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The Next Three Days
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The Next Three Days More at IMDbPro »

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269 out of 317 people found the following review useful:

Really Really Good

9/10
Author: Carl from United Kingdom
2 December 2010

All I can say is... Big Wow. Boy did I enjoy this film. The story-line is a cross between The Fugitive and a human heist plot movie. There were moments where I genuinely really didn't know which way the story would end. Has to be one of the best, if not the best film I've seen this year.

I just had to watch right through to the end. The only down side, were the roles of the 2 main cops. I'm not sure if 2 real cops would be as persistent. But I guess if they weren't, then the film would be a fair bit shorter.

I can't think of any other bad things about it, as it does what it is supposed to do, make you care about the characters and keep you gripped till the end. All in all very entertaining.

Definitely worth watching.

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168 out of 196 people found the following review useful:

Tense and Entertaining, The Way They Used to Be...

9/10
Author: aharmas from United States
5 December 2010

Russell Crowe is a pretty reliable star, one who commands the screen with intelligence and enough bravado to get away with a film like this. Somehow, audiences and critics are getting more demanding and expect brainier and tighter story lines, but it's still plenty of fun to see a light, crazy ride like this... One where the hero is besieged by unfortunate circumstances and must one way or another succeed or die. With the help of Haggis' strong direction and a very good performance by Crow, we're treated to two hours of action, where one doesn't have to do a lot of thinking, just watching Crowe dodge bullet after bullet and cheer him along to the nail-biting end.

The main reason the film works is Crowe gives it his best, scene after scene his eyes tells us his character is committed to his family, and he will stand by them no matter what. There is very little background given to us, except for an opening scene which serves the purpose of planting the seed of doubt in our minds, but this only helps fuel the sense of despair and sadness that threatens to destroy this family.

Little by little, we follow Crowe's teacher, as he races against the clock to help his wife, and soon enough, he is dealing with the scum of society and an increasingly suspicious police force. Relationships with his family are tense at best, and any new relationships are threatened his wife's past. It's the attention to this intimate and personal moments that makes us care for him, even when he makes a couple of disturbing moves.

One thing you won't be is bored, as the circle tightens, so that his quest might not get his desired results. Fine work is done by a cast that includes Brian Dennehy, Liam Nelson, and Jsson Beghe. This is what movies are made for.

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134 out of 155 people found the following review useful:

Intriguing thriller

10/10
Author: Red Rat from Trinidad and Tobago
11 January 2011

The Next Three Days

The best films are those where you are introduced to characters who do the unpredictable believably, or people you think will be key players die in the opening scene, someone you least expect turns out to be the murderer, these are the films that keep you guessing and keep you involved. In Paul Haggis' intense thriller he chooses a wise and well crafted angle to lure you in and hold your attention. The development of John Brennan and his gradual transformation over time before your very eyes.

Meet John Brennan, he's a normal average working man, slightly nerdy even, living a fairly dull routine life. When his wife is imprisoned for murder John, as you would expect of a normal average slightly nerdy working man follows the rules of appeal in an attempt to win her freedom. Three years pass and the realisation that his wife will remain behind bars for life hits home. When normal people find themselves in hopeless situations desperation can drive them to do very abnormal things.

What Haggis works brilliantly into both his screenplay and direction is the gradual metamorphosis of Brennan's persona as he becomes fixated on breaking his wife out of prison. Brennan doesn't suddenly become the all American action hero capable of great feats of courage. We have a knowledge of his character from the beginning of the film and Haggis does not treat the audience as idiots, we know that Brennan cannot walk into a phonebox and there's a sudden change into superman. This would not work for John Brennan, the nerdy schoolteacher, what we see however is how little by little, piece by piece he falls more and more out of control, deeper and deeper out of his depth. We know this is not the normal behaviour of Brennan, but the screenplay is so well crafted and Crowe delivers the character to us perfectly that both the scenarios and Brennan remain at all times, believable. He makes tremendous mistakes and shows real human failings and frailties that as we ride along with him we're never far from the belief that it will all go very wrong, very soon. Haggis treats us to a wonderfully woven story that rolls along with ease, then suddenly the momentum builds into a Tsunami of real tension. Brennan is completely exposed and you fear for his outcome.

If a director can pull you into the story, make you care about a character, and if during the course of that film allow you to watch that character change in a very real and gradual way then he has delivered a truly great film.

Haggis' screenplay does not allow the audience to get ahead of the story. Developments are unexpected and plausible scenarios affect action and reaction. Some events have no bearing on the outcome but you cannot know which are red herrings and which are genuine avenues rather you find yourself wondering where this will all lead to, making The Next Three Days a complex and intriguing thriller very much in the cerebral and classical sense such as North by Northwest or Vertigo.

A tremendous, faultless film.

10/10

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137 out of 165 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good movie.

8/10
Author: PWNYCNY from United States
9 December 2010

This is a surprisingly good movie, not the usual Hollywood formula potboiler. The movie has an interesting story, strong acting and excellent cinematography. Perhaps the plot is somewhat far-fetched but so what? It's a movie. The best part of this movie are not the stars but the supporting cast. Most impressive was the performance by Lennie James who definitely deserves formal recognition for his work in this movie. So strong is his performance that I this movie could easily be retitled "The Pursuit" without misleading the audience. Both Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks give strong performances and Brian Dennehy once again proves how great he is as an actor. At times the story does stretch the boundaries of plausibility but never to the point that the story is rendered ridiculous. In this movie there are no bad guys. Rather it dramatizes a justice system that at times may not get it right and how frustration and indignation can lead one to commit acts of desperation.

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86 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

Heart-stoppingly good!

9/10
Author: MovieSonic from United Kingdom
27 February 2011

Had read some positive / negative reviews so wasn't sure what to expect.

I cannot believe how emotional this film was! The beginning is good - we find out who everyone is and how everyone got to where they are, nothing especially exciting but well-written and acted. Then the film kicks into gear with the escape.

Honestly, I was actually shaking at one point with nerves because I wasn't sure if they would make it or not.

People criticising films for not being believable should go and watch documentaries.

This film was exciting, had excellent music, was well acted and the positives FAR outweighed any negatives.

Definitely glad I watched this.

9/10

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92 out of 122 people found the following review useful:

Efficient Thriller

8/10
Author: Danusha_Goska Save Send Delete
21 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Next Three Days" is a tight, hard-hitting thriller that had me on the edge of my seat throughout the film. I really didn't know, right up to the final moments, how it would end – and because the film had expertly guided me to care about all the characters, even some random losers in a meth lab, I did care about how it would end. The actors are all good with Russell Crowe especially so, and the realistically gritty sets perfectly match the film's desperate tone. Elizabeth Banks' too-good-to-be-true wholesome, sunny good looks are well used. "The Next Three Days" reminded me of Hitchcock, and of 1993's "The Fugitive," but it doesn't rise to that level of classic. Rather, it's a well-oiled machine, designed efficiently to crank out the audience's engagement, tension and release.

There are a couple of especially good moments. The opening scene could have been satisfactory if all it did was to set the stage for what is to follow, but it does so much more. I'd love to watch that scene again (and again). A women with a plunging neckline spars with Lara, a more modestly dressed woman, about whether or not women can ever get over their competition over men and bond with each other. The scene demonstrates its contents: Ms. Décolletage uses double entendres to make a pass at Lara's husband, and Lara shows the audience she is quite capable of losing her temper, an important plot point. The brilliant writing in this scene is a bonus. There is a scene involving a sewer drain that economically resolves a question the audience has had for some time. A scene with a car door is similarly powerful and informative. Brian Dennehy's performance as an intimacy-impaired, working class dad is almost wordless and quite brilliant. And the film really does bring poignancy to the scum of the earth, drug dealers.

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73 out of 90 people found the following review useful:

An exhilarating edge of the seat thriller.

8/10
Author: theycallmemrglass from United Kingdom
4 December 2010

Just saw this at a London preview screening.

I have not seen the original that this is apparently a remake of so I cannot compare. What I can say is that this movie was deftly directed with a perfect pacing that smoothly shifts through each gear from 1 to full throttle. It starts off with the necessary slow exposition, transitioning to a heartfelt family crisis drama and crime thriller with the tension slowly cranking up to a breakneck speed when I was literally holding my breath in the compelling edge of the seat finale.

What I admire most about this film is the smooth kinetic flow from scene to scene. There didn't seem to be any implausible leap in logic apart from maybe towards the end but everything just connects together so well. All of the actors were superb in their roles. As for Russel Crowe, well I can't think of many actors who expresses wordless undying love better than he can. He is simply a master of it and you just cant help root for him even if he makes or contemplates morally wrong decisions. His character is beautifully played with all the invulnerability, weaknesses and stubborn obsession he possesses.

The supporting actors were all excellent in the little screen time that they each get. And there is even a brilliant cameo by a well known Irish actor (shant spoil who it is for you) that sparked up the screen briefly in an instrumental role to the plot. The great Brian Denhhey also has a few minutes on screen time as Crowes father, hardly uttering a word but you just know exactly what is going on in his mind and it is absolutely touching.

So in summary, this is a top thriller with an exhilarating edge of the seat 3rd act, enriched by beautifully touching moments and thick underlying subtext of undying love.

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74 out of 93 people found the following review useful:

Superb!

10/10
Author: matclip-940-229045
1 March 2011

Set aside the fact that people are forgetting how to enjoy a flick. Pick away all you want at little parts of even the greatest film ever and you'll surely find something to criticize. A movie is, well, a movie. So now that all that is out of the way, where do I even start? This film brought me to tears, it had my attention the whole way through. I don't understand those that say parts are slow, what were they watching? It wasn't this one, that's for sure. Everybody that worked to put this one together did a fantastic job, and it most definitely shows. I do believe the movie touched me so intensely in part because I have a wife and a son, and was able to feel a relation to the characters. Regardless, the movie was just fantastic, and you will not regret the experience. Unless of course you are one of the rising population of "movie critics" that score films based on guidelines, or however they get their ridiculous views. Enjoy this one!

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62 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Excellent!

10/10
Author: joshyeadon89 from United Kingdom
25 March 2011

This has to be one of the best films I have watched of late. Everything you would wish it to be. Very tense at times and keeps you on edge. Great acting from Russell Crowe and the story is very smart and gripping. Not as predictable as some films seem to be when using a similar storyline to this. Very entertaining all the way through from start to finish with no gaps which is always good for a film that exceeds 2 hours in duration. A very different performance from Crowe which we don't offer see, but be played it very well, and very powerful. Definitely a must watch. Don't wait around for this one, I would strive to watch it straight away for those that haven't done so yet.

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62 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

Great thriller in line with The Town

8/10
Author: Greg ([email protected]) from Oakville, Ontario
7 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In Paul Haggis' new thriller, The Next Three Days, Laura Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) is accused of killing her boss and is sent to prison. Her husband, John Brennan (Russell Crowe) battles through the legal system for nearly three years before seemingly running out of options. Choosing not to go the Hilary Swank route a la Conviction and spend the next 30 years trying to learn and eventually beat the system, John elects instead to speak to an expert on prison escapes (a wonderfully placed cameo by Liam Neeson) to get pointers on what to expect in a daring prison break attempt. The Neeson character gives important advice in reference to the time it takes for authorities to seal off a city's exits, but also gives insight into what his plan should include – "You have to have the entire plan already in place. And you have to ask yourself, can you kill a guard, leave your kid at a gas station…cause to do this thing, that's what you have to become." Audiences are then treated to a taut and thrilling attempt by John to free his wife out of prison and reunite the family which includes their young son Luke (Ty Simpkins).

The Next Three Days is a better than average thrill ride filled with equal moments of edge-of-your-seat action and true emotion that spurs the entire cast. Crowe quickly makes us forget that Robin Hood stole our box office money earlier this year and turns in a top-rate performance as the husband who must become a criminal himself in an attempt to pull off the impossible. The supporting cast which includes a non-glamorous Banks and small but memorable turns by Daniel Stern and Brian Dennehy help bridge the quieter moments of the 2+ hour film.

As John maps out his intricate plan, he is met with obstacles that force him to revise his original course of action to supplement for the unforeseen complications. His attempts at securing financing and proper papers (Drivers License, Passport) take the majority of the film's running time and helps provide insight into the transformation of John's character that goes from college professor to cold blooded killer.

When John does launch his intentions, The Next Three Days soars as an exciting chase throughout the Pittsburgh streets and sidewalks as a group lead by Lt. Nabulsi (Lennie James) gives relentless chase to the fleeing Brennans.

Paul Haggis (who also penned the screenplay) directs for the first time since the underrated In The Valley of Elah in 2007 and crafts an exhilarating cat and mouse game that involves audiences in a root-for-the-family emotional ride all the while suggesting that protagonist John is equally guilty in his relentless pursuit. Surprisingly not complicating our support is the idea that Laura may indeed be guilty of the crime to which she was convicted.

The ever twisting screenplay shows Haggis' knack for writing scripts that don't allow audiences to get too far ahead of the story developments as unexpected and plausible scenarios affect even the best laid out of plans. This may leave lesser minded cinephiles wondering why certain scenes were not left on the cutting room floor (a DVD chapters worth of making a specific key, for example), but for those engrossed in the ongoing struggle of John's pursuit should appreciate the occasional red herring.

The sum of the above leaves The Next Three Days as on par or better than Ben Affleck's well-received The Town earlier this fall. It's a throwback to the superior thrillers of the late 1970's where the story journey's down unexpected highways while enthralling an audience along the way.

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