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3 Days to Kill
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125 of 143 people found the following review helpful
Ethan (Kevin Costner) has sacrificed his relationship with his family to be a super spy for the CIA. On his most recent assignment he was to kill "The Albino" (Tomas Lemarquis) while Vivi (Amber Heard) was to kill the Wolf (Richard Sammel). Ethan breaks down as his brain cancer has entered his lungs. He is given 3-5 months to live.

Ethan returns to his Parisian apartment only to discover a poor family of squatters from Africa living there with the police unwilling to evict them. He attempts to reestablish his relationship with his estranged wife playing the death card and that of his daughter, by not telling her.

Vivi shows up with an experimental drug that may work, but in doing so he must renege on his promise to his wife and kill "The Wolf" as he is the only man who has seen him. Ethan now attempts to re-establish his estranged relationship with his moody teen daughter while trying to kill the world's most wanted man...and on occasion using parenting advice from people he is attempting to extract information.

I love a film that shows originality and good dialogue. Amber Heard played a great, even if unrealistic, femme fatale noir. The film breaks from the formula of utilizing the daughter as an asset. It is a funny heartwarming action film. Something for everyone.

Parental Guide: 1 written f-bomb, 1 in background music lyrics. No sex. Brief rear nudity
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86 of 98 people found the following review helpful
I have seen this three times now and each time gets better and better. I love the concept of this movie about a CIA agent dying and having to step aside important assignments. Along comes a sexy, dominatrix type agent who can make Ethan's life go on so that he may reconnect with his wife and daughter. The action is thrilling and suspenseful; the story is heartwarming and you are rooting for the good guys through it all. Kevin Costner makes this worth while and Hailee Steinfeld is a great little actress who will go far. Ignore critics, buy 3 Days to Kill, have a bowl of popcorn and enjoy.
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82 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2014
this movie is smart, clever and fast paced..the actions scenes are first rate,..this is so obviously a Luc Besson film...if you liked "The Professional" you will recognize the brilliant economy of speech in this film..this film is for people with a 3 digit i.q. it's not the Transformers...you can't sleep through it. i really enjoyed it. The director of Charleys Angels..with a script from Luc Besson...Kevin Costner at his best. and the young girl from True Grit and Enders Game as his daughter. ..as soon as it ended, i wanted to watch it again.
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53 of 64 people found the following review helpful
"3 Days to Kill" is an intriguing if uneven spy thriller starring Kevin Costner. Costner is Ethan Renner, an aging CIA agent who learns at the end of a botched operation that he has terminal brain cancer. Renner returns to Paris for an awkward reunion with his estranged wife Christine (Connie Nielson) and daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld). However, the CIA isn't quite finished with Renner. Vivi Delay (Amber Heard), the rather exotic agent who has picked up the botched operation, knows Renner is the only person who can identify an illicit WMD dealer known as the Wolf. She offers him an experimental drug for his cancer, in return for just one or two more little jobs...

The movie is an odd mixture of elements. The core of the movie is a string of extremely well-staged action sequences. In between is the family drama of Renner's reconnection with a rebellious daughter, parts of which ring true; the sometimes laugh-out-loud humor of Renner's dealings with the string of suspects who will lead him back to the Wolf; and his evolving relationship with the African family that has squatted in his apartment. The location shooting in Paris is quite good. There is a strong element of betrayal built into the story; it is unclear right to the end who Renner can trust or how things might, or might not, work out for him. Recommended as an afternoon's entertainment if the viewer is a Costner fan.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Went to see this in the theaters, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It switches from over-the-top (and a little offbeat) action / violence to sly humor on a dime. It's sort of a character study of an aging CIA operative suffering from inoperable cancer. The basic plot is simple. Do one last job for a chance of receiving an experimental drug that may save his life. The protagonist's best days are clearly behind him, yet he's still no one to mess with. And being an operative, his family life has suffered, especially the relationship with his daughter. Knowing his days are numbered, he tries to reestablish that relationship. Some of the best moments involve this attempt and helps to insert the right amount of humor at often unusual and critical times.

I have always gravitated to this type of movie. Serious at times, but offbeat with surprising humor at other times. Joss Whedon (no he didn't direct this) is famous for this type of flavor. Whedon's Firefly, Serenity and The Avengers come immediately to mind.

Between 1 and 10, I give "3 Days to Kill" a solid 8 (or a 4-star rating). Looking for something a bit different with some aptly applied humor to break the tension? This film fit the bill for me. I'll be happy to add this movie to my blu-ray collection.

After viewing the blu-ray: For picture and sound quality, Oblivion is my reference blu-ray. That being said, here are my thoughts on 3 Days to Kill:

Picture quality: 8 out of 10 -- very good to excellent, but had a couple of minor problems with some of the editing choices.
Audio quality: 8 out of 10 -- A surprising bass monster (rattled everything in sight) and in general very good throughout, although a bit exaggerated in certain scenes.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2014
I'm not a big Kevin Costner fan but decided I'd give this a chance. I should have gone with my instinct and left it alone. Luc Besson is primarily responsible for the script which, not surprisingly therefore, is shot mostly in Paris. That location is the movie's plus. Otherwise, not so good.

Costner, an aging, always disheveled CIA "agent on the ground," is assigned to capture a dirty bomb being sold from the "Albino" to the "Wolf," two international bad guys who need to be taken out as well. After his first encounter with the Albino, a doctor tells him his cold symptoms are actually those of cancer and gives him 3 months to live. Amber Heard, an unflappable super CIA agent invariably dressed in garb that better suits a dominatrix, is sent to assist Costner. She offers him an experimental drug that will potentially extend his life - but only if he finishes the job. There is then a procession of action scenes set against farce, some with Heard, in which he is either rousting or shooting down a long line of inept thugs.

Yet, what takes center stage is another theme entirely. Amidst the violence, the film becomes a comedic chick flick as Costner stumblingly attempts to become Father Knows Best to his 17-year- old daughter whom he's neglected for the last five years and is living in Paris with her mother. Adding more sap to the syrupy base is an out-of-context African immigrant family who have squatted in his Paris apartment during his lengthy absence. Their simple manner supposedly helps him realize what is really important in life (??).

McG (give me a break!) directed this disaster, and Besson's lines are more embarrassing than funny. Oh well, I give you 3 minutes to turn it off. If you get as far as, "it's a mustache, it's a goatee," - it's too late!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2014
Oh, so very bad. Poor plot, poor acting. Not sure why Kevin Kostner would have felt compelled to do a movie of this caliber - or why I paid for it. Mistakes are made but don't make one and rent and or watch this flick.

- Steve
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2014
Absolutely the worst movie I can recall in many a moon. This movie was chosen because of the actor Kevin Costner. However, if I were Kevin Costner I would be ashamed. We watched most of the movie until we could not take anymore and turned it off.
Nothing but shooting, loud car crashes, vile language and simply no plot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2014
The unbeatable bad ass Costner character is lame. I always expect him to break through his self aggrandizement, but he never does.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2014
Well, this movie does not know what it wants to be. Is it a spy thriller? Is it a dramatic comedy about a father getting know his daughter? Does it succeed as either? No.

Let me state right from the start that the 3 stars in this review are for the action scenes that are realistic, exciting, and different. And for the performances Costner and Amber Heard give.

This movie starts as if it is going to be an interesting spy movie. Costner and his young (and stunningly beautiful) handler are riveting. He is practical, no nonsense, violent, and smart. She is crazy, heartless, unpredictable, and highly motivated. If the movie had proceeded with these two characters and built itself into a serious plot, this might easily have become a novel film that rivals the Bond movies with its realism.

******BEWARE SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW:

It fails us as a spy thriller because of all the interruptions, which amount to slow and boring scenes with family. A teen whining and complaining and lying to her father who was never there for her.

Then it turns interrogations into funny scenes. When the hell has interrogation with a car battery ever been funny?

Then, to top it all off, this highly competent operative does stupid things. He allows strangers to live in his home--yeah, the home where he keeps all of his equipment. He takes hostages into his home filled with strangers. Then he tortures them in the bathroom there while little kids are running around just outside in the hall. While he interrogates, he gets fatherly advice from one criminal and a delicious Italian tomato sauce recipe from another guy. He puts the first guy in a car trunk multiple times and parks in crowded areas--here is where the "comedy" of it all is supposed to distract us. No one notices the banging in the trunk. No. Not at a school teeming with teens.

******SPOILERS OVER.

When "Ethan" is called to action by his new handler, things get really good. When the film tries to portray him as a depressed dad or a funny torturer--I kid you not--it fails miserably. And it leaves US miserable. And bored. Rolling our eyes, always on the verge of stopping the movie.

To understand 3 Days to Kill, imagine the best spy thriller you've seen--maybe a Bourne movie, a Bond movie?--and try to mix the scenes of Fried Green Tomatoes and Get Smart into it.

FLOP.
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