"The Next Three Days"

This movie's title kind of confused me - for a while, I was calling it "The Last Three Days" by accident, and I don't think the title actually ever appears during the movie. The film starts in the present, and then a subtitle saying "The Last Three Years" comes up; later in the movie, time shifts to "The Last Three Months" and eventually "The Last Three Days," which probably didn't help my perception of the title. Rest assured, though, the movie is called "The Next Three Days," and I liked it, but others who saw it with me said that they thought it moved a little slowly.

John Brennan (Russell Crowe, "Robin Hood") has an ideal family life with wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks, TV's "30 Rock") and their young son, Luke (Ty Simpkins, "Insidious"). All of that changes, however, when Lara is arrested for the murder of her boss. She is convicted and sent to jail, and John continues to raise their son without her. After three years of her being incarcerated, he decides to break her out - but he knows that it's going to take a lot of planning and money, and time is going to be limited.

I thought Russell Crowe did a great job in this film. Although the movie is about him breaking his wife out of jail, it chooses to mostly focus on him - his relationships with his parents and his son, and the lengths to which he will go to reunite his family again. Elizabeth Banks does a great job as well, but she only has about 1/4 of the face time that Crowe's character does. The movie also has a lot of holes, which kind of annoyed me - it doesn't show much about their family life before Lara is arrested, except in snippets, although the end does partially make up for this. I love movies where the main character is smart, too, and Crowe's character thought of everything, either beforehand or on the go, when he breaks out Lara from jail.

Yes, see this movie. A few people who saw the screening with me, including my parents, complained that the movie was "too slow," but I am usually the first to get bored during movies like that, and it was only the beginning of the movie (the first half hour or so) that I thought could have picked up a little. The last 15-30 minutes of the movie is great, and I really liked the ending. The movie certainly does leave out a lot of background information, and I would not have convicted Lara based on the flimsy evidence that they had, but it's an entertaining film, and when it comes down to it, that's really all I want out of a movie: to be entertained.

"The Next Three Days" opens in theaters on November 19th.

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