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Extreme Measures 1996

NR CC
4.3 out of 5 stars (63) IMDb 6.1/10

Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman square off in a bristling thriller packedwith tension and a medical ethics dilemma that will keep you thinkinglong after the film ends.

Starring:
Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman
Runtime:
1 hour, 58 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Director Michael Apted
Starring Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman
Supporting actors Sarah Jessica Parker, David Morse, Bill Nunn, John Toles-Bey, Paul Guilfoyle, Debra Monk, Shaun Austin-Olsen, André De Shields, J.K. Simmons, Peter Appel, Diana Zimmer, Nancy Beatty, Gerry Becker, Gene Ruffini, Bill MacDonald, Garnet Harding, Simon Reynolds, Derwin Jordan
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Shelley on June 23, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Michael Palmer's novel owes a lot to Robin Crook's novel Coma which was filmed by Michael Crichton and uses the same hospital setting for scientific experimentation. Director Michael Apted may not have Crichton's touch for paranoid thrillers but clearly producer Elizabeth Hurley saw the property as a change of image vehicle for her then boyfriend Hugh Grant. Although here Grant only partly manages to suppress the self-conscious ticks and stammerings that he used in his cross-over hit Four Weddings and a Funeral, his apologetic body language still fits as a British doctor in an New York public hospital who stumbles across a medical conspiracy (the ole doctors playing God again). The screenplay by Tony Gilroy has Grant repeat phrases like "Let me just get this clear", as if being British gave him some language barrier, and his reaction to an obstructive laboratory attendant is amusing in his understated outrage, culminating in "You're quite a creepy person". For those who find Grant's schtick annoying, this perormance is one to be admired. The film is notable for Sarah Jessica Parker wearing an odd half-brown half-red hairdo (Madonna has a lot to answer for), Gene Hackman playing older than his real age, and the presentation of an underground world of darkness where the homeless and dispossessed live in the bowels of Grand Central Station. Although an art director's delight, one gets the feeling this is not an imaginary location. The mystery at the centre of the film involves the use of those considered to "have nothing" and making them "heroes", but this logic is on a par with the Nazi doctors who used concentration camp inmates for experimental research.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
"Extreme Measures" is the story of Dr. Guy Luthan (Hugh Grant), a physician working out his residency at Gramercy Hospital. Guy's personal life and profession seem to be right on track until one of his patients unexpectedly dies of mysterious circumstances. Was it medical malpractice, an accident or something much more sinister? Not since Michael Crighton's "Coma" have we seen a medical suspense/thriller told with such skill and timely shock value. Nothing is what it appears to be and no one is who they report themselves to be. Sarah Jessica Parker costars as Jodie Trammel, a nurse and Guy's most trusted friend. She is distraught when Guy is arrested for drug possession but is her apprehension at testifying on his behalf a byproduct of her own disappointment, or is she cloaking a more guarded secret. Gene Hackman is simply marvelous as Dr. Lawrence Myrick, a benevolent crusader in stem cell research who is actually using his connections and considerable clout to fund a clinic using human test subjects.

Originally released under the Castlerock label, which used to belong to Columbia Tristar, this movie is now the property of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment and it looks marvelous on DVD. Colors are well balanced, bold and rich. Flesh tones are infinitely more accurate on the DVD than on the previously released laserdisc or VHS versions from Columbia. Contrast and shadow delineation are superb with fine detail visible even during the darkest scenes. The disc is correctly framed in its 2:35:1 ratio and anamorphically enhanced. The audio is a 5.1 mix and nicely balanced with a very aggressive bass that will give your speakers a work out. There are NO extras. I suppose I could fault Warner for not giving us a featurette but with a transfer this good - who cares?
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Even 2 decades after this movie was released, the ethical and moral questions this movie raises are still relevant. Is it okay to sacrifice a few (especially if no one will miss them), for the benefit of the many? The film definitely has the feel of a 90's era movie: the clothes, the haircuts, even the speech. Having said that, don't let the 90's look detract from the message. The script was pretty good. I have mixed feelings about Hugh Grant as an actor, but he does this role justice and is believable. There are times in the movie that you even feel sorry for him. Gene Hackman as Dr Myrick is very credible and certainly comes close to making you feel that his actions are justified. The last 20 minutes of the film is worth the lead up. Both sides make their arguments and do it very well. It's here that the viewer has some decisions to make of their own. Is human testing justified, knowing the time involved in getting approvals for emerging treatments and technology? Even if those that are experimented on, didn't volunteer? You decide.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
We liked this movie, mostly for its stand on the value of human life, but also it was a good vehicle for Hugh Grant who was not quite his usual light, bantering self. The initial scene of the naked homeless men escaping from the hospital draped in plastic in a backdrop of city traffic is rather haunting. I do recommend it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An excellent thriller with great performances and it asks some intriguing questions medicine & what people will do to cure a loved ones illness. Highly recommended. The DVD itself is OK quality...really like to see this on blu-ray.
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