justified Director
manojdandeniya3 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Creative and realistic storyline. Got to watch it at least twice to understand the sophisticated tangle that Anthony Hopkins role plays. One of the best I have watched in modern history. Both main actors the Lawyer and Billionaire the aircraft architect have done justice for their characters.

Young wife with natural needs not satisfied by about 20years older billionaire husband. Naive, opportunistic detective with a lost soul who obviously has no regard for relationship nor marriage simply satisfying his desires.

Highly intelligent, innocent man with money who just witnessed infidelity. He has a plan where everyone plays roles like stage drama.Only difference is the players don't realize they have been played by someone without their knowledge.
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Excellent legal suspense thriller
Neil Welch12 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In the first 5 or 10 minutes of Fracture we learn that Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) is a brilliant airframe engineer. We also learn that Ted's wife is having an affair, and we see him shoot her. When he is arrested shortly afterwards, the existence of a gun and a confession should mean that he will be convicted with the minimum of difficulty by whiz-kid DA Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling). However, Willie is coasting on his last case before he leaves the DAs office for the big bucks of commercial practice, and Ted appears to be having too much fun given the fix he is in. And he is very, very clever...

The story here is not complex, but it is very strong, and told extremely well (the script - the film overall - is very sharp and stylish). The film is also beautifully photographed, and very well acted. Gosling shows more depth here than he did in any of the 3 films I saw him in during 2011, and Hopkins appears to be having as much fun as Ted is (although his accent wanders from country to country somewhat).

I found this a pretty good movie.
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A very modern Hitchcock
tomb_9214 July 2010
I realise a lot of film-fans will want to lynch me for saying this but Fracture reminded me a little of old Hitchcock films, without the style of the 50s and 60s. I enjoyed Fracture not least because I thought is was extraordinarily clever and lets face is, anything with Anthony Hopkins in is worth watching. I never saw the twist coming at the end and all the way through the film I was never sure whether the good guy or the bad guy was going to triumph. It is an inferior film to a lot of Hitchcock film because the thing about Hitchcock is that not only does he make clever films but he charms you along the way. Fracture does that but only to a point. It has none of the stylish filming that Hitchcock had and yet I can't help thinking that Fracture is perfect for the modern day. It pleased me as a film-fan and as an ordinary guy just relaxing and watching a film. It was clever, well written, well acted and just really thrilling to watch.
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