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"THE NEXT THREE DAYS"
(2010) (Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Extreme Moderate Extreme Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Extreme Extreme Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Suspense: A desperate husband comes up with an elaborate but dangerous plan to spring his wife from jail for a murder he knows she didn't commit.
PLOT:
John Brennan (RUSSELL CROWE) is an English professor and family man, happily married to businesswoman Laura (ELIZABETH BANKS) and proud and caring father to their young son Luke (TY SIMPKINS). The morning after a night out with friends, however, their life together is turned upside down when Laura is unexpectedly arrested for the murder of her boss. With all of the available evidence pointing at her, she ends up convicted and imprisoned for the crime.

That puts a great deal of strain on John as he tries to continue raising Luke as normally as possible, but with the boy shunning his mother in prison and following her suicide attempt, he's desperate for a solution. He thinks he finds it in a convict (LIAM NEESON) who's escaped from the joint numerous times and gives John various pointers about what's necessary to pull off such an act.

Anytime he's not with Luke, or when the boy is off with his grandparents, George (BRIAN DENNEHY) and Grace (HELEN CAREY), or at a birthday party thrown by the parent, Nicole (OLIVIA WILDE), of one of Luke's classmates, John is plotting his course of action, including doing recon at the prison, trying to get fake passports and such.

As he prepares and then sets his plan into motion -- even surprising Laura with it upon springing it on her -- John must contend with various expected and unexpected developments, including the likes of cops Det. Quinn (JASON BEGHE) and Lt. Nabulsi (LENNIE JAMES) ending up on his trail, determined to prevent him from leaving Pittsburg and fleeing to another country.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
They might if they're fans of anyone in the cast or possibly prison break/action-suspense films.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RUSSELL CROWE plays an English professor and family man whose life is turned upside down when his wife is convicted and imprisoned for murder. While trying to raise their son as normally as possibly considering the circumstances, he decides his only recourse, especially after her suicide attempt, is to break Laura out of prison. After getting a few pointers from a related role model, he plots, practices and then puts his plan into action. Along the way, he kills a man, uses profanity, breaks the law, and endangers himself and his family.
  • ELIZABETH BANKS plays his wife, a businesswoman convicted of killing her boss thanks to various bits of evidence that all pointed to her as the prime suspect. Resigned to her fate, she tries killing herself and is then shocked to learn of John's plan, but only when it's just set into action.
  • TY SIMPKINS plays their young son who was a daddy's boy to begin with, but has completely withdrawn from his mother following her imprisonment.
  • BRIAN DENNEHY plays John's father who's concerned about him and thus doesn't stop him, or admit to the authorities what he knows, once he gets wind of his plan.
  • HELEN CAREY plays his wife.
  • JASON BEGHE and LENNIE JAMES play cops who end up on John's trail, determined to find and stop him before his plan succeeds.
  • OLIVIA WILDE plays the mother of Luke's classmate who befriends John, initially unaware of his plight and certainly not that of his elaborate plan.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this drama/suspense flick that's rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as is brief fooling around (involving a married couple) and implied sex.

    Violence consists of several murders, a beating, and the threatening of others with guns. Some of that has bloody results, and those scenes and various moments of potential peril could be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Bad attitudes are present, as is imitative behavior. Tense family material occurs, as do various thematic elements. Alcohol is present in several scenes and there's brief smoking, while a man buys drugs from a dealer (but only in hopes that will lead to the purchase of fake passports and such) and later ends up in and destroys a meth lab.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's occasional handheld camera footage (sometimes fairly bouncy) in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • John, Laura and another couple have wine. John asks if they want more to drink, but no one does.
  • A family member has a beer.
  • John buys some OxyContin from a street dealer, all in hopes of that man being able to get him faked passports and such.
  • People drink in a bar.
  • John pours liquor onto the floor of a drug dealer's place (noted as being a meth lab) and then sets that on fire.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear the sound of gunfire and then see John's blood-splattered face as he drives and we hear a man's pained voice stating he can't breathe. The look on John's face suggests the other man has died.
  • Laura finds a bloodstain on her coat and starts to wash that off in the sink.
  • We see a flashback to the pivotal murder of Laura's boss. That includes the victim's point of view of a fire extinguisher coming at her face (the impact isn't seen) and then a photo of her dead body on the parking lot floor, with blood around it (this is seen again later in the film). We then see the bloodstain on her coat.
  • John rushes to the hospital after receiving a call that Laura tried to kill herself. He then finds her in a recovery room, with a slightly bloodstained bandage around one wrist.
  • John follows a man who's supposedly going to help him get faked passports. Instead, that man and another attack him outside the bar, with one hitting John and then both kicking him. That leaves him with a bloody face, all while one holds a knife to his face and robs him. Later, back at home, John washes his face, and the blood mixes with the water in the sink. Later, John has bad bruises and dried cuts on his face.
  • John vomits outside the prison due to nerves.
  • A man's neck is bloody after John hits him.
  • We see blood on a dead man's shirt after he's just been shot.
  • John has blood on his face after a shootout encounter with some drug dealers.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A woman shows a great deal of cleavage while on a double-date with a man and John & Laura. She goes on about how women can't work together and a woman shouldn't have a female boss. She then suggestively says she could work under John, prompting Laura to comment on the sexual innuendo and trying to seduce John. The woman states if she wanted him, she would have had him, with Laura also sarcastically commenting on the woman showing him more of her "t*ts."
  • Laura comments on having called another woman a "useless cow."
  • Someone murders Laura's boss (seen in partial flashbacks).
  • John meets an author whose claim to fame is that he escaped from prison seven times before finally turning himself in. He then gives John points and tips about how to break someone out of prison. After that, John conceives, practices, and then executes his plan to break his wife out of prison and then take her and their son out of the country.
  • John follows a man who's supposedly going to help him get faked passports. Instead, that man and another attack him outside the bar.
  • A man creates fake passports and such for John (for pay).
  • John breaks into a medical records vehicle, finds Laura's file, takes a snapshot, and then races to put everything back and exit the vehicle before the driver returns.
  • Laura tells John that he doesn't live in the real world (regarding him still saying things will work out). She then says she's shocked that he never asked if she committed the murder, with him saying he knows she didn't. She then replies that he'd then be wrong, but he later tells her he knows she's lying about that, and her resultant tears indicate she might have been.
  • George finds John's faked passports and related materials, but doesn't say anything beyond goodbye to his son (with a handshake and hug), knowing he probably won't ever see him again.
  • John breaks into the medical records van again, this time to plant Laura's faked medical test, and must once again get out before the driver returns.
  • Lt. Nabulsi doesn't wait for a search warrant to enter John's home.
  • George lies to a cop about not knowing of John's plans.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We hear the sound of gunfire and then see John's blood-splattered face as he drives and we hear a man's pained voice stating he can't breathe. The look on John's face suggests the other man has died.
  • We see a flashback to the pivotal murder of Laura's boss. That includes the victim's point of view of a fire extinguisher coming at her face (the impact isn't seen) and then a photo of her dead body on the parking lot floor, with blood around it (this is seen again later in the film). We then see the bloodstain on her coat.
  • A former prison escapee tells John that if one is found after escaping from prison, they should give up or else they'll be shot by the authorities.
  • John tries using a "bump key" as a test in a jail elevator, but it gets stuck and then breaks off. He then rejoins his group of visitors, but a guard notices the key and the alarm is sounded. John, along with others, is then questioned by an authority figure who drills him about his location on video surveillance flashback.
  • John breaks into a medical records vehicle, finds Laura's file, takes a snapshot, and then races to put everything back and exit the vehicle before the driver returns.
  • John puts his handgun in his waistband and prepares to rob a bank, but never gets out of his car. Upset, he then quickly backs up and hears a scream to find that he nearly ran over a mother and her child.
  • John follows a drug dealer at night, with the intent of robbing him. He then hides on the other side of a home's edge and then bursts in, hitting one man and holding his handgun on another. A third man shows up and aims his shotgun at John who holds one man hostage, while a large dog barks and lunges at him. John orders the third man and dog to be locked in a bathroom, and then wants his previously stolen money back from the dealer, and then more from him and the other man. The first is somewhat injured (blood on his neck), but the second is defiant, even as John has fired three warning shots into the ceiling. He then shoots that second man, injuring him (we don't see where), and then pours liquor on the floor and lights that, frightening the second man who informs him it's a meth lab. That man rushes upstairs, claiming his boy is there (he isn't), with John following moments later, still holding the one man hostage. The second then fires at John but hits the first man, and then does so again with the man now on the floor. He fires a third shot at John but misses, while John fires back and hits the man, killing him (leaving some blood on his shirt). John then grabs drug money and starts to rush out, but pleading from the first man (who's been shot twice) leads to John pulling him from the burning home and putting him in his car. Just then, the dog lunges at the window, and the third man shoots at John's car (but misses) as he speeds off. We then see the first footage of the man saying he's having a hard time breathing and then apparently dying, with John then leaving his body at a bus stop (or similar) along the road.
  • John breaks into the medical records van again, this time to plant Laura's faked medical test, and must once again get out before the driver returns.
  • John holds his handgun on two cops in Laura's hospital room, and then strikes one who makes a move. They then flee from there and try to make their way out of the building as Lt. Nabulsi and many other cops show up and start swarming the place.
  • John and Laura try to blend into a crowd and elude police that are searching for them.
  • When John decides they must temporarily abandon Luke in order to get out of the city, Laura opens the car door to jump out (with the car moving at high speed). John grabs her and tries to hold onto the steering wheel as she partially dangles out of the open door. The car then swerves and spins and is nearly hit by a semi that passes by, until John manages to bring the car to a stop.
  • John and his family approach a heavily patrolled toll booth (with word that they're looking for a family of 3), but they pass by since they have an older couple as their extra passengers.
  • Canadian officials stop a flight to check for the escapees, but it turns out they have the wrong flight.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Shotgun/Knife: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • We hear the sound of gunfire and then see John's blood-splattered face as he drives and we hear a man's pained voice stating he can't breathe. The look on John's face suggests the other man has died.
  • A former prison escapee tells John that if one is found after escaping from prison, they should give up or else they'll be shot by the authorities.
  • We see various handguns as John purchases one and asks to be shown where the bullets go.
  • John puts his handgun in his waistband and prepares to rob a bank, but never gets out of his car.
  • John aims his handgun at a cop outside the elevator in which he and Laura are positioned.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're gonna f*ck it up," "What is up your ass tonight?" "Shut up," "You are an asshole," "Useless cow," "Rat bag," "This sucks," "What the hell's going on?" "Balls" (testicles), "How the hell are you supposed to know that?" "Piss off," "You idiot," "You are out of your mind," "Keep your damn bitch mouth..." "You pissed somebody off," "You son of a bitch" and "Smart ass."
  • The stunts, other action, and some criminal behavior might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • John buys some OxyContin from a street dealer, all in hopes of that man being able to get him faked passports and such.
  • A man creates fake passports and such for John (for pay).
  • John watches an online video that shows him how to make a "bump key" (sort of like an old-fashioned skeleton key).
  • John watches another online video that shows how to break into a locked car using a modified tennis ball on the door lock.
  • John pours liquor onto the floor of a drug dealer's place (noted as being a meth lab) and then sets that on fire.
  • John cuts a large cable to kill the phone lines in a medical lab.
  • John pulls an emergency stop device on a subway train.
  • While trying to get out of the city, John drives through a red light.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Cops burst into the Brennan home, grab and arrest Laura (for murder) and struggle with John, all while young Luke cries over the scene.
  • A phone suddenly rings and might startle some viewers.
  • A dog is suddenly at John's car window at night.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has what sounded like several uses of the phrase "I was the hell..." in its lyrics.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 5 "s" words, 2 slang terms for breasts ("t*ts"), 3 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 damns, 2 hells (and another possible 3 of them in a song), 1 S.O.B., 2 uses of "Jesus Christ" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "G-damn," "Jesus" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A woman shows a great deal of cleavage while on a double-date with a man and John & Laura. She goes on about how women can't work together and a woman shouldn't have a female boss. She then suggestively says she could work under John, prompting Laura to comment on the sexual innuendo and trying to seduce John. The woman states if she wanted him, she would have had him, with Laura also sarcastically commenting on the woman showing him more of her "t*ts."
  • Later, after the couples have gone opposite ways, John comments on how a woman like that shouldn't be an anesthesiologist, joking about "those things" hanging in your face. In their parked car, Laura then climbs onto John on the front seat that collapses backwards, and they passionately kiss. Sex is suggested, especially when they're back home and her hair is a mess (as the babysitter leaves) and they do more passionate kissing, standing and clothed.
  • John and Laura briefly but passionately kiss upon him visiting her in jail. She then jokes that he should run for governor as he could change the rule about no conjugal visits there.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage in a bar.
  • We see Laura in just a long t-shirt that partially shows nipple shape under the material.
  • SMOKING
  • A minor character smokes once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Cops burst into the Brennan home, grab and arrest Laura (for murder) and struggle with John, all while young Luke cries over the scene.
  • John and Luke visit Laura in jail and the boy won't kiss or even look at his mother. John also informs Laura that her mom is not coming to visit her.
  • John rushes to the hospital after receiving a call that Laura tried to kill herself. He then finds her in a recovery room, with a slightly bloodstained bandage around one wrist.
  • John argues with his mom.
  • John is upset upon learning that Laura is going to be transferred to an out-of-town prison in just 3 days.
  • Laura tells John that he doesn't live in the real world (regarding him still saying things will work out). She then says she's shocked that he never asked if she committed the murder, with him saying he knows she didn't. She then replies that he'd then be wrong, but he later tells her he knows she's lying about that, and her resultant tears indicate she might have been.
  • George finds John's faked passports and related materials, but doesn't say anything beyond goodbye to his son (with a handshake and hug), knowing he probably won't ever see him again. John also says goodbye to his mother, but she doesn't know the details of what's occurring.
  • Laura is upset with John about him not telling her of his escape plan for her.
  • When John decides they must temporarily abandon Luke in order to get out of the city, Laura opens the car door to jump out (with the car moving at high speed). John grabs her and tries to hold onto the steering wheel as she partially dangles out of the open door. The car then swerves and spins and is nearly hit by a semi that passes by, until John manages to bring the car to a stop.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Having a loved one in prison, especially if you're positive they didn't commit the crime.
  • How far one could or should go to protect their loved ones.
  • A woman goes on about how women can't work together and a woman shouldn't have a female boss.
  • We see Laura inject insulin in her leg.
  • John rushes to the hospital after receiving a call that Laura tried to kill herself. He then finds her in a recovery room, with a slightly bloodstained bandage around one wrist.
  • Part of John's English class lesson is questioning what part of life does anyone truly control.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We hear the sound of gunfire and then see John's blood-splattered face as he drives and we hear a man's pained voice stating he can't breathe. The look on John's face suggests the other man has died.
  • Cops burst into the Brennan home, grab and arrest Laura (for murder) and struggle with John, all while young Luke cries over the scene.
  • We see a flashback to the pivotal murder of Laura's boss. That includes the victim's point of view of a fire extinguisher coming at her face (the impact isn't seen) and then a photo of her dead body on the parking lot floor, with blood around it (this is seen again later in the film). We then see the bloodstain on her coat.
  • John rushes to the hospital after receiving a call that Laura tried to kill herself. He then finds her in a recovery room, with a slightly bloodstained bandage around one wrist.
  • A former prison escapee tells John that if one is found after escaping from prison, they should give up or else they'll be shot by the authorities.
  • John follows a man who's supposedly going to help him get faked passports. Instead, that man and another attack him outside the bar, with one hitting John and then both kicking him. That leaves him with a bloody face, all while one holds a knife to his face and robs him. Later, back at home, John washes his face, and the blood mixes with the water in the sink. Later, John has bad bruises and dried cuts on his face.
  • John follows a drug dealer at night, with the intent of robbing him. He then hides on the other side of a home's edge and then bursts in, hitting one man and holding his handgun on another. A third man shows up and aims his shotgun at John who holds one man hostage, while a large dog barks and lunges at him. John orders the third man and dog to be locked in a bathroom, and then wants his previously stolen money back from the dealer, and then more from him and the other man. The first is somewhat injured (blood on his neck), but the second is defiant, even as John has fired three warning shots into the ceiling. He then shoots that second man, injuring him (we don't see where), and then pours liquor on the floor and lights that, frightening the second man who informs him it's a meth lab. That man rushes upstairs, claiming his boy is there (he isn't), with John following moments later, still holding the one man hostage. The second then fires at John but hits the first man, and then does so again with the man now on the floor. He fires a third shot at John but misses, while John fires back and hits the man, killing him (leaving some blood on his shirt). John then grabs drug money and starts to rush out, but pleading from the first man (who's been shot twice) leads to John pulling him from the burning home and putting him in his car. Just then, the dog lunges at the window, and the third man shoots at John's car (but misses) as he speeds off. We then see the first footage of the man saying he's having a hard time breathing and then apparently dying, with John then leaving his body at a bus stop (or similar) along the road.
  • John cuts a large cable to kill the phone lines in a medical lab.
  • John holds his handgun on two cops in Laura's hospital room, and then strikes one who makes a move.



  • Reviewed October 12, 2010 / Posted November 19, 2010

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