The Contract
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2007
After seeing all the one star reviews, I almost didn't watch this movie. I'm glad I ignored them. I actually liked it. Question. How many action movies have you seen where one untrained guy or a few untrained people go against all odds fighting highly trained, well equipped mercenaries, rouge government agents, etc, etc? Answer: Just about all of them, so why complain it. For an action movie, I thought this was pretty good. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but for those of you thinking about watching this, I have one friendly comment. Make up your own mind about it. If I decided not to watch movies based on bad reviews, I can tell I would've missed a lot of good movies. My opinion... good entertainment. Good popcorn movie. No one in this movie is going to win "best-actor"... but who cares!!!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A well done, low-key medium octane thriller, The Contract works on quite a few levels offering up plentiful helpings of drama, thrills, action, and intrigue. The story revolves around a father and son learning to reconnect and trust one another under tense circumstances after becoming inadvertantly entangled in a dangerous criminal plot. Though there are certainly some scenes of violence, the film isn't buried in heavy amounts of gore or extreme violence and was the perfect Friday night thriller for us all including our 18 year old nephew. Fun, exciting movie; Morgan & Cusack are always in top form.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2007
Enjoyable if not derivitive thriller with perfunctory performances by leads Morgan Freemand and John Cusack. The storyline is thin, the characters are thin, but the film is beautifully shot, had some wonderful set pieces (the cliff scene) and some moments of nice suspense and action. A few of the action sequences are extremely well executed and surpisingly quite thrilling. On the downside, the movie definitely plays it too safe, there's certainly nothings screaming "extraordinary" in any sense, and is lacking verisimilitude. Still, it's a pleasant and very scenic journey, has some memorable moments, and John Cusack and Morgan Freeman even when only mediocre are still always fun to watch on screen.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I see John Cusack and Morgan Freeman's face on the cover of a DVD box, I buy it. Not that these guys have never made a bad movie, but they've certainly never made a movie worse. The same is true here, although the movie was already pretty bad to begin with.

Gym teacher Ray Keene (Cusack at his most vacant) has a pubescent son who is grappling with several dull plot contrivances (the Dead Mom and Infrequent Pot Smoking). In an attempt to bond with him before he goes too far down the wrong path, Ray takes his boy hiking. Turns out they BOTH end up down the wrong path, in the middle of which is escaped-assassin, Frank (Freeman, who gives new meaning to the phrase "phoning it in"). Frank is pursued by his team of assisstants (assassisstants?), who want badly to be paid, but not far behind are also a group of snobbish U.S. Marshalls who have their own agendas. It's Ray's job to avoid these two deadly (?) forces and bring Frank to justice.

No, wait. Ray's job is a gym coach, making the next several hours of his life a pretty amazing feat, as he scales bluffs, outwits and outmanuevers a whole cadre of military-trained mercenaries and political heavies that appear to have no skills beyond complaining about coffee and smirking smugly at the incompetent local lawmen. And, to be fair, the local lawmen are remarkably incompetent.

Who wrote this thing? Furthermore, how did they get Driving Miss Daisy's Bruce Beresford to direct? That must be, at least, how they got Freeman to lend his Oscar-winning weight to the title. And that would explain Cusack (because who WOULDN'T want to star next to the incomparable Freeman?). But none of it explains the script's tired dialogue ("You said mom would be okay!" Ray's son, Chris, keens. "But she wasn't okay! She wasn't okay!"). None of it explains the crumpled story-line or the ludicrously two-dimensional characters (Alice Krige's skullish Gwen Miles is so flat she seems concaved). And the plot holes! Let's just say that they eventually become an acquired taste. By the time you get to the scene I call the "Helicopter Crash Conversation," you'll be shaking your head AND laughing.

The really funny thing, though, is that it's obvious SOMEONE put a lot of work into the film. Certain scenes (the hit-and-run at the start, the accident that leads to Frank's initial capture) are smartly done. And in the hands of an abler scribe (it was penned by the late Stephen Katz, who did mostly teleplays for The A-Team and Hardcastle and McCormick) it might have pulled together into something you could take a passing interest in. Instead, there's this silly, incomprehensible glob of a film, notable only for being the first time I've ever seen Morgan Freeman look tired without also thinking he was doing a great job of acting like it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2007
Cusack, who is usually a nice guy, but sometimes also funny, for which he gets no chance here, goes on a bonding excursion with his teenage son, and comes back with a new girl friend and a new pal in the underworld.
The movie has all the ingredients for a speedy action thriller, and just how it fails to raise even the tiniest bit of suspense still is not clear to me. It is also not funny, except when the backwoods cop spills the coffee on the DC smartarse's shirt. That is hilarious.
Morgan Freeman does his best to assure everybody that we should not mistake him for a nice guy. Oddly, he fails, and ends up beloved by the audience. We even seem to want him to do his job. After all he wants to put in a solid day's job for his considerable pay.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2007
I realize I must suspend disbelief some when I watch a movie but this movie was just too unbelievable even for a movie. People in serious car wrecks and escape without a scratch, 3 men in a helicopter crash that destroyed the helicopter and they all walk away. A guy doing precision shooting out of a bouncing helicopter. I couldn't even finish. Goes to show that two great stars can make a lemon movie.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2008
I like Morgan Freeman. He's an exceptional actor. I like him so much that I've never seen a movie that he was in that I didn't like. I tried to like this movie; I tried to find something redeeming in it, anything at all, but it's a zero. It's filled with guns that come from nowhere, magical shooting ability from a high school teacher/baseball coach who somehow is able to control a Steyr AUG on full auto with no former training, a helicopter crash in the woods that no only doesn't get anyone killed, but the occupants suffer not a single scratch, and hundreds of other mishaps that should not be overlooked by a director with the movie making skill of your average high school student. It has absolutely no suspense, no surprise ending (it's simply random), and very little action, basically there's nothing to like about this movie. It does have two good points. First, it's only an hour and half long, so you won't waste too much time. Second, if you look in the special features section you'll find previews to a couple of movies that look pretty good. If you've got to see it borrow it, it's not even worth renting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2007
My wife and I really enjoyed this moive. I'm sorry there's so many negative reviews. Granted this isn't academy award material and probably similar to plots of several made for TV movies over the years, but, all in all it's a nice watch. Freeman, as always, is definately worth enjoying and Cusack was above average. These two characters as bookends to the story were quite enjoyable. This is a nice adventure drama and well worth our two hour stint in front of the TV.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2009
You can't beat a gripping action movie with 2 legendary actors, all in a Steelbook case. The Contract is well done with a mix of tense action scenes and emotional connections with Ray and his son. Freeman and Cusack take the film to the next level. If you like either of these actors, get this Steelbook. It looks awesome!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2007
John Cusack and Morgan Freeman gives great entertainment in this drama/thriller. I like the twist this movie takes when a rude killer (Freeman) shows sympathy and create a bond with a father (Cusack) and his son (new actor Jamie Anderson). Unrealistic maybe, but somewhat believable after everything they go through all through the movie.

I enjoyed this movie, it has great special effects and the scenery is outstanding!
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