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Edge of Darkness

4.1 out of 5 stars 365 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The bullet that killed his daughter was meant for Boston cop Thomas Craven. That’s what police brass and Craven himself think, but that’s not what the investigation finds. Clue after clue and witness after witness, the search leads him into a shadowy realm where money and political intrigue intersect. If Craven wasn’t a target before, he--and anyone linked to his inquiry--now is. Mel Gibson stars in his first screen lead in eight years, making Craven’s grief palpable and his quest for payback stone-cold and relentless. Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) directs from a screenplay co-written by The Departed’s William Monahan. Gibson is back, taking us to the edge…and into the sinister darkness.

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The good news is that Edge of Darkness (no relation to the fine 1943 war picture of that name) brings back Mel Gibson in front of the camera for the first time in nearly a decade. Although he's grown creased and leathery and his thatch has thinned, the movie star who was Mad Max still has the charisma and gravitas to center a dodgy suspense tale and propel it to the finish line. Gibson plays veteran Boston police detective Tom Craven, who welcomes home daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) for a rare visit, then sees her shot down at his front door. Because the gunman shouted "Craven!" and because a cop makes enemies, Tom assumes Emma took a bullet meant for him, which adds considerably to his grief and pain. But as he looks into the life of a daughter he loved yet scarcely knew, he discovers she'd been preparing to turn whistleblower on her employer, a corporation doing unsavory clandestine things for the government. Craven starts having oblique chats with a philosophical Brit named Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), who keeps turning up unexpectedly--in Craven's backyard at night, say--always giving the distinct impression that he could just as well kill a fellow instead of schmoozing. Their strange rapport, like Craven's tendency to mutter ironical asides as if in ongoing conversation with the departed Emma, is more intriguing than the conspiracy involving corporate skullduggery and a rogue assassination bureau. The bar for that sort of thing was set in post-Watergate days by Alan J. Pakula's The Parallax View, and we're nowhere near its cinematic elegance or pervasive paranoia. Edge of Darkness, based on a British miniseries from 1985, was directed by Martin Campbell, who also handled the six-hour original (and more recently the successful James Bond reboot Casino Royale). Campbell does decent-enough work--the occasional bursts of "shocking action" do shock even as we know they're coming--but rarely exceeds generic requirements. For killing comparison among contemporary suspense films, catch Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, in which every frame unsettlingly conveys a world where disquiet is the natural order of things. --Richard T. Jameson

Special Features

  • Deleted/Alternate Scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic, Shawn Roberts
  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • 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: May 11, 2010
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001UV4XRY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,173 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Edge of Darkness" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Terence Allen VINE VOICE on February 14, 2010
Format: DVD
"Edge of Darkness was a sensation when it first aired on British television in 1985. Aired on PBS in the United States, it was a dark, brooding thriller that seemed destined for a big-screen version that would be found lacking in ways big and small. However, Mel Gibson's 2010 version of the story still provides a lot of the sadness, bitterness, and intrigue with some changes that while they do necessarily improve the story, they don't damage it, either.

Gibson plays Tom Craven (played as Ron Craven by Bob Peck in the original), a widowed Boston Homicide detective eagerly awaiting the visit of his only child Emma, who works for a research facility, Northmoor. Soon into the visit, Craven sees that his daughter is very ill. Just as he is taking her to the hospital, she is shot and killed. Being a police officer, Craven immediately assumes that the bullet was meant for him, but upon investigating further, he soon learns that she was involved in the illegal entry of Northmoor by a protest group looking for evidence of wrongdoing by the corporation. A conspiracy begins to surround Craven that includes Northmoor, a US senator, and a shadowy government fixer named Jedburgh, played by Roy Winstone.

Gibson is always in his element in revenge thrillers, and Edge of Darkness is no exception. His tears, anger, rage, and righteous indignation strike the right notes at the right time, and he is ably supported by an excellent script and solid supporting cast. Again, a few details have been changed, but the general story remains bleak with perhaps a little more Hollywood hope and optimism added for good measure.
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Format: DVD
It's been seven years since Mel Gibson has appeared on the silver screen, and he definitely chose the right film as his comeback vehicle. While the conspiracy theories that make up the film aren't incredibly original, you are still treated to Gibson's strong screen presence and a tense storyline.

I'm unfamiliar with the British miniseries that this film was based on, so I'm basing my opinion solely on my thoughts of this movie in particular. A variety of mysterious characters prevent the film from being predictable, and you're thrown an interesting curveball from what the movie's trailer might lead you to assume about the story. I will also fess up that this was the first movie I've seen in years with a scene that made me jump in my seat (to the people in front of me, I apologize for getting popcorn on you).

One funny thing that I'll give kudos to director Martin Campbell for is not hiding the fact that Gibson is all of 5'9" in real life. Jay O. Sanders (playing fellow detective Whitehouse) towers over Mel in several scenes, a reminder that this film is a different beast than action flicks like Lethal Weapon or Mad Max.

I won't share the plot with you, because the less you know about the film in advance, the more you will enjoy it. For all of Gibson's controversies, one thing is undeniable, this is a solid comeback effort that deserves a watch.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Mel Gibson plays Tom Craven, a Boston police detective in this brilliant (and topical) political thriller. This movie is like a sock turned inside out from the original BBC production. In the original, it's a British detective who solves the mystery of his daughter's death with the assistance of an American agent, played quite ably by Joe Don Baker. This one exhibits an American police officer and an emotionally complicated British agent (Ray Winstone).

Of the two, I find the Mel Gibson one to be much better. That probably shows my American bias, but the original was a 6 hour miniseries. I can't watch cricket either. I also encourage everyone to watch the original. The complicated relationship between Baker and Peck gives us a deeper insight into the human condition, asking the question "What is right?" Both characters have deep cultural bonds, and both carry out their actions for different reasons. One for simple revenge, the other becomes a dangerous idealist. The ending to the original is slightly different, much more poignant.

Both have similiarities in story line, though the American cop has many more action-oriented scenes than the original. Mel Gibson gives us a stunning and brilliant portrayal throughout the film. His Boston accent is perfect, and the supporting cast does a wonderful job, particularly the witty yet sparse banter between Gibson and Ray Winstone. Unlike the original, however, there's not much time to show how their relationship changes both of them, the American and the Brit, the agent and the policeman. I enjoyed the end scene with Ray Winstone. It's surprising. But both films offer wonderful scenes of the main character having conversations with his dead daughter, sometimes tender, sometimes conflicting.

I put this movie on the same level as almost all of Mel Gibson's work: well worth watching.
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Format: Blu-ray
"Edge of Darkness", directed by Martin Campbell, is a well made film. It has an engaging mystery, and characters that act realistically to what is presented. More so the actors, especially Mel Gibson, deliver fine, brooding work. Gibson, with his first film since "Signs" (eight years prior), doesn't skip a beat. While he certainly looks his age, he brings an intensely physical presence to the film. "Edge of Darkness" was based on a television series and because of that, the film can feel episodic during the middle. But that can be forgiven since the beginning and ending are both so tightly edited and Gibson is an incredibly relatable hero. "Edge of Darkness" is an unusually intelligent, decidedly adult, and ultimately satisfying thriller.
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