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Death Sentence (Unrated Edition)

189 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nick Hume is a loving father with a perfect life, until one gruesome night he witnesses something that changes him forever. Transformed by grief, Hume eventually comes to the disturbing conclusion that no length is too great when protecting his family.

James Wan (Saw) brings the ultra-violence to this gritty story of a suburban father (Kevin Bacon) who discovers the consequences of revenge after his son is murdered. The perpetrators of this senseless killing are a multi-ethnic (and highly visible) gang of drug dealers and cutthroats led by the psychotic Billy Darley (Garrett Hedlund); when the case is thrown out on a technicality, Bacon takes a page from Charles Bronson's book (no surprise, as this is based on author Brian Garfield's 1975 follow-up to Death Wish) and pursues a vigilante course to avenge his boy. Things do not go according to Bacon's plan, which cues a series of frantic and well-executed action set pieces, most notably a parking structure chase that unfolds in a nearly unbroken take. Death Sentence breaks no new ground in the action-thriller department, and its characters and dialogue are nearly indistinguishable from any violent crime movie of the last few decades (in its weakest moments, it resembles grindhouse fare like The Exterminator); however, Bacon is excellent (as always) as the mild-mannered architect who discovers his inner killer the hard way, and Wan's knack for screen mayhem and unsettling atmosphere are well used here. The DVD includes both the theatrical version and an unrated cut (which offers 10 additional minutes), as well as two making-of featurettes that originally aired on the Fox Movie Channel, and several webisodes that focus on director Wan, his cast, and the film's elaborate stunts and fight scenes. -- Paul Gaita

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Bacon, Garrett Hedlund, John Goodman, Kelly Preston, Matt O'Leary
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Y7U97I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,194 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Death Sentence (Unrated Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 12, 2008
Format: DVD
DEATH SENTENCE is a tough movie to watch, not because it is a poorly made film, but because of the degree of violence that, once started, is mayhem on a roller coaster ride. Though based on a novel by Brian Garfield, the script by Ian Jeffers is a patchwork quilt - the holes show whenever the police arrive on the scene. James Wan, of the 'Saw' movies fame, directs with a keen eye for breathless action sequences and almost intolerable suspense timing that makes the film fly through the 111 minutes of the Unrated version.

During the opening credits we are introduced to the perfect family via home movies and domestic scenes: Nick Hume (Kevin Bacon) is the devoted father, Helen (Kelly Preston) his bright and loving wife, Brendan (Stuart Lafferty) is the golden boy son with all the hockey laurels, and Lucas (Jordan Garrett) the younger 'also ran' son. The glitch in this family's happiness happens one night when, out of gas while driving home from a hockey game, Nick stops at a gas station and while Brendan is in the convenience store a gang comes in and murders the store owner and Brendan: the reason for the killing is not robbery but an initiation rite into a gang accomplished by young Joe Darley (Matt O'Leary) and the demand of his older brother Billy (Garrett Hedlund, in a very out of character role from his usual 'Troy', 'Friday Night Lights', 'Eragon', 'Georgia Rule' persona). Nick witnesses the killing and when the lawyers and police work with him in the aftermath to 'arrange a deal' instead of a murder trial, Nick decides to take matters in hi s own hands.

The Darley brothers are part of a ruthless gang sponsored by their own father Bones Darley (John Goodman, in a very dark and well-realized role).
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By damoviecritic on December 21, 2007
Format: DVD
I usually agree with the mainstream critics about movies, for the most part. However, this movie, like the 1st Saw film, is a major exception. If you are looking for a best picture candidate, you will not find it here. However, it is a very entertaining, engrossing movie that will probably not appeal to the squeamish. The movie fits right into the Parent Revenge mold quite well. The oldest son is killed by gang. Dad avenges death. Gang fights back. Dad goes crazy and kills gang members, before the whole thing culminates in a final shootout full of graphic carnage. If you are looking for an insane action movie, this isn't quite it. In particular, the first half is very deliberate in trying to convey Bacon as a real guy, trying to avoid violence, but ultimately succumbing to it. I found this journey that he takes to be quite believe, up until a scene near the end in a hospital in which he turns into Rambo. Rather than being moving, it is slightly laughable. Then the movie turns into a straightforward, albeit very well shot, action flick full of gore and carnage. Many critics bashed the film for it's hypocrisy in having the movie condemn violence while later depicting it in stylish, perversely entertaining detail. However, I think this was justified by a gang leaders quote at near the end of the film. "Look at you," he says to Bacon. "You've turned into one of us." The man is right. The gang leaders have slit throats and shot heads. But so has Bacon. He is a lesser of two evils to be sure, but an evil none the less. While this may be a cheap attempt by the director the make the film more serious, it does work. It is true that Bacon has transformed into a kind of monster. I give great credit to Bacon's performance, along with almost ever other actor. If a dark, violent, disturbing movie is what you are in the mood for this weekend, skip Halloween, and go see this.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By FlimAfflicted on November 17, 2007
Format: DVD
Revenge is best served....period
This movie is a wicked ride. For all you Death Wish, Straw Dogs, and The Crow fans out there, this film is dark and gritty. Fast paced action and some good raw emotion. I won't ruin the story but if revenge is your kind of dish i recomend you pick this up, grab a snack and sit back and watch Kevin Bacon kick so much @$$ you'll probably go blind.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b VINE VOICE on February 5, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is another 'Death Wish/Taxi Driver' clone but, it does have some style and some good performances. There is an audience for these types of films because it's fun to watch dirt-bags get what they deserve! Bacon is believable as a father stricken with grief after his son is randomly murdered as part of a gang initiation. This is not just a "shoot`em up" movie but a good story with decent character development. There are some plot holes for sure but, overall this is a good movie with much more going for it than not. John Goodman also give a very disturbing and good performance.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Beach on December 22, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After watching this you may feel a little distant and on edge. It isn't a simple 'revenge' theme. The message may be that the cost of 'justice' can be higher than the cost of the injustice, and in the end you can't make it all come out equal. But the message seems secondary to what I liked about this film.

Cliche's become fresh again if they are done well. The scenes of violence taken independently are well composed. The acting is all well done, but you must also really give credit to good music scores and the cinematography for making it work.

A brief list of movie points (without giving anything away):

Casting is very well done, especially with Goodman and the bad guys. Bacon is a great choice as he can play the family man, victim, and psycho all very well.
The beginning tries to establish the characters to build empathy for their later duress. This is standard, necessary, but a little sappy - so don't get too critical.
The buildup for the first violent scene is excellent as you scream at Bacon to open his eyes to where he is and what is going down (classic horror).
The 'bad guys' hang out is introduced to the sound of Jimi Hendrix, and they are very well casted as dudes you do not want to ### with.
John Goodman is simply outstanding in his role and acting.
The first revenge scene is very believable in how it happens.
The 'bad guys' are shown as having emotions and intellect, not just as dehumanized thugs, + the balls to whack you at your favorite Starbucks at noon (there's no Starbucks in the movie, just making a point).
The 'Rambo' part of the film fullfills it's brutal purpose with a neat change in filming.
The end scene gives a tribute to Robert De Niro's early work in Taxi Driver.

You will probably be left with a dark alienated mood not a clear simple message. So watch it for the mood, not a message.
"2 thumbs up"
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