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Movie Review: The Next Three Days

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

My wife and I celebrated our 11th anniversary this weekend and I was able to convince Kelly to go see The Next Three Days as our date night movie!  I had seen the previews for this movie with much anticipation when the trailers began showing in late summer and was very excited that we were finally going to see this movie, on our anniversary none-the-less!

Okay, I have to honest.  I think that overall Russell Crowe is a very good and well versed actor.  Off hand, I can’t think of a movie that he has been in that I haven’t enjoyed, not that I try to go out of my way to watch every movie he’s been in like our oldest daughter does with Gary Oldman (love you Arianne)!  In this movie I felt that Russell Crowe did a superb job in showing the emotions of his character, John Brennan, a history teacher who’s wife is wrongfully accused of murder.  You the viewer get to see the initial desperate and less than rational thinking Brennan initially goes through once he realizes he will not be able to get his wife out of jail through the judicial system.  As the movie progresses we get to see how Brennan is able to channel his love and his belief that his wife has been truly misjudged into a laser focused mission to get his wife out.  Despite some holes within the movie explaining how Brennan is able accomplish certain plot points, I’m sure a simple fact of time and what was necessary to drive the plot, I think that Crowe did a fantastical job!

As to Elizabeth Banks’ character, Lara Brennan, though I felt she did a descent job in the character role, I walked away from the movie wanting to have been included into more into her own personal struggle.  That is, beyond the blatant and conspicuous emotions that one would expect when one imagines the feelings, emotions, and thoughts one would have if put away for a crime not committed.  Now I know that this was the main premise of the movie, but I think this area of thought and exploration could have made for a fantastic subplot.  But, I digress, this lacking in the movie had very little to do with Elizabeth’s acting skills but moreover what the writers and directors could have done.  Overall Elizabeth brought a reasonably developed character for what she  was given as a wife, mother, and a woman where all obvious evidence pointed to her as the murderer.

Two other actors and their respective characters that I feel bare mention are that of Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde.  Without giving too much away, I’ll say that one character we see only a brief glimpse at but that interaction has profound plot ramifications.  The other character we see multiple times with interactions that I feel were shallow in plot depth yet drawn out in frankly a poor attempt at a subplot that ultimately dead-ends.  Do each of these characters serve their purposes?  Yes.  Could the story stand without one of them?  I believe so.

So in closing, was this movie worth the twenty plus bucks to see it in the theater instead of waiting to see it on Blu-ray?  Hands down, yes!  Will it be a movie  that I add to my personal library?  Based solely on plot, probably not, but I’ll definitely watch it again once it is released to gleam some further points of the plot I’d like to zero in on.   What are your thoughts on this movie?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this review and your recommendations for other movies that I should watch!

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