The Next Three Days (2010)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: 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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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 files multiple appeals while struggling to raise their children and maintain his career. Lara's future starts to look especially grim, however, after the final appeal is rejected, and she admits that she'd rather commit suicide than spend the rest of her life behind bars. Determined to save his wife after the justice system fails her, John seeks the advice of ex-convict Damon Pennington (Liam Neeson), who staged his own daring prison escape, in order to draw up an airtight plan. Later, John prepares to put his life on the line for the woman he loves, and sets the plan into motion with the knowledge that one false move could be their last. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Rating:
PG-13 (for violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements)
Genre:
Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Russell Crowe
as John Brennan
Elizabeth Banks
as Lara Brennan
Liam Neeson
as Damon Pennington
Olivia Wilde
as Nicole
Brian Dennehy
as George Brennan
Lennie James
as Lieutenant Nabulsi
Helen Carey
as Grace Brennan
Daniel Stern
as Meyer Fisk
Jason Beghe
as Detective Quinn
Aisha Hinds
as Detective Collero
Allan Steele
as Sergeant Harris
The Rza
as Mouss
Michael Buie
as Mick Brennan
Remy Nozik
as Jenna
Leslie Merrill
as Elizabeth Gesas
Derek Cecil
as Dr. Becsey
Trudie Styler
as Dr. Byrdie Lifson
Toby Green
as 3-Year-Old Luke
Tyler Green
as 3-Year-Old Luke
Veronica Brown
as Female Guard 1
Lisa Ann Goldsmith
as Female Guard 2
Alissa Haggis
as Junkie
James Donis
as Prison Major
Rachel Deacon
as Duty Nurse
Glenn Taranto
as Hospital Security Guard
Zachary Sondrini
as Photoshop Kid
Barry D. Bradford
as Jail Guard (Entry Hall)
Etta Cox
as Notary
Barry Bradford
as Jail Guard (Entry Hall)
Rick Warner
as County Jail Captain
James Francis Kelly III
as Lab Van Driver
Jeff Hochendoner
as Alex's Thug Buddy
Quantia Mali
as Phone Operator
David Flick
as Male Nurse
Fabio Polanco
as Phone Repairman
Sean Huze
as Prison Guard
Jonathan Berry
as Prison Guard
Patrick Brennan
as Hospital Guard
Tamara Gorski
as Hospital Nurse
Kathy Fitzgerald
as Neighbor
Tom Quinn
as Elderly Man
Melissa Jackson
as Air Canada Clerk
Patrick F. McDade
as Airport Security Chief
Tom Quinn
as Elderly Man
RZA
as Mouss
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Critic Reviews for The Next Three Days

All Critics (161) | Top Critics (35)

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.

Full Review… | August 11, 2011
Arizona Republic
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 4, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

In its final half-hour, all the stops are pulled. The movie is still wildly implausible but at least it's hurtling forward.

Full Review… | November 22, 2010
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

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

November 21, 2010
New Yorker
Top Critic

Haggis knows that the question isn't only can he do it, but should he?

Full Review… | November 19, 2010
I.E. Weekly
Top 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?"

Full Review… | November 19, 2010
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Next Three Days

½

This remake of Anything for Her is even if more implausible than that film, and Haggis includes details that don't work really well, but he also injects more tension and stretches some scenes to the point of nerve-wracking while Russell Crowe puts in a strong performance.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

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.

xGary Xx
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.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

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