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Proof of Life (2000)

Meg Ryan , Russell Crowe , Taylor Hackford  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse, Pamela Reed, David Caruso
  • Directors: Taylor Hackford
  • Writers: Thomas Hargrove, Tony Gilroy, William Prochnau
  • Producers: Taylor Hackford, Charles Mulvehill, Feliks Pastusiak, Steven Reuther
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2001
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005BCKF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,341 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Proof of Life" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-Scenes Documentary: "The Making of Proof of Life."
  • Feature-Length Commentary by Director Taylor Hackford

Editorial Reviews

Their lives are on the line. Their hearts are out on a limb. The wife of a kidnap victim and the hostage negotiator working with her navigate a brutal world of terrorism that values money over life - and find their tasks complicated by the growing awareness that they're attracted to each other.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Drama December 18, 2000
The inherent dangers of living in a country in which political agendas have been compromised, and where wealth takes precedence over integrity, are made brutally clear to an American engineer who takes a job in South America, only to become the victim of a kidnapping for ransom in "Proof Of Life," directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan. Peter Bowman (David Morse) is hired by an oil company to build a dam that will facilitate the construction of a pipeline, but is kidnapped at random by a band of guerrillas whose political agenda has long since given way to the more lucrative business of terrorism purely for the sake of capital gains. When it happens, the London based insurance company whose business it is to underwrite conglomerates around the world to cover this particular kind of situation sends in it's "K&R" (Kidnap and ransom) man, Terry Thorne (Crowe), to negotiate the release of Bowman. And it quickly becomes a game in which most of the participants, including Bowman's wife, Alice (Ryan), would rather not participate; the catch is, you play the game, or one of the principles involved-- in this case Peter Bowman-- dies. Hackford's drama examines what it is like to face the reality of a situation over which you have neither experience nor control, and looks at it from the perspective of the victim, as well as that of those dealing with it on the other end. How does one respond to the kind of circumstances previously known only from news reports and movies, the things that only happen to others, but never to you. What would it be like to have to put your life, or the life of a loved one (as in this case), in the hands of a total stranger? It's thought provoking, sobering material that drives home the rather tentative state of the world in which we live. Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thinker's action movie September 3, 2001
By FireFly
Proof of Life is a good film that has been greatly over-shadowed (or destroyed) by the Hollywood pseudo-moral standards on its co-stars real life romance. And that is unfortunate. The story is good, which has good balance of action and human elements. The acting is excellent. You can trust Russell Crowe in any movies; he will never let you down. And as a happy surprise, after reading so many critics that bashing Meg Ryan, in this movie, Meg Ryan has actually delivered an powerful performance. She comes out as a strong and mature woman who's going through crisis and tries to get out from the bottom of her life in one piece. No trace can be found of the cuteness she usually carries with her in other movies, and there are no showing of melodramatic moments, neither. David Morse has given a solid performance as the husband under hostage that really deserves more recognition he was given. And the supporting actors are also very good. As the director said "this is a thinker's action movie". It throws a lot of questions on you: marriage crisis, in-laws problems (jealous sister in-law), life crisis, unattainable love; how will each character deal with it with the dignity and sense of honor? How will you deal with it if it happens to you? This is a good movie that makes you think.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 70's realism not hollywood sensationalism June 18, 2001
By A Customer
what really spoke to me about this movie was that it did not go for the over-wrought sensationalism, which major studio films are so often prone to do. instead it stayed true to (what must be) tense and tedious process of negotiations following a kidnapping such as this. the film convincingly portrays the vulnerability and helplessness of the victim's family, that expose them to be preyed not only by the kidnappers but those who come to their supposed aid. there's an especially suspenseful showdown between Russell Crowe and a shady local security guard who was 'helping' the family.
The film culminates in an armed mission to rescue the hostage. This climactic sequence is the epitome of suspense, and its realistic planning and operation would have put a smile even to Tom Clancy's face. Here, the filmmakers have produced a sensational outcome without resorting to sensationalism, and that has made all the difference.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Once again Russell Crowe follows a great movie role, Maximus in Gladiator, with a totally different persona that holds this movie together. Proof of Life is filled with nuanced moments that only Russell can deliver. While the action sequences are superb, the intimate moments are touchingly handled. Terry Thorne is definitely the man you'd want to be your negotiator if you were ever kidnapped. As always, you know how he's feeling and what he's thinking every moment. It's a pleasure to see Russell as the competent Australian that he is in real life. And the comedic moments promise good comedy roles in the future.
Taylor Hackford uses his visual skills to great effect, giving us amazing high altitude shots and the intense atmosphere of the rain forest. As others have noted, be sure to stay for the credits, the soaring portrait of the Andean landscape is breathtaking.
However, this film could have been very special if the romantic elements had been fully realized, ala Casablanca. We know Hackford removed the love scene after the previews, unfortunately with this we lost "Paris", the emotional center of this film. I enjoyed Morse and Caruso very much, but thought Meg Ryan didn't have enough dialogue to give us a well rounded character in Alice. Pamela Reed was fine as her sister in law.
A good action/suspense film, more emotional exposition featuring the sizzle between the two stars would have raised this up at least two notches. Understanding the full nature of their relationship would have deepened the regret and loss at the end. This one will be a keeper on dvd, with the stunning visuals and good performances, but only if Hackford puts the love scene and remorse afterwards back in.
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