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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)

Michael Douglas , Jesse Metcalfe , Peter Hyams  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Jesse Metcalfe, Amber Tamblyn, Dave Jensen, John "Spud" McConnell
  • Directors: Peter Hyams
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 2009
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002QW7AMG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,294 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An ambitious reporter takes an extraordinary risk to bring down a corrupt district attorney in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, a modern-day remake of Fritz Lang's final feature. On occasion, Shreveport newsman C.J. (Jesse Metcalfe, Desperate Housewives) receives confidential tips from assistant D.A. Ella (Amber Tamblyn, Joan of Arcadia), but Ella hesitates to go out with him due to the conflict of interest. It doesn't help that he considers her boss, gubernatorial candidate Martin Hunter (Michael Douglas, whose performance recalls Wall Street's Gordon Gekko), "too smooth," adding, "I'm not sure he's honest," but she eventually yields to C.J.'s charms (hey, it worked for Gabrielle Solis). Little does she realize that he plans to expose Hunter as a fraud--by framing himself for an unsolved murder. C.J. figures if he teams up with cameraman Finley (Joel Moore), he can't lose, but he never stops to consider the consequences if something happens to Finley or the video that proves his innocence. So, the trial proceeds, but once Hunter gets wind of the scheme, he goes after C.J. with all his might. Ella is the only one who can help him, but to do so means to put her career--maybe even her life--on the line. There's a nasty twist at the end of this entertaining, if shallow, courtroom drama, and director/cinematographer Peter Hyams, who previously worked with Douglas on The Star Chamber, sprinkles the suspense with some tension-relieving zingers from Orlando Jones as a cop who suspects something fishy is afoot. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

High profile lawyer, Martin Hunter (Michael Douglas) has an impeccable record putting criminals behind bars and is a shoo-in for governor in the upcoming election. But when ambitious rookie journalist, C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) begins investigating Hunter for tampering with evidence to secure his convictions, the district attorney’s perfect record is up for scrutiny. Commencing a risky game of cat and mouse with Hunter, C.J. frames himself as a murder suspect to catch the corrupt D.A. in the act.

Stills from Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Surprise! November 18, 2009
I did not expect much from this movie. Mostly because it stars Jesse Metcalfe and Amber Tamblyn. Amber is ok but Jesse Metcalfe clearly needs some more practice. He's so emotionless. This movie would have been even better if he were replaced with a better actor. Sorry, but the guy needs work. I was definately wrong about the film though. This is actually a pretty good film. It's about this reporter that decides to frame himself for murder so he can expose the dirty D.A. played by the great Micheal Douglas. This movie has a really strong script. I don't think anyone with common sense would frame themselves for murder but this movie had me going. It also has this surprise ending that will make your jaw hit the floor. I would definately rent this one. If you can find it cheap on DVD it might even be worth buying. Decent actors,good story, and a surprise ending, you can't ask for much more than that. At least not from a straight to dvd movie. HOLLA
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Made Only $17,000 in Theaters for a Reason January 21, 2010
By Compay
What speaks volumes about the overall quality of this movie is that it was released in only half a dozen movie theaters nationwide, and grossed less than 20k at the box office.

At best it's an average movie with no quality acting, which reflects the fact that only 5% of voters on Rotten Tomatoes actually enjoyed it. The complications that arise with our main character as the movie progresses are predictable, as is the "twist" that occurs at the film's conclusion.

The biggest mystery of this film is how they were able to land Michael Douglas on the cast. Douglas has virtually no real screen time in this movie, which is a major disappointment for those of us who enjoyed his work in movies like King of California, Wall Street and Basic Instinct. No need to wait for the jury to return to the courtoom; my verdict is that it's not worth even a Redbox rental.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting dilemma September 14, 2009
What happens when your plan to convict a guilty man backfires? In "Beyond a Reasaonable Doubt", a remake of the 1956 film noir movie of the same name, a journalist, C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) finds himself in this predicament. In attempting to snare the lawyer Martin Hunter (Michael Douglas) for tampering with evidence, C.J. Nicholas instead finds himself convicted of a crime he never actually committed. This interesting premise leads us into the real action of the story, as his girlfriend, Ella Crystal (Amber Tamblyn), attempts to uncover the truth, and save him from his impending death sentence. The film seems to play out predictably from here, or so we think, but then another twist leads us into an altogether new direction. Once this movie, directed by Peter Hymms, finally gets moving, it's an engaging, edge of your seat thriller.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars B Movie. Much worse than a CSI TV show. December 25, 2009
By SuzieQ
Amateurish B movie remake of a 1956 RKO film. Uses every cliche in the book. Awful! How did they get Michael Douglas to do this film?
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This is the perfect movie to show in a college film/ screenwriting class on how not to make movie. The clichés, the bad acting, the terrible direction of all its moving parts, and the ill-contrived rushed plot. I stopped this movie a little after the 1-hour mark after it almost made me physical/emotionally ill. Anyone who likes this movie cannot be trusted to even take my trash to the curb. Some movies are bad, but they are made to be corny (i.e "Transmorphers: Fall of Man" or any Ed Wood flick) but this has no excuse becuase its supposed to be a serious suspense-drama. The producers and creators of this should seek work doing something else...maybe removing roadkill from the streets.

Im not one to suggest ticket sales as a barometer of a good or even quality movie but this one at THE U.S. Box Office took in ticket sales of only $17,164 (stat at IMDB)...they generally find that much in between theater seats for Disney-pixar movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thriller So Incredible January 3, 2011
An ambitious local TV reporter C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) needs a big story to boost his career. And he believes - we don't know why - that high profile District Attorney Mark Hunter (Michael Douglas) is planting false evidence to maintain a high conviction rate. So, in order to expose and publicly humiliate the DA, C.J. devises a contrived plan to set a trap for Hunter by making himself look like a prime murder suspect!

Well, things terribly wrong for C.J., as you expect. This is so terribly wrong that you may start scratching your head wondering why characters including the DA's assistant Ella (Amber Tamblyn) keep doing silly things throughout the film.

The whole premise could be pretty unbelievable back in 1956, when the original "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" (directed by Fritz Lang) was made. In 2010, when most people in America have an easy access to the internet and digital technologies, the story looks simply absurd. In short a reporter doesn't need this elaborate scheme. Of course, everything will be explained in the end, but by the time that happens, most viewers would stop taking the impossible story seriously.

OK, I know this idea, "willing suspension of disbelief," and we often need it to enjoy some classic films. But for the storyline this incredible to really work, we need something - like more round and believable characters, atmospheric cinematography, and most of all, actors and actresses as charismatic and skillful as, say, Humphrey Bogart or Barbara Stanwyck.

Finally, I have been a fan of director Peter Hyams - I still like many of his film in the past, "Capricorn One" and "Narrow Margin" for instance. They may not be winning Academy awards, but surely thrilling and entertaining, but whatever happened to him?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Film...
We've all seen corruption in movies before. We've all seen movies featuring the death penalty before. So the combination of the two probably wouldn't be that jarring for us. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Philip Scholz
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting flick
I elected the 5 star rating for the actors, one whom I recognize, Douglass. The plot had me fooled until the final 'twist' and that pushed up up to 5 stars. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Wilson Logan
Published 2 months ago by Comparison Shopping Consumer
3.0 out of 5 stars "Why would I ask you to find the truth if the truth is bad for me?"
Jesse Metcalfe plays C.J. Nicholas, a young and hungry-for-excitement journalist who frames himself for murder in order to expose the evidence-tampering and phony convictions by... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Doug Park
3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie until...
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is a fair movie. It actually grabs your attention and does a pretty good job of keeping you interested until the end. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rich
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
One of the best movies if you like a little courtroom drama and very suspenseful. You will fall along the line as the movie goes a perfect plan a perfect murder then bam!!!!
Published 3 months ago by wareagle2011
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Ending
This is good but not as good as other Michael Douglas movies that I've seen. It does have a surprise ending. But it drags a bit & is not as imaginative as others he's starred in.
Published 3 months ago by Sharon Downey
2.0 out of 5 stars Whole family agreed this movie was a waste of time.
I stay away from R-rated movies so that we can see movies together as a family. This movie has a LOT of foul language, the worst being the last sentence of the movie. Read more
Published 4 months ago by E. Jones
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
This movie has it all: amateurish acting, ridiculous plot, and poor storytelling. The "twist" at the end is pointless and unsatisfying. Don't waste your money.
Published 4 months ago by Adam Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good surprise ending.
I loved this movie I am a great mystery film fan and this one took me by surprise. I enjoy Mike Douglas in this role.
Published 4 months ago by Geradine Dinardo
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