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3.4 out of 5 stars7
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I was pretty excited to have discovered the British comedy/romance/heist film "Comes A Bright Day" by Simon Aboud. With an appealing cast and an unorthodox set-up, the film has limitless potential. I thought I would absolutely love this quirky film as its ideas and themes really struck my interest. But, alas, there's something a bit off in the telling. In many ways, I thought the screenplay tried to cover too many bases and the film's tone is ever-shifting. It's not really a comedy, it's not particularly a romance, it's not quite believable as an action endeavor, and it falls a bit short as a character study. It is simultaneously all of these things and none of them! I well and truly hate when people say "I really wanted to like" something--but, in this case, I really wanted to like "Comes A Bright Day." And yet, it never really connected with me in any tangible way. The situations never merge well and the characters speak in philosophical pontification, so the end result left me feeling a bit cool and uninvolved.

The film has a terrific cast including Craig Roberts (from the underrated Submarine), the lovely Imogen Poots, Kevin McKidd and the great Timothy Spall. Roberts plays a luxury hotel employee with big dreams of success. On a menial errand, he stumbles upon the charming Poots who happens to work in a jeweler's shop that he needs to visit. Playing the big shot, however, to impress the lady doesn't go off as planned when armed marauders (including McKidd and a quite funny Josef Altin) stage a robbery. Roberts, Poots, and Spall (the proprietor) are soon trapped in a hostage situation. With glimpses of unexpected violence, strange madness, and dark humor, the rest of the movie unfolds as a chamber piece of sorts as the characters debate their lives and the nature of humanity. The dialogue definitely feels scripted, though, with none of the revelations feeling organic or real in any way. And this was the primary disconnect for me. I thought the set-up was interesting, but the characters never felt remotely believable. And the film wanders a bit with scenes outside of the heist that include the police, Roberts' best friend as well as his boss. I also didn't feel that these interludes integrated well with the main action.

The odd Roberts, though, is always a fascinating actor. And I would watch Spall in just about anything. The movie, in no way, is objectionable or disastrous. It was easy enough to watch and enjoy, I suppose, it just didn't fulfill the promise that I think it might have had. It just needed more focus. While I like films that are different, "Comes A Bright Day" played in too many genres without fully committing to any. McKidd, who I love, feels particularly stranded. Sometimes the movie wants to be dark, sometimes funny, but it is its reach to be meaningful that makes the tone gone awry. An interesting film, it simply isn't one that I can imagine revisiting anytime to rewatch. KGHarris, 10/12.
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on March 5, 2013
I absolutely loved this movie. I had no idea what I was getting into when I turned it on, and was pleasantly surprised. "Comes a Bright Day" is a bank heist movie that is not told like a typical bank heist movie. Sure, there is action and violence, but there is so much more. The film centers on five main characters (two robbers and three hostages) who are thrust together after an attempted heist of a jewelry store goes terribly wrong.

The story focuses more on the characters than the dangerous situation they find themselves in, yet you are never allowed to forget that their lives could end at any moment.

I was caught up in the direction--the film was wonderfully shot. It was also hard to not get caught up in the beautiful Imogen Poots, who I hope to see in many films to come. She was stunning -- both in beauty and in her quiet, powerful performance.

"Comes a Bright Day" has it all -- action, crime, humor, love, loss, and coming-of-age romance. If you are looking for "Ocean's 11," this ain't it. If you are looking for a more cerebral thriller that focuses more on the characters than convenient plot twists, I highly recommend this movie.
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on January 19, 2016
We had to order this dvd twice: the first disk was unplayable due to the noise it made; the second disk was playable but it froze and "stuttered" in places about halfway through. The movie itself was quite good? We like both Anthony Spall and Imogene Poots (what a name!).
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on April 8, 2014
Seems a lot of folk are championing this flick and I can't say as I see why. It's not a bad yarn but there are any number of hostages flicks have been done better.

Here's the scoop. Sam Smith (Craig Roberts) is a go-for at a very high end hotel.He's all plans and no action but wants to hit the big time. He starts his assertiveness by going to an exclusive jewelry shop on an errand for his boss where he will try to hit up on the beauty that works there. While there, two thugs enter to do some robbing. Things go south and Sam, the girl and the shop's owner find themselves hostages.

Hostage flicks are nearly as old as film itself. It's great fodder for drama and exploring the human condition. One of the problems with this flick is that not much happens. It all seems so quiet. There are some outbursts and postures of defiance but I never felt enough tension. Then there's the main perp. Seems to me that a guy with such an awful stutter shouldn't have chosen a life of crime. You can pick him out of a crowd. Then he furthers his stupidity by choosing a dim bulb partner. And what's with his nearly losing it while listening to "Madame Butterfly?" This guy is way too vulnerable to be a hood. But I digress. As I said this just seemed so lackluster. I didn't care enough about anyone or their personal situation. They tried with some expository passages to add character depth but it fell flat to me.

The acting, editing, music and such were all decent enough. This, for me, fell flat at the script level. It's not a painful watch. I just need more meat on the bone.
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on December 31, 2013
This movie isn't for the impatient. The plot moves slowly, there are maybe four settings total, and some of the conversations drag a bit. Also, the movie is fairly predictable, which detracts a bit from the overall enjoyment. Some subplots were underdeveloped and should have been ignored altogether.

But, I was pleasantly surprised. The chemistry between the actors and the subtleties were enough to carry it.
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on June 30, 2013
Wonderfully entertaining. One of, if not the best films I've seen this year! Why haven't we heard more about this?
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on January 15, 2013
This movie needed more development of its characters. Kevin McKidd created an interesting character and his performance was excellent. His character hinted at an interesting past. However, other than having problems communicating with people because of a stutter, we never know what led his character to be the person he became. I wanted to like this movie more but couldn't help wanting more depth to the characters.
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