Movie Review: The Next Three Days (2010)

What would you be willing to do if a loved one was falsely imprisoned? How far would you go to get him/her out? Ponder this as you read this review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Next Three Days”.

After his wife (Elizabeth Banks) gets arrested for a murder she didn’t commit, John Brennan (Russell Crowe) aims to do anything in his power to get her out. so now we have our little drama-thriller. And is this plot any good? Kind of. The idea itself is pretty interesting (if unoriginal), and there are some solid dramatic moments throughout that made me feel really invested in the story, but the plot does have some issues. For one, there are a whole load of implausibilities in this movie, situations where the outcome makes no fucking sense. And the pacing at times isn’t very good. Both of these problems drag the plot down quite a bit, but not enough to make me think that it’s total shit. Just that it could be better.

The characters here are good. There are none that I feel are bad, but not everyone gets the same amount of development. Russell Crowe plays John Brennan, the man at the center of this story. Over the movie you seem him go from the average, loving, family man to something else due to this whole crazy situation with his wife. It’s an interesting character journey. And Crowe gives a really good performance. Elizabeth Banks plays Lara, John’s wife and the woman who gets falsely imprisoned. I’m not gonna say too much about her development, as that’s best left experienced rather than explained. But I can say that Banks is great in the role. Then you have Ty Simpkins as Luke, the young son of John and Lara. Sure, he doesn’t get that much development here, but he still works pretty well among the characters. And for someone so young, I thought Simpkins did a really good job in the role. Then we have Lennie James as a cop who gets involved with all this. Again, not that much development there, but his characters still works very well within the plot here. And James is really good in the role. Then you get a bunch of really solid supporting performances from people like Olivia Wilde, Daniel Stern, Jason Beghe, Aisha Hinds, Liam Neeson, and more. It’s a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Elfman, and it is quite good. It’s emotional, tense, and overall well composed. Sure, it’s not necessarily one of Elfman’s best, but it’s certainly really good. The movie also uses a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout, with Moby being the most frequent artist used throughout. And all the tracks work pretty well for the movie to elevate their respective scenes slightly. Good music.

This movie was written and directed by Paul Haggis, and is apparently a remake of a French movie called “Pour Elle”. Now, I haven’t seen that French original, so I don’t know how accurately this represents it, but as a movie on it’s own I think Haggis did a good job. The movie is pretty well shot and everything has a pretty nice flow to it in general. He even manages to create some half-decent tension in some scenes throughout.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 51% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

While it’s not anything truly great, “The Next Three Days” is still an enjoyable drama-thriller. It has an okay plot, okay characters, great performances, really good music, and good directing. As for flaws, there are points in the plot where it’s a bit implausible, and the pacing is a bit draggy at times. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Next Three Days” is an 8,11/10. While flawed, it’s still definitely worth a rental.

My review of “The Next Three Days” is now completed.

This is the third movie in a row I’ve watched/reviewed where Jonathan Tucker has popped up. It’s like that guy is following me everywhere… and it’s a bit eerie.

Movie Review: Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Boxing. Two people standing in a small arena, trying to punch the shit out of each other. Yeah, I don’t understand the point of it. That said, I don’t know what the point of any sport’s existence is. Feel free to hate on me for not understanding the appeal/purpose of sports… I don’t care.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Million Dollar Baby”.

Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) is a woman determined on becoming a great boxer, so she starts training at a gym owned by old and hardened boxing trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood). And soon Frankie takes Maggie under his wing to help her become a great boxer. The story follows them as their relationship evolves while they also go through stuff. While the ideas presented at first glance are very basic and familiar from other boxing movies, the execution of said ideas is much better than a lot of other movies in the genre. Seeing their relationship evolve over the two hour runtime is quite fascinating and it makes for a really solid plot that actually delivers a few devastatingly emotional punches (pun intended) at the right times. So yeah, the plot here is pretty great.

The characters in this movie are all fleshed out and quite interesting. Hilary Swank is terrific as Maggie, perfectly playing this determined woman. She wsa believable in the role and I really cared about her. Clint Eastwood is great as Frankie, giving us the perfect blend of classic Eastwood gruffness and relatable vulnerability. Morgan Freeman (AKA god) plays an employee at Frankie’s gym (while also providing the movie’s narration) and he is absolutely terrific in the role. We also get a bunch of great supporting performances from people like Anthony Mackie, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Brían F. O’Byrne, Michael Peña, and Margo Martindale. So this is a pretty stellar cast.

The score for the movie was composed by… Clint Eastwood? Really? *Does more research*. Yeah, Clint Eastwood composed the music for this movie… surprise. Jokes aside, he did a pretty great job with the music. It’s dramatic, it’s emotional, and it just fits the movie perfectly. Good job, Mr. Eastwood.

This movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and he did a great job. The shots look great and every shot is at the perfect length. Now, since this is a boxing movie we should talk about the boxing scenes. So how are the boxing scenes here? Yeah, they’re pretty great. They’re exciting, intense, and kind of brutal. It all feels quite realistic.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #202 on the “Top 250” list. The movie won 4 Oscar in the categories of Best picture, Best Actress (Swank), Best supporting actor (Freeman), and Best director. It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Eastwood), Best adapted screenplay, and Best film editing. 

“Million Dollar Baby” is an absolutely fantastic sports-drama. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Punch*. My final score for “Million Dollar Baby” is a 9,88/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Million Dollar Baby” is now completed.

Is this one of Eastwood’s best films? Hell yes.