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The Next Three Days (2010)



Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 161
Fresh: 83 | Rotten: 78

Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks give it their all, but their solid performances aren't quite enough to compensate for The Next Three Days' uneven pace and implausible plot.


Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 21

Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks give it their all, but their solid performances aren't quite enough to compensate for The Next Three Days' uneven pace and implausible plot.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 50,653

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Movie Info

His wife convicted of a murder she swears she did not commit, a college professor plots to break her out of prison in this thriller starring Russell Crowe and Liam Neeson. John Brennan (Crowe) and his wife, Lara (Elizabeth Banks), were happily married and raising a family when their lives fell apart in the blink of an eye. Lara has been charged with murder, and despite every effort to prove her innocence, the judge sentences her to an extended prison sentence. Meanwhile, on the outside, John


Drama, Horror, Romance, Mystery & Suspense

Paul Haggis

Mar 8, 2011


Lionsgate - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (162) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (83) | Rotten (78) | DVD (8)

Even with an actor of Crowe's skill, it's hard to believe the mild, thoughtful John would take to the mean streets of Pittsburgh for fake IDs, blast his way into drug houses and such.

August 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Comments (3)
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the third act, both Haggis and his actors kick it into high gear, leading to a breathless chase sequence, the outcome of which is unpredictable to the last moments.

January 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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In its final half-hour, all the stops are pulled. The movie is still wildly implausible but at least it's hurtling forward.

November 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comment (1)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is a caper without playfulness or wit -- it's accomplished but not much fun.

November 22, 2010 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (2)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's laughably, eye-rollingly absurd, so you don't watch it and wonder, "Hey, why not?" You endure it and wonder, "So ... why did they do that?"

November 19, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An okay thriller with lots of smart flourishes, The Next Three Days has us hooked early on but never quite gets us in the boat

November 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is Crowe's movie to carry and he does it with an earthy realism that reminds of the actor he is beneath the persona.

January 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Nation
Movie Nation

The Next Three Days is kind of a throwback to the classic action movies Hollywood put out in the mid-nineties - the 'one man versus the world' era of thrillers, in which lantern-jawed heroes fight to save their family against improbable odds

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source:

It's the kind of edge of your seat thriller that leaves you in constant suspense of how the situation will resolve.

September 22, 2012 Full Review Source:

Managing to overcome the contrivances and implausibilities of the storyline, The Next Three Days succeeds through the sheer verisimilitude of the performances and direction.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy | Comment (1)
Digital Spy

...The most effective scenes employ the Hitchcockian maxim that you can show a couple kissing for as long as you like provided there's a bomb under the bed. Haggis has plenty of bombs and plenty of beds to put them under.

June 29, 2011 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

If it didn't feel like the movie took three days to get through, this could have been a pretty good thriller.

April 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

If I actually gave out star ratings or numerical scores, this one would be right on the fine line between pass and fail.

April 5, 2011 Full Review Source: HitFix

The suspense isn't just dramatic. It's emotional.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)

This movie is from fancy Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis. In other words, you're supposed to take it all as seriously as he does. You may find that challenging.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source:

Occasionally preposterous and bogged down by Haggis' usual lack of subtlety, but the film is also captivating and energetic, particularly during the thrilling final act.

March 23, 2011 Full Review Source: IGN DVD

Haggis somehow pulls off a delicate balancing act -- a gravity-bound fantasy scenario -- showing us John's desperate, dark, human need while playing out made-for-movie scenes.

March 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Although no hidden gem, Russell Crowe certainly could've done much worse than filling Mel Gibson's family-man-of-action shoes. And Paul Haggis thankfully shelves his sociology-degree sermonizing for this pure-pulp prison-break thriller.

March 19, 2011 Full Review Source:

The bulk of The Next Three Days consists of the build-up to the escape plan, which is probably just as well since this is a thriller surprisingly light on thrills.

March 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Solid performances, beautiful camerawork. It just would've been nice if they'd included some more twists and turns in the otherwise decent script

March 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Triple J
Triple J

Groans under the weight of director Paul Haggis' determination to transform a potentially gripping thriller into a meaningful 'human drama'...

February 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

The film lacks a sense of inquiry, whether it's into the psychology of the characters or into the nature of the society that's wrongfully judged this woman.

February 4, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Perhaps best viewed when it hits DVD, and you can hit the fast-forward button as you see fit.

February 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

There are a few moments which seem a little too neat but on the whole, this is a tense thriller that doesn't always choose the well-trodden path.

February 3, 2011 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
ABC Radio Brisbane

A taut yet hopeful film that brings some credibility into the newest of film debates.

February 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Moviedex

Audience Reviews for The Next Three Days

A schoolteacher's wife is imprisoned for first degree murder based upon circumstantial evidence and when the final appeal fails and she resorts to a suicide attempt he pours all his skills as a researcher into engineering a meticulous plan to break her out. Very much in a similar vein to TV series Prison Break, The Next Three Days has the premise of an ordinary and honest man resorting to extreme measures when faced with an untenable situation. It's not as convoluted as the series however, concentrating more on the human drama than histrionics; in fact the inevitable mix of wobbly-cammed screeching tires, helicopters and cop dodging is easily the least interesting part of the film. Some will be disappointed at the lack of action, especially considering the trailer which was clearly cut together to make it look like another shit-witted action thriller for the ADHD generation but I personally am a fan of Haggis' more subtle and human approach to the thriller formula which dispenses with the usual associated macho bullshit and pointless running around with guns. As a result it feels a lot more plausible and realistic (at least until the rather unlikely finale) and you actually care what happens to the characters thanks to a strong performance from Crowe as the desperate husband and father. It does stall somewhat near the conclusion and never really gets back into gear, but the intelligent approach makes it a cut above the usual Hollywood fare.
August 15, 2014
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Possible spoilers found here

"The Next Three Days" presents itself with a bold moral view that challenges viewers with a difficult moral code to live by-- in particular, a man that is willing to risk everything for the sake of his spouse that is spending life in prison. It's definitely a courageous act when done under the umbrella of the law, but is it okay if you step outside into the rain? The film does touch upon the question, but half way through, you see where Paul Haggis, the writer and director, sides with: he embraces this moral viewpoint, no matter what the circumstances may be -- even if it leads to taking human lives and compromising the utmost important of laws. Haggis embraces this morale as a righteous, upright, and good act, even when the wife rightfully deserves it. It's a mess and it left me having a disgust towards the message of the movie. The worst part about it? At the end, "The Next Three Days" tries to tie it all off as if Russell Crowe's actions was the best possible decision one could make at such an occasion.

At a technical standpoint, "The Next Three Days" is made with adequate technicalities, but the void between the transition of one technical method to another is lacking and sloppy. It's like an amateur that read up on all the things that make a movie a technically sound and cobbling them all up, resulting in an uneven and choppy motion picture. Russell Crowe does a commendable job but Elizabeth Banks was considerably lacking in the acting department. Some of the emotional scenes that demanded raw emotion to spew forth from her was not believable nor convincing. That's not to say that there are harrowing scenes, especially in the third act of the movie where the planning of the breakout comes to fruition, but before then, it's overly extended which hurts the pacing of the film. Was it an entertaining time? Sure, but it's hardly gonna be a memorable one.

"The Next Three Days" is an effective thriller that exudes some of the most aggravatingly abominable moralistic teaching since recent filmmaking. Yeah, it's not like, "Let's embrace murder!", but it's the sly persuasive undertones that the film pitches at viewers is what's so bothersome. Films that compromise upright living such as this is one of the few aspectual reasons as to why children grow up with such flawed paradigms, because it embraces how no matter how you may feel, it's okay as long as it's a "righteous" act such as rescuing your loved one.
June 26, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

When this film begins, it looks like it's going to be filled with the pretty people, yet soon after, it transforms into a thriller that becomes faster paced as the story evolves. Certainly a film to keep you entertained throughout and there are various dimensions to the film to keep the interest of the viewer.
April 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

I hadn't realised that The Next Three Days was a remake of the French film Pour elle until now, which is slightly annoying as I try to make a point of seeing the originals before the subsequent remakes. I hope the original is better, as although I liked the story, ridiculous as it is, I couldn't help but think it could have been better. At times it felt like it was trying to be something it wasn't and now I understand why. Wasted opportunity, or maybe not, maybe it's just a crap remake for people who don't like reading, I don't know. It's not a horrible film though, it's very average but I did like the ending which I thought wasn't predictable. I'll just have to see the original I suppose!
January 23, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Prison Guard: You walk out that door with him and you'll both be dead.
    2. John Brennan: Shut up! [duct tapes the guard's mouth]
    – Submitted by Sandstorm P (2 years ago)
    1. Damon Pennington: No prison in the world is airtight.
    – Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
    1. Lara Brennan: I don't think I can last another twenty years...
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Damon Pennington: No prison in the world is airtight.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. John Brennan: So, "The Life and Times of Don Quixote," what is it about?
    2. Julie: That someone's belief in virtue is more important than virtue itself.
    3. John Brennan: Yeah, that's in there. What else is it about? ...Could it be about how rational thought destroys the soul? The triumph of irrationality, and the power that is in it...Now we spend a lot of time trying to organize the world. We build clocks and calendars and we try to predict the weather, but what part of our life is truly under our control? What if we choose to exist in a reality of our own making, does that render us insane; and if so - isn't that better than a life of despair?
    – Submitted by Big S (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

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  • Les Trois prochains jours (FR)
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