Take two the of the better actors, combine with a good director who has an inkling of how to build suspense, and some good one-liners. You get the makings of of a great movie, but that promise is not fulfilled. For myself I haven't seen much of Gosling, he reminds me of a classier Matthew McConaughy, but he's competent. Hopkins is the master of the psycho, mind-f..cking character which he has perfected and he roles out that persona here. The movie keeps you watching because you DO want to find out how Hopkins managed to hide one piece of evidence and the solution is very clever (and logical) -- but somehow the movie loses power and focus as it moves to the denouement.
one of the best and most perfect twists in a movie. and the movie concluded perfectly. best line in the movie is at the end when he realizes he's screwed and finally breaks for the first time... get the fuck out of my house (3 viewings)
AN EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE BY ANTHONY HPKINS AND RYAN GOSLIN!!
Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) is an entrepreneur of an aeronautics company married to beautiful Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) who is having an affair with a Lieutenant of the police department Rob Nunnaly (Billy Burke) who doesn't know anything about the secretive Jennifer. When Ted finds out about this, he hatches a plan and kills his wife, confesses to the negotiator at the time Nunally. Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) is a successful deputy in the state prosecutor's office is in process moving into a prestigious private legal firm gives into an obligation to take up this one last case which is anything but solved. With Willy hardly concentrating on the case Ted puts on a game that turns the trial upside down putting Beachum's career in jeopardy.
Though the performances were inconsistent individually, the dual of the lead characters ups the game occasionally. Marketed as a courtroom thriller, the movie lacks enough twists and relies on one puzzle which takes too long to arrive and ends up being contrived and dumb. What helps the screenplay is the side plot about Beachum's recruitment to a private firm which helps up the stakes and induces some pace which otherwise is a slow burner with lots of mindless fillers.
Lacks enough twists, wit and ambition.