Movie Review: The Next Three Days

[ NEXT THREE DAYS POSTER ]My city of Pittsburgh serves as the background of a Russell Crowe prison break film.

A happy school teacher with a great marriage and a young son, John Brennan’s life is thrown into chaos when his wife, Laura, (Elizabeth Banks) is convicted of murdering her boss. Flash forward a couple of years and Brennan (Crowe) has used all the legal means to try to get her out. Refusing to give up, Brennan decides to take a look at the other side of the coin, and by that I mean getting her out by any means necessary, no matter how low he has to go to get it done.

A film that’s keystone is its main character, Crowe does not seem at all bothered by the pressure on his shoulders or his character’s. He keeps his cool as does Brennan despite the me-against-the-world mentality he is forced to take on as well as the fear that surely embraces him throughout the whole suspenseful epic. He’s risking everything for the woman he loves and while noble, he does risk losing his son. Some will say his reasoning is self-centered, careless, and insensitive although the hopeless romantic in me will tend to take the opposite approach. Growing up with a parent in prison I’m sure is brutalizing and extremely difficult and I’m sure doesn’t help with child development. His son, Luke, needs his mom, and John just wants his family back. If it means having to forgo the life he’s living and all who are in it in order to reunite his family, so be it.

The film is suspenseful and can be slow-moving at times although I never got bored because the movie keeps me thinking as well. Would you do this or would you do that, if this situation happened to you? Would you be willing to sacrifice it all for the woman/man you love or would the risks be too great to take on? It’s a film with originality and mind-altering questions that cause you to learn more about the people around you as well as yourself and when a movie can do that, I feel it’s worth admiring.

At the same time, these questions can only linger in one’s mind for so long before you want to see more of the movie and sometimes the movie isn’t ready to move on when you want it to which can be moderately aggravating at times. Aside from Crowe, the supporting cast has its ups and downs but none fit perfectly in their respective niches.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (ScroogeThe Secret Life of Walter MittyThe Green MileThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugPoseidonIron ManLone SurvivorThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The Usual Suspects21 Jump StreetEscape PlanCaptain America: The First AvengerDawn of the Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss GoodnightDisaster Movie)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Along Came PollyAliensAlien ResurrectionFull Metal JacketThor)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlienSerendipity)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and PrejudiceRedemption)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All FearsThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3)

My score for The Next Three Days: 86.

The originality of the film combined with the unique questions it puts in front of its audience and the acting abilities of Russell Crowe keep this movie interesting, intriguing, and most importantly, entertaining. At times you want more but more often than not, you’re happy with what you’re given.

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