Edge of Darkness (2010) Poster

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This is NOT Taken -- The trailer is misleading
Valcoran29 January 2010
This one surprised me, because I had seen very little advertising or hype for this movie. My friend and I watched the trailer and I thought, "Eh, kinda looks like another 'Taken' or 'Death Sentence.' I'm so glad I was wrong.

This is not another "father goes on rampage to kill the guy that kidnapped/murdered his child." It's actually a very involved thriller that has a fair few twists and turns around a conspiracy Gibson's daughter was involved in. Gibson actually does not go all gung-ho like Neeson did; rather, he was very careful in his investigations. His performance was brilliant, as was Ray Winstone's, though I found myself wishing he had a bit more screen time.

The pacing is pretty quick in some places, so it keeps you interested. Sometimes the plot may be a little convoluted, but it makes sense if one pays enough attention.

Also, I should note that there isn't nearly as much action as the trailer makes it seem. There is FAR more drama, though it's still plenty tense.

First movie of 2010 I've seen, and it's off to a great start. "Edge of Darkness" is well worth it, and certainly not the movie its advertising makes it out to be. Go see it, you won't regret it.
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An Icon
daniel-usdirector16 February 2010
Some people have bagged out this icon, but his performance in this movie was as good as ever. It was convincing, honest, and true to script.

I worked with Mel on this movie so feel that any review I give will be biased - reviews are best left to the viewers, after all, they are the ones who determine its success or failure - but I can assure you he was the ultimate professional - his career has many years left!

Bad reviews are of course as welcome as positive ones - as long as they are constructive - they are an avenue not only for others to ascertain the value of a movie but also an avenue for those involved to learn and improve (as well as gather praise where praise is due) - but I would highly recommend you see this one and make up your own mind. It is highly relevant to the current economic stasis in this country and a hint of what may be behind the scenes.
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Mel is Back as a detective with drama, intrigue and action
markusws26 January 2010
I saw this movie at an early screening and was delighted.

I give this movie three stars out of four, or 8 of ten points for great characters, intrigue, and some startling action scenes. It looses the 2 points because it does tend to slow down a little and become more dramatic at times but if you are a Mel Gibson fan you probably won't mind that at all. This movie reminded me a little of Taken, with a whole lot of Enemy of the State, and just a touch of Jason Bourne. Mel Gibson is engaging in his first acting role in years, although he definitely looks older now. It's hard to watch Gibson here without thinking of Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon and there is some carryover but here Craven played by Gibson is the older, caring, Father who is also a cop although there is still some of of the craziness that made Mel so dynamic in a number of his roles. In some ways Mel reminded me here a little of Clint Eastwood in movies like Absolute Power and In the Line of Fire as the more mature protagonist who combines maturity and cunning with a fierce side that comes out in battle.

It's not giving anything away to say that the story is about Mel Gibson's character trying to find out who killed his daughter as that much is in the trailer. Mel plays a veteran detective and so has skills and resources we civilians don't. The movie takes a while to develop and takes great pains to show the love of Craven for his daughter in the opening scenes and then periodically remind us in flashbacks. There are a lot of characters which seem to be critical to building the intrigue of the movie; activists, defense contractors, government officials and various henchmen. The movie does a good job for a while of hiding who is working for whom. Suspense does build for most of the movie but a good bit before the end it is evident what is going on and the movie shifts from an action thriller to more of an pure action movie.

Ray Winstone plays an intriguing role as Jedburgh, deftly showing protagonist and antagonist sides at different times in a mysterious role. Danny Huston plays a multi-dimensional character, Jack Bennet, that is fun to watch. Bojana Novakovic as Emma Craven is a sweetheart. Jay O. Sanders plays a solid role as Detective Whitehouse.

The movie is definitely heavy on violence and acting independent of authority although I don't remember any swearing or sex scenes. Still it requires a mature audience as the hero's actions are probably not ones you want your kids emulating in your house. As with so many movies it portrays sides of business and government at their worst. So,since it is light on sexuality and vulgarity I would suggest that if you let your older kids go that you still discuss the extreme portrayals of the police, use of force, business and government.

It's good to see Mel back in action.
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You have nothing to lose in seeing this movie, unlike Thomas Craven
the-movie-guy27 January 2010
(Synopsis) Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a veteran homicide detective in the Boston Police Department. As they are walking out the front door of his house, his 24-year old daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) is blow away by a shotgun blast. Everyone assumes that Thomas, who was standing next to her, was the killer's intended target. However, Thomas begins to suspect that Emma was the real target. Driven by heartache and blame, Thomas initiates his own private investigation to uncover Emma's secret life and the reason for her murder. His investigation leads him down the path of corporate and government cover-ups, which resulted in his daughter's elimination. Thomas receives some help from a government operative, Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), who has been sent in to clean up the situation. Thomas Craven's search for the truth brings him closer to his daughter and his own deliverance.

(My Comment) This is an intense movie about family and closure, and of course, Detective Thomas Craven has a little different type of closure in mind. Some of the movie is a little hard to follow when Thomas does something, and you ask yourself, "why did he do that." But that might be part of the puzzle he is trying to solve. The reason the bad guys use for keeping everything secret is a little far-fetched. Mel Gibson's masterful portrayal of a man with nothing to lose is excellent. Everybody better get out of his way. From the movie trailers you would think that Thomas is going around threatening and killing everybody he meets, but that is not the case. Thomas does take out some of the bad guys, which will meet with your approval. This is a good action movie, but you must remember that it is definitely heavy on violence. (Warner Bros., Run Time 1:57, Rated R)(8/10)
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Edge of Darkness sheds light on humanity
MovieZoo29 January 2010
Anyone who has seen the trailer can expect to get exactly what the trailer depicts. A cop loses his beautiful daughter and sets out to solve the murder that others conclude was self explanatory as a shooting in an attempt to get revenge against a cop. Taking things at face value sometimes just don't cut it.

Gibson and Ray Winstone were so perfect for the roles they played. The tension from both kept me clinging to my seat and wiping my brow. Gibson probably had his best role in this movie. I have seen most of his movies starting with Lethal Weapon and I could not see one potential likeness of Martin Riggs in Edge of Darkness, except for the fact he played a cop. As Craven, he was truly believable as a dad on a mission to make things right. Winstone is someone I didn't recognize even though he has been in a ton of movies. But after this, I will know and respect him for the rest of my life. Trying to understand his role was a treat, but while doing that, I kept my distance for fear he might have caught me trying to get too close. His thick Brit accent and command of those around him was absolutely a great treat.

Danny Huston is someone I came to enjoy since seeing him in 30 Days of Night as the lead Vampire. He did not disappoint but he could have had a meatier role. As far as I am concerned, he has been added to the list of great seasoned actors to look for anytime you expect to see quality acting.

I mean no disrespect to any of the actors. Everyone did a great job, including some of those in smaller, yet relevant roles.

Everything about the movie was believable and memorable. Some of the violence that you will need to endure will catch you off guard. There is no need to brace yourself because you will get caught off guard.

Excellent emotional roller coaster getting an 8 and a great big "welcome back" hug for Mel.
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Edgy, ruthless thriller marked by Gibson's return
thefinisher_231 February 2010
He is in every sense of the word back. It has been over seven years since Mel Gibson graced the multiplexes with his presence. In that time he has directed two films (one wildly successful, the other wildly good) and for some he has ruined his ability to be seen merely as an actor by making some despicable decisions in his personal life. I will simply say that while the man is no friend of mine I am fond of his work. In this movie which would have been a good one with or without him he effortlessly slips into the persona that dominates every picture in his career. Enough about the man, let me elaborate on the character and the world he inhabits.

Edge of Darkness was a UK TV series some 20 odd years ago. The director of that series is the man behind the camera here, Martin Campbell (director of one of the previous decade's best Casino Royale). Along the way you will have to excuse some implausibility's. Notice I say implausibility's and impossibilities. The difference is often what makes a thriller thrilling or simply dumb.

Boston Detective Thomas Craven (Gibson) is picking up his daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) for a visit home. She doesn't come home often and there is a spring in the step of this aging cop. We can see though that something is up with her. Her nose bleeds often and there is something clearly on her mind. Before she can spill it to her dad she is murdered brutally on his front porch. Tom immediately becomes a man on a mission. Don't mistake him for someone without feelings. He is racked by flashbacks and memories of his child. This motivates him but saddens him far more. Along the way he discovers that he may not have been the target of the assailants but that his daughter might have some skeletons in her closet. His investigation of course takes him away from his normal jurisdiction as an officer of the law. He's a man on targeting revenge not righteousness. Eventually his search leads him to his daughter's former employer which is engaged in defense contracting (the shady type of course) with the U.S. government. The company's name is Northmoor and its head is Jack Bennett (Danny Huston) a man so passive and intelligent you wouldn't even think to call him a monster. Aiding or perhaps prohibiting Tom is the savvy and mysterious Jedberg (Ray "how haven't I been nominated for an Oscar yet" Winstone).

The plot of this film requires a little more detail than I have supplied but the less you know about Northmoor or Ms. Craven's dealings the more you will enjoy this. Suffice it to say that while this plot is a bit wild it is in fact in line with the characters and the world it portrays. There is always a grain of realism when films accuse of the government of quietly allying itself with effective but perhaps immoral defense contractors (Google: "Blackwater"). All this is way above the head of our hero but his intelligence guides him through his personal investigation. He's a thinker far more than an action hero. Along the way, he does get himself out a few physically improbable situations but that's okay. It's nothing over the top and Gibson's so fiercely personifies this conflicted man that we root for him instead of roll our eyes when he blasts a car off the road. The cast is aces. Winstone is perfect as a man with a mysteriously intelligent man with the skill set and persona to control the situations at hand while still seeming human. Danny Huston is becoming a true presence as a villain-character actor. We loathe him by the end of film not simply because of his calculating ruthlessness but because he is always great foil for our film's protagonists. The rest of the cast fills in nicely embodying their roles without standing out due to overacting or incompetence. Another aspect of the film is that it's Boston dialogue heavy. An accent or two is so thick that it's hard to understand.

At the end of the proceedings, Edge of Darkness is a very good and satisfying thriller. It's easy to buy into its twists and turns and even be riveted by a few. It's not as dead on intelligent or seem as stunningly real and huge as last year's State of Play but this is a Gibson star vehicle and I am more than happy for it. He has always been an actor who seemed to be playing a real character in every single thing he's done. He's got range to. Whether it's the comedy of the Lethal Weapon series, the intensity of Braveheart, or the reserved emotion of Signs we are drawn to his character. Baggage and all, Mel the actor is back right where he left off.
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Welcome Back!!
danieljameshenrywilkes31 January 2010
OK so after x amount of years in the "Lead Actor" wilderness Mel is back with some serious conviction.

I have heard mixed reviews and seen a couple on here and of course we would like to say we are not affected but it may make the difference between seeing it at a cinema or waiting for the DVD.

Well i for one am i glad i went to see it on the big screen,a big screen remake of a little known TV series from the 80's might surprise a few people but it shows that good writing and strong characters will always impress the powers that be.

Anyway i'm slightly drifting off subject, this film holds you from start to finish, it is filmed with a consistent tension that never lets up.

A shocking episode and then a world of pain for Mel Gibson lies in store, along the way we are introduced to the kind of shady power hungry people that we know must exist, but we hope as (pretty much) law abiding citizens we never have to lose sleep over.

Danny Houston is excellent and Ray Winstone are so convincing in their roles that you find yourself routing for a man who openly admits to killing for a living...

The music is subtle but really drives the film along leading to in my opinion a shocking climax,having been to the city of Boston a few times i can see how it makes for interesting and unexplored location, the same way it did in The Departed..

OK so lets wrap it up, if you are a Mel Gibson fan, a secret admirer of 1980s thrillers...or planning your next vacation in Massachusettes, go see it!!
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An Apt Title - Dark, Edgy
ccthemovieman-114 May 2010
Yes, that's a good title for this film about a good cop who throws out all the rules and lives on the "edge of darkness" after his daughter is poisoned and murdered. At that point, he "doesn't give a s--t," as he states in the film. He will do whatever it takes to find out what happened to his daughter, who killed her and who was behind it all. This reminded me of Mel Gibson's 1999 film "Payback" where he plays a rough character on a mission.

There is no wasted talk in here, especially by Gibson's character, "Det.Thomas Craven." Although a little shocked because I didn't think I'd see this veteran actor return to these kind of roles, I have to admit he's fascinating in them. The only difference - and you really see this on the fine Bu-Ray transfer - is all the wrinkles in Mel's face! He ain't a kid, anymore. Either is actor Ray Winstone, but he is equally fascinating as the mysterious "Jedburgh." This is a rough film, make no mistake. The language is very profane in the first half but surprisingly absent of that in the second half. The tenseness and the no-compromise violence, however, is there from start-to-finish. The movie doesn't overdo the amount of violence, however, keeping things cerebral enough so when something does happen, it's quick and shocking.

The villains are the stereotypical ones of Hollywood: the U.S. government, the Defense Department, a senator (a Republican, of course), and a few other of the usual suspects. However, despite that normal bias, I found the film very entertaining with plenty of twists and turns to keep your brain going, not just your base instincts. Regarding the latter, there are some gruesome scenes in here, so be warned about that. As I said, it's a rough, take-no-prisoners film.
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I for one welcome Mel Back
Matt_Layden8 March 2011
Mel Gibsons first stab at a lead role since...wait for it....2002's Signs. He went behind the camera for the graphic Passion of the Christ and the beautiful Apocalypto. With Edge of Darkness he's back with the gun in his hand and on a quest to find answers. His daughter was shot dead right in front of him on their porch. The gunman yelled her last name and fled. Craven, being a cop, thought it was for him, not his daughter. He quickly discovers that there was more to his little girl than he originally thought and is determined to find out who killed her and why.

Everyone loves a good mystery film right? A detective is solving clues to find the truth behind some kind of cover up? Edge of Darkness thinks it's one of those films. Gibson goes to people, looking for answers. He gets little in return. People are scared, there is something big going down and only MEL Gibson can stop it. For Craven, he has nothing left to loose. His only daughter died in his arms, he's not afraid to die. A bit of a revenge tale like Death Wish, but the Chinatown aspect of it sets it apart enough to make it enjoyable.

Gibson throws on a Boston accent, nothing too irritating. There are a few scenes that you'll have to suspend reality for, like when someone gets hit by a car at the right place at the right time. A little far fetched just for the sake of shock value. Edge of Darkness is good enough to keep your attention for the running time, but not great enough to have you keep talking about it days later. It's a well made time waster for those looking for something that will entertain.
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Old-fashioned crime/thriller in modern setting
SimonJack29 January 2010
This is a great mystery/action/crime film that opens with a murder, as the trailer advertised. But the mystery around the murder is the meat of Edge of Darkness. So, it fits the mold of old-fashioned crime thrillers but in a modern setting. The action and entertainment come from how Mel Gibson, the main character, solves the mystery. Some fine performances by supporting actors add to the quality of the film. This is a top notch thriller that also has some unusual twists at the end. Excellent entertainment overall.

One quirk about the film that others may also find amusing is in the portrayal of the U.S. Senator from Boston as a Republican. Until the recent election to fill the seat of deceased Edward Kennedy, there hadn't been a Republican in the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts in more than three decades. But then, movies are fiction, aren't they!
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Not on the edge of my seat but decent action flick
montera_iulian17 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie started in some beautiful old-school way. I mean the way it was filmed, the score behind it, the camera shots, the editing was done in a classic way. Even Mel Gibson looks like in his early movies, except for the fact that he's older and stuff but he reminded me of the beautiful times when action films were on another level.

At first I thought this was same movie as Taken, since it had the basics of that: daughter gets kidnapped (here she gets killed in the beginning of the movie), the search for some own vendetta, investigating and fixing the puzzle to track the bad guys and so on. It's a story that you saw often in an action movie. This was nothing new as far as the experience of watching a great storyline in development. It was none of that. It was simple, dull but catchy in a way. Mel Gibson's acting I think it was the best thing about this movie. Mel Gibson knows how to make action/drama movies without a doubt even after all these years and I applaud him for that. Though this movie is not as good as Taken it's a very good movie to watch either on your home-cinema system or even at the theater if you don't have anything else to do. The art direction and editing, sound and video, of the movie was good but not something great, the cinematography was on point and like I said, it reminded me of 80's-90's action/thriller/drama movies and the score of the movie was on point and I can't really see alternatives.

The ending of the movie I guess it was OK, since Jedburgh, the guy who in the beginning had the duty to kill Thomas Craven actually helped him because he was sick and he was supposed to die soon anyway so he went on some own redemption and actually the end of the movie belongs to him, when he's taking on the things that Craven didn't had the time to deal with.
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What an unbelievable surprise!
dick-froderman6 March 2011
This movie was a huge surprise. I don't ever remember seeing it come through the movie theaters. So glad I found it and watched it via our "On Demand" option at home.

I don't see enough Mel Gibson these days. I think he may have been blacklisted in Hollywood but he is still tops in my book.

I am not going to spoil the movie for anyone but will say I was REALLY captivated with this one. It grabbed my attention and kept throwing in some neat twists. This is a movie for those of us who enjoy using our mind and understanding the nuance the directors/writers invest for our enjoyment! If you haven't watched this one you need to. :)
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Over Simplified Film Version Of A Bleak Classic From The BBC
Theo Robertson12 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Brit TV shows turned in to Hollywood movies have a very mixed success . We've had PENNIES FROM HEAVEN , THE SINGING DETECTIVE and THE AVENGERS which were flops whilst TRAFFIC received much critical acclaim maybe because it did follow the channel 4 mini series plot structure so closely . I was more than willing to give EDGE OF THE DARKNESS the benefit of the doubt however . It is after all of the great dramas of the BBC where a ridiculous premise on paper featuring conspiracies , mysticism and the supernatural comes together to make great , dark , bleak and gloomy television . Perhaps the doubts were neutralized because after making that dark and gloomy chiller it kick started the career of director Martin Campbell who then went on to make Hollywood blockbusters including rebooting the tired James Bond franchise twice with GOLDENEYE and CASINO ROYALE . Surely Campbell being invited to direct the Hollywood version of EDGE boded well that the studio were going to treat this adaptation with some respect ?

Unfortunately the problem with this version is that no matter how much love Campbell may have had for the material the director's vision seems nullified by studio executives . The whole film feels that large parts of narrative have excised or added without little rhyme or reason . In the original Craven has visitations from his dead daughter which on face value is taken by the audience as a hallucination . Except it's not - she is visiting him from the afterlife ! Early in the film Craven does here his daughter's voice but there's no supernatural angle to this this is never really followed up until the final scene which vaguely hints at an afterlife . The afterlife as an after thought ? There's another scene where Craven is in his kitchen , gets kidnapped by the spooks from Northmoor , escapes from Northmoor and is back in his kitchen again with absolutely no explanation as to what the previous sequence was about . Either someone has edited out an important plot detail or someone has failed to edit out a needless and confusing action sequence . One or the other

The screenplay does suffer from being oversimplified . Unlike the BBC series by Troy Kennedy Martin this version is very much a straight forward conspiracy thriller devoid of an of the idiosyncratic , mind blowing and bizarre concepts that made the original so much more than just a mere thriller . Maybe we shouldn't be too critical of this since Gaia theory might be too " out there " for a mainstream international audience but what it means is if someone who saw the BBC version will be bitterly disappointed that this theme is not retained in the film version . To be honest screenwriter William Monahan is one of the weakest screenwriters in Hollywood today . KINGDOM OF HEAVEN had a disjointed script whilst THE DEPARTED is inferior to the tightly plotted INFERNAL AFFAIRS . It is noticeable that Monahan has included references to Gibson's other films such as WE WERE SOLDIERS and PASSION OF THE Christ but is post modernist self reference a good substitute for mind blowing original narrative ? It also leads to plot holes of why would a corporate nuclear company be selling nuclear weapons to hostile powers ? May be it was explained but much of the film it ended up in the cutting room floor ? Despite this there's several scenes where Craven confronts several characters :

" Tell me . Why was my daughter murdered ? "

" I can't . They'll kill me "

" Tell me "

" Okay I'll tell you "

which suggests sloppy writing rather than editing blunders

All in all this is a disappointment , though with hindsight perhaps because the original was so unique , a sort of depressing , nihilistic , hippy film noir that it would be wrong to expect this to be carried in to mainstream money orientated entertainment . That said if you like conspiracy thrillers and haven't seen the original then it's certainly okay popcorn fare . It also probably a film that is remembered for Mel Gibson's last feature in a starring role
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CromeRose1 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Wow. So this is what happens when Hollywood doesn't make the movie! You get some real quality and emotional/intellectual substance, subtext, and plot mixed in with your gritty, gruesome and shocking violence (who could say that the scene where that poor informant gal gets hit by the car is not shockingly gruesome and realistic!?). So Mel allegedly made a few off-color comments some years ago while drunk; so what? Who hasn't? (some people have even done it without having being drunk as an excuse). Not only does Hollywood need to get over the things Mel allegedly said all those years ago (and it looks like some of its denizens are doing so if Mel's projects in development are anything to go by), but Hollywood's studio chiefs also need to watch this movie and TAKE NOTES PLEASE ON HOW IT'S DONE. Anyway, with the exception of Warner Bros. being the U.S. distributor, I'm glad Hollywood was hands-off as far as this movie was concerned, otherwise it most likely would have turned out to be complete tripe. As it was, this movie was an extremely well made, well acted, taut and intriguing action/thriller/mystery. Well done Martin, Mel, Ray, Danny, Bojana and all involved with what has to be one of the most satisfying movies I have seen in a LONG time. And may I just say that the flashback/hallucination scenes with Mel and his daughter were heartbreaking and beautiful. Bravo! A full-on 10 out of 10 from me!!

Watch Bedbug on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QI_1YSXt8Y
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Gibson's intense performance is reason above anything else to see this flawed thriller
DonFishies21 June 2010
Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a good cop whose only daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) returns for a visit. While she initially appears to be fine, she turns out to be incredibly sick. On the way to see a doctor, Emma is gunned down in Craven's front doorway. His fellow detectives think the hit was meant for him, but Craven digs deeper and believes the nuclear manufacturing company she worked for may have something to do with it.

When Edge of Darkness was released this past January, it was marketed as a return for Gibson to the action thriller genre he has always excelled at. Except the film was actually more of a slow burn thriller, much like last year's fascinating and incredibly well done State of Play, and both based off a BBC mini-series. Albeit, this film is punctuated with scenes filled with incredibly graphic violence. But that initial flub is not the only thing working against the film.

The film masquerades as being break-neck paced, and uses this as an excuse to never really develop anyone. Emma is killed off less than ten minutes after the film begins, and the film never really lets up afterwards with Craven's search for the truth about his daughter's murder. We get very little on who Craven is, outside of a few dialogue inferences and his "nothing to lose" attitude. In a way, he is very similar to Liam Neeson's absent minded character in last year's Taken, except Craven actually takes the time to talk to people and not just kill them off. We get even less on Emma, outside of seeing her as a child in home video footage that appears to be haunting Craven.

If that were not enough, the film throws multiple characters at the audience almost at random, and very few of them stick. I found it incredibly hard to keep track of at least a handful of them, because they were so similar. Outside of Ray Winstone's Jedburgh and Danny Huston's Bennett, most of the characters are of no particular significance other than to move Craven's investigation along. I imagine this issue is largely the fault of the original six-part mini-series, which had the time to bring in a plethora of characters and develop them as opposed to a two-hour film. But State of Play managed to both keep its focus for the majority of time and develop its main stable of characters fairly well. How could this film not follow suit?

The film also suffers from a fairly ridiculous third act. Getting into specifics would ruin the film, but what can be said is that it ruins everything that came before it. It betrays everything the film has going for it, and boils itself down into a rather goofy actioner. The film is never really a revenge thriller, but more of a thriller about a man trying to find out why his daughter was killed. I really enjoyed the film and its last half when I first saw it theatrically a few months ago. But watching it again at home, it almost comes off as having gone totally off the rails much too quickly. The film's penchant for hyper violence gets far too ahead of itself, and it feels almost like the filmmakers wanted to please the audience with something totally different than what the film sets up for (plus, it feels a bit too close in similarity to the ending of another of William Monahan's previous scripts).

Despite all this, the film is still great when it is playing itself as the slow burn thriller it actually is. It is taut, suspenseful, and a touch unpredictable. For its problems, I really enjoyed the conspiracy filled storyline, and really liked some of the twists it took. It did remind me a lot of State of Play, but never feels like it is trying to steal its thunder or underrated greatness. It does have moments where you are on the edge of your seat, and does have moments where it makes a genuine attempt at making you think.

But this whole film would mean nothing if it were not for Gibson. This film was his first in a significant starring role since M. Night Shyamalan's last good film, Signs. Despite having been off the scene for eight years, this does not seem to have made Gibson lose any of his intensity or gravitas. He owns the screen in every scene he is in, and brings a certain immediacy to the role. It was interesting seeing him in such a wounded and devastating role, but he plays it with such strength and ferocity that you almost forget this was a guy who once cracked jokes as a suicidal cop and helped take down the British as a legendary Scottish commoner. He is a man who knows his craft, and knows just the right amount of seriousness to bring to the role.

Although not nearly as well showcased, both Winstone and Huston pull off great performances in their underwritten roles. Both were clearly much better developed in the series (and remain rather enigmatic throughout the film), but are still equally good here despite being overshadowed by Gibson. I would have enjoyed a whole lot more emphasis on both of them than the multiple other characters thrust at the audience over the course of the film.

Edge of Darkness is not a bad film, but it is not a good enough film to hold up on multiple viewings. I really enjoyed it the first time I saw it, but I found it less entertaining and much more problematic the second time round. But watch it for the driving force of Gibson above anything else. Time away definitely helped him become a stronger performer, and I can only hope his intensity will continue to shine.


(Portions of this review originally appeared on http://www.dvdfanatic.com).
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A Remarkable Thriller! Welcome Back, Mel!
impulsible17 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
For me, there were two key ingredients to the BBC series on which this film is based. One, the grief of a father whose daughter is killed before him. Two, the horror of dealing with larger-than-life, unstoppable, government-sanctioned criminals.

This adaptation is remarkably faithful to both of these elements, while somehow managing to compress six hours of award-winning television into a taut film storyline.

One man's complexity is another man's simplicity-- so don't be put off by those who endeavor to play backseat screenwriter.

This film is a step forward for thrillers. You feel the protagonist's pain throughout-- it's not all about the action, which is sadly the case in many thrillers nowadays.

Mel's performance is 100% credible-- in fact, outstanding! See it! You will be impressed.
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I'm the guy that's got nothing to lose and doesn't give a sh*t!
sol-kay5 March 2010
***SPOILERS** After an eight year self imposed exile from the movies, in him not staring in them, Mel Gibson is back older grayer and a bit weather beaten, from his wild exploits off the screen, as Boston police detective Tom Craven: A man who's craven actions end up toppling not just a major US Government defense contractor but an extremely arrogant and corrupt United State Seantor as well.

It's when Craven's 24 year-old daughter Emma, Bojana Novakovic, fell ill from drinking a glass of spiked, with a fast acting poison, milk and, in the process of Craven taking her to the hospital emergency ward, is then blown away at the front door by an masked assassin that Craven's mind suddenly snapped! At first thinking he, not Emma, was the target of the assassins bullets Craven uncovered that it in fact was Emma that the killer was after. Working for the highly secretive Northmoor Defence Plant outside-in Northampton Mass.-of Boston Emma together with a number of co-workers uncovered a secret operation at the plant that was producing nuclear material and selling it to the highest bidder that may well have included terrorists groups like Osama Bin-Laden's Al-Qeada!

It's when Craven gets in touch with one of Emma's friends who also worked at the plant Melissa, Caterina Scorsome, that the truth finally came out, in a DVD she gave him, to not only his daughters death, or murder, but the reason behind it! Emma was about to blow the whistle on the whole illegal operation and had to be eliminated before she exposed it to the public! Melissa herself was also offed minutes later after telling Craven all this in a out of the blue hit-and-run by one of the plants hired assassins!

In a series of extremely brutal and gut crunching actions Craven slowly uncovers a web of intrigue secrecy and illegal arms dealing that's going on at the Northmoor Defense Plant that lead straight to its CEO Jack Bennett, Danny Huston. Cravan on what is best describe as a suicide mission doesn't seem to care at all what happens to him only wanting to get to those who murdered his daughter and exact his kind, brutal and sadistic, of justice on them!

***SPOILERS*** Getting help from an unexpected source the company clean-up man Jedburgh, Ray Winston, Craven uncovers the fact that both Bennett and Massachusetts United States Senator Jim Pine played by Damian Young, looking like the real Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts but with a much shorter haircut, are involved in this corrupt arms dealing. If that's to continue it can can lead to a nuclear attack on America that would make 9/11 look like not just child's but kindergarten play!

In the end Bennett as well as the hood he had under contract a Mr. Moor, Denis O'Hare, who murdered his daughter Emma get exactly what's coming to them from a vengefully and out of control, in the gruesome and cold-blooded way he did them in, Tom Craven. As for the "Good" Senator Pine he gets his the old fashioned way in the way that things are done in his type of corrupt and sleazy politics the world over. By the person he trusted and was most close to him who ended up cleaning his clock where it won't be working for him any more!
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A true, intelligent thriller, for intelligent people.
williamzim200029 January 2010
I was impressed by this work. The director, who made GoldenEye, is head and shoulders above his peers. This movie is rich in subtext, giving it that sense of substance that great movies have. This could have been written by David Mamet, the tone is so strong. There was a scene with Danny Huston, who plays a sinister CEO, that just blew me away, reminiscent of the CEO in Klute. This film as all the presence of an Alan J. Pakula film.

The plot is simple, but the story is interesting. Mel's daughter, home on a visit, is shot and killed. The rest of the plot is Mel, who is a cop, tracking down the killers, and finding out why this happened. It is the intrigue he uncovers that is powerful. The writing is excellent; scenes are suspenseful with an underlying coldness that does not pander to stupid people. The filmmakers clearly have a lot of respect for the audience.

This is not, thank goodness, your dumbbell action flick ala Lethal Weapon 3 or 4. I've seen a few posts up here complaining that this isn't an action film! It is a complement that this is not such a movie. This is an intelligent work for bright, perceptive people who appreciate the subtleties a director like Martin Campbell can bring to a movie. If you're brighter than average, you'll love this film.
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Good, solid, entertaining and poignant film.
alshwenbear122 September 2013
Great to see Mel Gibson, one of the best in Hollywood! As a father of a talented and smart girl, my heart cringed, with some of the scenes in this movie; this is one of the occasions that I got to praise a film that I did not expect so much! Edge of darkness gave me what "Taken" couldn't; anyway I am not a big fan of Liam Neeson. E of D is everything I cannot find in twenty different action thrillers, the acting is not superfluous, just right and in the right time, and Martin Cambell delivers, on this serious movie, in a way that I would love to see the original series, also directed by Cambell. No much to say, that other reviewers haven't said already, It took me almost three years to finally watch it, so if you have't seen it already, I really recommend it! What are you waiting for? This one is a must see!
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A really enjoyable, old fashioned thriller with a stunning performance by Gibson
jennifer-menzies8 September 2013
This thriller is based on a British 1980's TV series of the same name. While the TV series dragged and feels very dated to the modern viewer, this film certainly did not. Unlike a lot of thrillers these days, it did not leave you scratching your head trying desperately to hear every word of mumbled dialogue in case you missed an important plot point. It was very well executed and easy to follow - though not by any means overly simplistic. This was a huge plus in my opinion. The story itself was intriguing and interesting and Mel Gibson gives a wonderful performance. He has always been a great actor and deserves to be welcomed back by Hollywood with open arms! His depiction of a man intent on avenging his daughter's death is full of raw emotion - both deep sorrow and anger are expressed in equal measure and are totally convincing. The plot is well paced and exciting and the ending is unexpected. I will not say anymore in case I give too much away. Ray Winston is menacing and mysterious, although somewhat underused. It would have been good to see more of him. There are some real 'heart in your mouth' moments that will have you jumping out of your seat. The film is not overly violent and tends to cut away from the (implied) heavy violence just before it escalates - for example when Mel's character gets hold of a particular 'baddie' in the woods. It has the feel of one of the older Hitchcock thrillers in terms of story and pacing. I would recommend this to anyone who likes thrillers, and who enjoy truly wonderful acting.
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one of mel's best...
alzathoth19 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
*** a few spoilers ***

this was one of mel's best acting performances. was gritty, violent, a bit bloody(nothing overdone), and beautifully corrupt. :) a few things were predictable(like his cop friend who was bribed) but for the most part, was an entertaining drama. his daughter being shot at his front door was surprising, if not shocking. there was no tense music, or anything that 'led into' her assassination. i absolutely hate it in films when 'the good guys' finish a film without being scratched. this film was not one of them. emotional ending. i enjoyed it from beginning to end.
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Edge of Darkness
For a long time in Hollywood there was an unspoken convention that when faced with an opportunity to kill the bad guy, good guys always showed admirable moral restraint, arrested the evildoer, and let the proper authorities dispatch justice. No more. Movies like Taken and Edge of Darkness have capsized the convention, permitting their protagonists to administer their own lawless and deeply satisfying vengeance.

In Edge of Darkness, Gibson avenges his daughter's death at the hands of the nefarious corporate underworld. Almost all of the characters are richly drawn, bizarre and engaging, and the bloodletting never leaves the screen for long. Ray Winstone is especially good and comical as the corporate world's human silencer. And Danny Huston is terrifically slimy as the egomaniacal CEO who must inevitably cross paths with Gibson's rough and proletariat detective. Damian Young also gives a nice turn as the slick and morally vacuous senator who Gibson's noble warrior shames along the way...
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Welcome Back Mel!
g-bodyl31 May 2010
This is Mel Gibson's first movie since 2002 Signs. He returns to form in this movie and that's why I rated this barely adequate movie so high. I only saw this because I loved every single Gibson movie with the exception of Signs. I saw this to see Gibson return to glory.

After watching his 24-year-old daughter die from the hands of a company she worked at, Thomas Craven decides to go for revenge. The plot happened before therefore the movie is predictable. I could have told you the plot without watching the movie.

But the high point of the film is the acting. It doesn't seem if Mel Gibson lost a touch from his brilliant acting from the 90's. I liked Ray Winstone somewhat. He just has an annoying voice.

Overall, this is a decent cop thriller. I seen these kind of movies before so I wasn't thoroughly impressed. But, I'm glad that Gibson shines. I rate this film 7/10.
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Mel is Back with a Vengeance!
rockinkettles-131 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Mel Gibson is back in action. The Edge is one of the best movies he has done in a long time since his 7 year absence from the screen. Mel plays detective Thomas Craven. His daughter Emma is killed soon after coming home to see him. At first it is thought that he was the intended target. But after some deep investigation, Thomas finds out that Emma was killed for leaking out classified information about a company she worked for. When Emma is killed, you truly feel her father's pain and love for his daughter. Mel is an exceptional actor. He definitely chose a good comeback film to express his talent. There is much drama so The Edge is a little slow at first but gets better and keeps your interest as it goes along. There are some scenes that will make you jolt from your seat. One in particular is when Mel is in his car and is trying to find answers about Emma and who killed her. That scene is one of the most knock you out of your seat moments I have ever seen! I leaped out of my seat! Welcome back Mel. Don't miss it!
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Passable Hollywood adaptation of BBC story
davideo-216 February 2010
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Homicide Detective Matt Craven (Mel Gibson) is happy to meet up with his daughter again, but is surprised to find her coughing up blood upon finishing her meal at his house. He gets an even bigger shock when she is murdered right in front of his eyes, shattering his world- he takes it upon himself to investigate her death only to be approached by a mysterious man named Darius (Ray Winstone) who shines some light on her former employers which casts circumstances in a whole new light.

It is really quite surprising just how long Mel Gibson has been out of the limelight- most notable for his role in The Singing Detective, but the most recent film of his I saw was Signs in 2002. He's had his troubles, of course, what with his drink drive arrest and anti semitic ramblings, which couldn't have done his career or public image much good, but no, it would appear he really did slip right off the radar for the best part of the noughties. But this glossy Hollywood cover of the original BBC thriller from director Martin Campbell is as good a springboard as any to get him back on track again.

Campbell is a name more easily identified with high octane action movies than political thrillers, so he's a slightly odd choice to take over things here. But he handles things with enough gusto and aplomb to keep things going. Gibson does a decent job in the lead role, a little too manic and overwrought at times, but he could have been much worse. Meanwhile, Winstone is steardy support, doing a pretty flawless American accent and an intriguing character to watch. As another big screen adaptation of a story that was originally a BBC series, it's easy to make comparisons with the recent Russell Crowe vehicle State of Play, but while there is a fairly gripping and complex story here, it doesn't quite manage the tension and excitement of that film.

Edge of Darkness is ultimately an unremarkable but more than passable thriller that Gibson could have done much worse to make his comeback with. ***
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