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4.2 out of 5 stars
Man on a Ledge
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2012
"Today's the day that everything changes, one way or another." After Nick Cassidy (Worthington), a convict doing 25 years for theft, escapes from custody he ends up in a hotel. After his planning is complete he climbs out on a ledge in order to prove his innocence. This is an exciting movie that is very tense almost from the beginning and doesn't let up till the end. Not only are you on the edge of your seat wondering what Nick will do, but there is also a diamond heist going on at the same time that keeps you holding your breath. For this type of movie the cast isn't really all that amazing, but this is an exception. The cast is super in this and that actually adds to the enjoyment and gives the movie a more serious feel. This is a movie that keeps you guessing all the way through and is full of excitement. There were a few over-the-top scenes that made me laugh, but the movie was good enough to overcome those parts. I highly recommend this one. A really fun "popcorn" movie. Overall, very entertaining and fun to watch. I liked it. I give it a B+.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
"Man on a Ledge" is a movie in which a man contemplates jumping to his death. Who is he? Why is this his chosen method of suicide? And why is he so insistent on dealing with a particular police negotiator?

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is an escaped, convicted diamond thief with an elaborate plan to clear his name. After checking into an upper-floor room at Manhattan's Roosevelt Hotel, he orders a hefty meal, then exits the window and positions himself on a ledge. People below notice him and soon the police are called in. When a cop attempts to talk him in, Nick asks to speak with a different negotiator, Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks).

Mercer has been ostracized by her peers recently because she lost a previous jumper. Her self-assurance has been tarnished, and she is perplexed as to why this potential suicide has requested her. The cops dust for fingerprints to identify the would-be jumper, but the room is clean. So Nick's identity remains unknown to them for quite some time.

Ms. Banks never convinces us that she has risen to the rank of detective and been entrusted to such sensitive work as negotiator. She has fashion model looks, and doesn't have the command the role requires. A better casting choice would have been someone like Frances McDormand, Debra Monk, or Stockard Channing -- older women who could convey a harder edge than Ms. Banks.

Much of the plot involves a scheme Nick has engineered, and we gradually see it unfold. It is convoluted, depends on split-second timing, and is the kind of plan that could work only in a screenwriter's imagination.

Worthington ("Avatar") is adequate as the enigmatic man on the ledge, though he fails to bring any distinction to the role. His Nick is determined to call the shots, and it soon becomes obvious that his threat to jump is masking a far more clandestine plan.

The supporting cast is impressive. Jamie Bell plays Nick's brother, Joey; Anthony Mackie is Nick's former co-worker; stone-faced Titus Welliver plays the cop in charge of the operation to get Nick off the ledge; and Edward Burns plays Det. Dougherty, the negotiator Lydia replaces.

As a thriller, "Man on a Ledge" works reasonably well. A large part of the movie involves an intricate caper that occurs as Nick teeters 25 floors above the street. The mystery unfolds as the police, Nick's family, a wealthy businessman (Ed Harris), dirty cops, and Nick himself converge in the film's denouement.

Rated PG-13, "Man on a Ledge" is not a bad movie, just a so-so one. There's a sense that we've seen the film before and the screenwriter has cobbled together scenes from previous movies. For a theatrical film, it has a decidedly TV-movie feel, although the crowd scenes and New York filming are impressive. Asger Leth is a competent director, not an inspired one. He has a good sense of pace and the movie never bogs down.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2012
I don't normally write reviews unless it is really good or really bad. This movie was really good; one that I would watch again. It kept my attention throughout, with surprise plots. I thought the actors did a great job. It is one of those movies where you can't figure out who is the good guy and who is not...(without giving too much away). If you liked the movie The Negotiator, you will most likely like this one.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Sam Worthington is convicted of a crime he claims he did not commit. He goes out on the ledge of a building, in what we know early on is a diversionary tactic as he conspires with his brother (Jamie Bell) to prove his innocence. He requests Lydia "Grim Reaper" Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) to be the person to talk him down. By the nickname, her track record of talking people down has been less than desirable. She is hungry to save someone while fighting her hangover.

The film uses a good intense sound track to raise the thriller level as Jamie and his girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) attempt to prove Worthington is innocent.

Good intensity. Minor expected twists.

F-bomb, no sex, no nudity, Genesis Rodriguez in bra/panties.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2012
In New York City, Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) checks in at the Roosevelt Hotel under the false name of Walker, goes to his hotel room at the top floor, and climbs on the ledge, apparently ready to commit suicide. The crowd below sees him and calls the police. They isolate the area, with Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver) controlling the crowd, while Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) tries to talk with Nick. However, he says he will only speak to negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks). Lydia arrives at the hotel room and manages to acquire Nick's fingerprints from a cigarette they share. Dougherty has them analyzed and discovers that Nick is an ex-policeman who was arrested for stealing a $40 million diamond from businessman David Englander (Ed Harris). Nick, however, says he is innocent and reveals that Englander used to employ cops to protect his multi-floor jewelry business.

After going to the movies to see it, I expected it to be average or maybe a little better but I was surprised and it was a lot better than I expected. Even though a lot of people and critics gave it bad reviews, Man On A Ledge is still a great action/thriller and personally, I think it should've got better reviews but it just depends on the person.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A man is convicted of a crime, checks himself into a famous hotel in New York, then proceeds to climb on the ledge of the building to prove his innocence. In addition, he requests who he wishes to speak to about the crime he was accused of. The woman he requested has a reputation of not being the perfect detective, or a good negotiator. However, it's as good as it gets when Ms. Banks steps in to save the day. A clever game begins with the NYPD, and the accused. The clock ticks fast, the drama is explosive, and the film is action-packed from beginning to end. Who stole the diamond, who made the plan to escape from prison, and who are the guilty? I highly recommend 'MAN ON A LEDGE' to all thriller lovers, who enjoy high-speed action with intense suspense. Enjoyable with intellectual thrills, and as interesting as 'PRESUMED INNOCENT' without all the courtroom drama. There's never a dull moment as the drama gets better-and-better as we wonder if a suicide will be witnessed with half the world watching, a diamond is found, and a man attempts to prove that he's innocent!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2012
Great movie, would recommend. Great suspense, drama, and action. With a good plot and cast in the movie. Liked it allot story line is good X-cop setup goes to prison and then plots his revenge and eventually gets it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
Great movie!! The story of the movie does really got me excited a the beginning but got better and better I enjoyed very much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
There wasn't a lot in this movie that I haven't seen before in other, better films. That said, I was surprised at how engaging it was. The cast and director were really on their game, and I found myself engrossed in this film even when I knew what was going to happen and why. I suppose that speaks extra for the cast and the director: it's one thing to make you intrigued when you don't know what's going to happen; it's an entirely different feat to make you care when you already know.

Kudos to them, and well worth a watch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A man checks into a luxury hotel under the name "Walker." After an expensive dinner and champagne, he writes a note... and climbs out the window onto a narrow stone ledge.

Welcome to the scenario that opens "Man on a Ledge," which is literally about a man sitting on a ledge to try to prove his innocence. The idea isn't half bad, but the casting of the eternally blank-faced Sam Worthington pretty much deflates the intensity -- the rest of the cast is quite good, but when the plot hinges around a person sitting on a ledge, they better be good.

Two years ago, Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) was accused of stealing a massive diamond from wealthy businessman David Englander (Ed Harris), and was sentenced to 25 years. When he's allowed a day out for his father's funeral, Nick escapes from his guards, picks up a cache of money and other supplies, and checks into the hotel. See above description of what happens.

Expecting a suicidal jumper, a massive crowd forms below, while the police try to figure out who Cassidy is and why he's up there. He refuses to talk to anyone except depressed negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks). But unknown to the cops, Nick's younger brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and Joey's girlfriend Angie (Génesis Rodríguez) are infiltrating a nearby building, where they plan to prove his innocence -- by stealing the missing diamond.

"Man on a Ledge" is another one of those movies that might have been simply sublime... if Alfred Hitchcock weren't dead. It has an intriguing idea, and a challenge that most Hollywood movies won't set up for themselves -- what if the hero of the piece barely ever moved from the ledge he's standing on, holding himself hostage in front of all of New York City?

So how does this movie fail? That would be Sam Worthington. This man has the acting ability of a tortoise who just smoked a giant bag of weed -- he never registers any emotions like fear, anxiety, rage or depression. Actually, he barely registers any emotions, period. It's like watching a lifelike robot trying to imitate humans, and failing.

A role like this one needs Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, (de-aged) Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell or Matt Damon, all of whom could pull off a disgraced cop going to desperate lengths to restore his life. But with Worthington up on the ledge, all feeling of tension is just sucked out of the central storyline. He's not even sweating!

Director Asger Leth actually does a lot better when he's focusing on anything other than the titular man on a ledge -- the infiltration into the vault is a genuinely tense sequence, with some clever twists along the way. However, I found myself a little baffled by the depiction of the people watching Cassidy. For some reason, the crowd of rubberneckers suddenly turns Cassidy into a hero for the common man... even though they don't really know much about what's going on. It feels awkward and is never really explained.

The rest of the actors are pretty decent -- Jamie Bell and Elizabeth Bell give excellent smaller performances, especially since Bell is playing a woman haunted by a failure to talk down a suicidal cop. Ed Harris is something of a cardboard villain though, and Kyra Sedgwick is utterly wasted as an annoying TV reporter who... reports.

The man on a ledge is the weakest point in "Man on a Ledge" -- which is a shame, because a strong, talented actor in that role could have made this a wonderfully memorable movie. As it is, it just reminds me of what happens when tortoises get stoned.
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