The Next Three Days (2010) Poster

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  • When his wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks) is convicted of murdering her boss and sentenced to life in prison, community college teacher John Brennan (Russell Crowe) exhausts all possible avenues of appeal. The only solution left is to break her out of prison. He consults Damon Pennington (Liam Neeson), a former prison escapee turned author, who warns him that he'll need fake IDs and passports, an escape plan, a destination that doesn't extradite, and lots of money. But that's just the easy part. The hard part is not getting caught.

  • The Next Three Days is a remake of the 2008 French film Pour elle (2008), which was written by Guillaime Lemans and Fred Cavayé (who also directed the movie). The screenplay for the remake was adapted by Canadian film-maker Paul Haggis, who also produced and directed The Next Three Days.

  • In the film, John develops his criminal skills by searching the internet for information. One thing he finds is a YouTube video that shows how to make a bump key for breaking into key-locked areas. Yes, there really is such a thing as a bump key.

  • The most likely explanation is that Lara knew all of her appeals had been denied, and she was resigned to the fact that she was going to spend the rest of her life in prison. She wanted John to move on with his life, and by admitting to the murder, she hoped he would stop defending her innocence. One other theory may be that Lara was just actually "testing" her husband. She wanted to be sure that John believed her innocence at the point of not taking seriously even her "confession". This could explain her reaction to his words later at the phone visit.

  • It might, but Lara never got the insulin. Dr Lifson (Trudie Styler) takes a look at her blood work and notices the elevated glucose, so she orders Lara to be transported to University Hospital and says that she'll meet them there. During transport, Lara is given only oxygen, and John is following right behind her ambulance. When Lifson arrives at the hospital, the desk nurse says they started an IV with 20 units of insulin. However, when John breaks into her treatment room, the nurses are just starting to set up the IV, so Lara never received it.

  • He's keeping a countdown. Pennington told him that the city center will be locked down in 15 minutes after reporting Lara's escape, and the interstates, secondary roads, airports, and train and bus stations will be locked down in 35 minutes. Consequently, John is keeping a tight watch on his time to make sure he gets out of Pittsburgh in time.

  • There is no limit to the amount of money (cash, traveler's checks, money orders, etc.) you can carry on a U.S. airline. However, if you transport more than $10,000 in monetary instruments into or out of the United States, you must file a Customs Form 4790 with U.S. Customs. Since paper money is not very dense and won't show up on x-ray, there are several possibilities: (1) they split the money between them and hid it in their carry-on bags, (2) they simply didn't declare it, (3) John previously converted the cash into something like traveler's checks or $1,000 bills (to reduce the volume), or (4) John mailed a check or money order to himself at the address where he would be staying in Caracas. Given the meticulousness with which he planned the escape, it's unlikely that he would attempt to carry an entire gym bag filled with money on a flight to Venezuela.

  • When Lara demands that they take their little son Luke (Ty Simpkins) with them, John agrees to pick him up at the zoo. However, this puts him behind his time line, and they're not going to make it out of Pittsburgh. When he hears on the radio that traffic is backed up at the toll booths, that they have closed the train stations, and knowing that the police will be looking for a couple with a child, John gets the idea of going to the train station and offering a ride to an elderly couple who are stranded. They head for Buffalo, New York, easily passing through the toll check. From there, they go to the airport, slipping through the gate just before their photos appear on the list of people to stop. Meanwhile, the police have confiscated John's trash and are looking for clues as to where he might be headed. They find a ripped up photo of a presidential palace in Haiti and order the flight to Haiti stopped. The plane is searched, but they're not on it. That's because John left that photo to misguide the police. However, John's dad (Brian Dennehy) knows exactly where they're going, having seen the airline tickets to Caracas, Venezuela. He opens an atlas, locates Caracas, and smiles. Detective Quinn (Jason Beghe) returns to the parking garage to look for further clues. In a flashback, it's shown how Lara's boss was hit with a fire extinguisher by a junkie (Alissa Haggis), who then ran into Lara, snapping off a button and leaving a blood spot on Lara's back as she tried to get away. Lara then picks up the fire extinguisher (which has rolled next to her car), sets it up against the wall, and drives away, unaware that her boss is lying on the ground. Unfortunately, Lara is seen by a coworker. Quinn notices that it's starting to rain and follows the stream of water to the gutter. He lifts the grating and searches for a button but finds nothing. As he sets the grating back in place, a button falls out of a niche, but he doesn't notice it. Back in Caracas, John and Lara are staying in a small hotel room. Lara climbs into bed with Luke and, for the first time, Luke kisses her. In the final scene, John takes a picture of Luke and Lara together.

  • No. The flashback at the end of the movie reinforces Lara's story, where it shows her bumping into the actual murderer before entering the parking garage. You can see the button that was torn off when she bumped into her in the sewer, confirming these events.


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