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Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

3.5 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

High profile lawyer, Martin Hunter (Michael Douglas) has an impeccable record putting criminals behind bars and is a shoo-in for governor in the upcoming election. But when ambitious rookie journalist, C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) begins investigating Hunter for tampering with evidence to secure his convictions, the district attorneys perfect record is up for scrutiny. Commencing a risky game of cat and mouse with Hunter, C.J. frames himself as a murder suspect to catch the corrupt D.A. in the act. (studio)

Amazon.com

An ambitious reporter takes an extraordinary risk to bring down a corrupt district attorney in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, a modern-day remake of Fritz Lang's final feature. On occasion, Shreveport newsman C.J. (Jesse Metcalfe, Desperate Housewives) receives confidential tips from assistant D.A. Ella (Amber Tamblyn, Joan of Arcadia), but Ella hesitates to go out with him due to the conflict of interest. It doesn't help that he considers her boss, gubernatorial candidate Martin Hunter (Michael Douglas, whose performance recalls Wall Street's Gordon Gekko), "too smooth," adding, "I'm not sure he's honest," but she eventually yields to C.J.'s charms (hey, it worked for Gabrielle Solis). Little does she realize that he plans to expose Hunter as a fraud--by framing himself for an unsolved murder. C.J. figures if he teams up with cameraman Finley (Joel Moore), he can't lose, but he never stops to consider the consequences if something happens to Finley or the video that proves his innocence. So, the trial proceeds, but once Hunter gets wind of the scheme, he goes after C.J. with all his might. Ella is the only one who can help him, but to do so means to put her career--maybe even her life--on the line. There's a nasty twist at the end of this entertaining, if shallow, courtroom drama, and director/cinematographer Peter Hyams, who previously worked with Douglas on The Star Chamber, sprinkles the suspense with some tension-relieving zingers from Orlando Jones as a cop who suspects something fishy is afoot. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Jesse Metcalfe, Amber Tamblyn, Dave Jensen, John "Spud" McConnell
  • Directors: Peter Hyams
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 2009
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002QW7AMG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,588 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Demario Moore on November 18, 2009
Format: DVD
I did not expect much from this movie. Mostly because it stars Jesse Metcalfe and Amber Tamblyn. Amber is ok but Jesse Metcalfe clearly needs some more practice. He's so emotionless. This movie would have been even better if he were replaced with a better actor. Sorry, but the guy needs work. I was definately wrong about the film though. This is actually a pretty good film. It's about this reporter that decides to frame himself for murder so he can expose the dirty D.A. played by the great Micheal Douglas. This movie has a really strong script. I don't think anyone with common sense would frame themselves for murder but this movie had me going. It also has this surprise ending that will make your jaw hit the floor. I would definately rent this one. If you can find it cheap on DVD it might even be worth buying. Decent actors,good story, and a surprise ending, you can't ask for much more than that. At least not from a straight to dvd movie. HOLLA
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What happens when your plan to convict a guilty man backfires? In "Beyond a Reasaonable Doubt", a remake of the 1956 film noir movie of the same name, a journalist, C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) finds himself in this predicament. In attempting to snare the lawyer Martin Hunter (Michael Douglas) for tampering with evidence, C.J. Nicholas instead finds himself convicted of a crime he never actually committed. This interesting premise leads us into the real action of the story, as his girlfriend, Ella Crystal (Amber Tamblyn), attempts to uncover the truth, and save him from his impending death sentence. The film seems to play out predictably from here, or so we think, but then another twist leads us into an altogether new direction. Once this movie, directed by Peter Hymms, finally gets moving, it's an engaging, edge of your seat thriller.
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Format: DVD
BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (2009) is a noir remake of a 1956 Fritz Lang drama (his last film) that in several ways improves upon the original. In that earlier version the reporter is a writer who's not out to catch a corrupt DA but to get capital punishment banned, so the motivation in the remake is actually an improvement. Also, the newer version has a dark turn at the end that's not in the '56 picture. There's also a couple of well-done action sequences of the sort that were non-existent a half century ago.

Here, Jesse Metcalf is the fifth estater who purposely makes himself look like the perpetrator of a murder. He has an accomplice in acquiring certain pieces of evidence who can prove Metcalf's innocence once DA Douglas does his expected evidence tampering. In the original movie Andrews' ally, future father-in-law Sidney Blackmer dies of a coronary. With the '09 version, cohort Joel David Moore is also eliminated and the exculptory video discs destroyed or stolen. All this after Metcalf is arrested on murder charges and put on trial. Without Moore's help and discs things look bleak for Metcalf. Only his GF, Amber Tamblyn, who's also in the DA's office, is left to try to prove his innocence.

It's always good seeing Michael Douglas, who in this movie has the "guest star" as his role of the corrupt lawyer who hopes to become Louisiana's next governor. To this end he'll do anything to win cases, even have people murdered.

One thing that surprised me is the studio that released this drama, good old RKO.
I thought that outfit was long defunct, but apparently not so.

I enjoyed BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, and feel it doesn't deserve its current middling 5.9 IMDb rating.
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Format: DVD
What speaks volumes about the overall quality of this movie is that it was released in only half a dozen movie theaters nationwide, and grossed less than 20k at the box office.

At best it's an average movie with no quality acting, which reflects the fact that only 5% of voters on Rotten Tomatoes actually enjoyed it. The complications that arise with our main character as the movie progresses are predictable, as is the "twist" that occurs at the film's conclusion.

The biggest mystery of this film is how they were able to land Michael Douglas on the cast. Douglas has virtually no real screen time in this movie, which is a major disappointment for those of us who enjoyed his work in movies like King of California, Wall Street and Basic Instinct. No need to wait for the jury to return to the courtoom; my verdict is that it's not worth even a Redbox rental.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is a fair movie. It actually grabs your attention and does a pretty good job of keeping you interested until the end. The ending is really bad and will leave you disappointed and saying to yourself "That's it!?" I don't recommend this movie.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
WHILE MICHAEL DOUGLAS IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE PLOT, AS A CHARACTER, HE DOES NOT HAVE THAT MUCH SCREEN TIME.

IT DOESN'T MATTER- WHEN HE IS ON SCREEN, HIS APPEARANCE CARRIES IMPACT AND KEEPS THE FILM'S MOMENTUM GOING.

WHILE HE PLAYS HIS ROLE WELL, ANYONE WHO COULD CARRY A COCKY AND SINISTER ATTITUDE FOR THE PART, COULD HAVE HAD THE ROLE.

THE PLOT IS A BIT DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU ARE USE TO SEEING AND SO, IT DOES PULL YOU IN, ONCE YOU SEE IN THE FIRST 30 MINS WHAT THE INTENT IS.

IF SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY THIS MOVIE WAS MADE GIVES YOU THE FEELING OF A * MADE FOR TV* FILM- DON'T LET IT DETER YOU FROM FINISHING THIS MOVI

THE PAY OFF IS HERE, EVEN IF YOU REALLY HAVE TO WAIT FOR IT AND NOT WANTING TO OFFER A SPOILER, ALL I CAN SAY IS SIT TIGHT AND LET IT UNFOLD.
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