The powerful presence of Russell Crowe and the skillful writing and directing of Paul Haggis (Crash
) give The Next Three Days
an emotional heft to match its taut suspense. Schoolteacher John Brennan (Crowe) is stunned when his wife Laura (Elizabeth Banks, W.
) is sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. As he watches her emotional decline behind bars, he becomes determined to break her out of prison--and The Next Three Days
tracks his meticulous efforts, including wrong turns that threaten to capsize everything. The movie is most compelling in how it follows Brennan's wrenching emotional changes. He's not some cold, focused secret agent--he's torn between his painful devotion to his wife and the frightening possibility of what could go wrong, including the possible cost to their son. The outstanding supporting cast includes Liam Neeson, Brian Dennehy, and rapper RZA, but the vast majority of the movie rests on Crowe's shoulders and he carries it like an athlete. There's something deeply physical about Crowe's performances--his emotions seem to fill his entire body, even as his expressions are incredibly subtle. It's a gripping performance by a remarkable actor, anchoring a well-conceived and engaging thriller. --Bret Fetzer
Life seems perfect for John Brennan until his wife, Lara, is arrested for a murder she says she didn’t commit. Three years into her sentence, John is struggling to hold his family together, raising their son and teaching at college while he pursues every means available to prove her innocence. With the rejection of their final appeal, Lara becomes suicidal and John decides there is only one possible, bearable solution: to break his wife out of prison. Refusing to be deterred by impossible odds or his own inexperience, John devises an elaborate escape plot and plunges into a dangerous and unfamiliar world, ultimately risking everything for the woman he loves. Lionsgate presents a Hwy 61 Films / Lionsgate production. The Next Three Days
stars Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Brian Dennehy, Olivia Wilde and Liam Neeson, and is directed by Paul Haggis from a screenplay by Paul Haggis. The Next Three Days
is produced by Michael Nozik and Paul Haggis, and Olivier Delbosc and Marc Missonnier.