MOVIE: The Next Three Days (2010)


I confess it wasn’t until the closing credits rolled on this flick and I saw Paul Haggis’s name that I thought to myself, “Huh, I probably should’ve paid more attention to that.”  Haggis is, after all, the MASTERMIND behind the BRILLIANT television series Due South (you know, among other Oscar-winning things).

But that Paul Haggis?  Of the complex and clever mind?  Nowhere to be found in this snoozaroo, and I doubt paying closer attention would’ve helped much.  Besides, I watched this on pay-per-view in a hotel room, which means there was absolutely nothing around to distract me in the slightest, and I still had a hard time focusing on it.  The beginning didn’t grab my attention at all and the story was about as predictable as they come (not to mention utterly ridiculous).  What the heck, Hags?  Where is your mind?

The Next Three Days is about a family — husband John (Russell Crowe), wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks), and their young son — whose lives are flipped on end when Lara is suddenly arrested for the murder of her boss.  All the evidence points to her — her car was spotted leaving the scene, the victim’s blood was on her jacket, and she’d spent the previous evening ranting about how much she hated her job to friends.  Motive, means, and opportunity, all lined up perfectly; the trial moves quickly and ends with a guilty verdict, bing bang boom.

At first, the promise of a successful appeal keeps the family going, but as the years pass, it becomes clear Lara is never getting out.  When John learns she’s only got three more days before she’ll finally be moved to the state pen, he’s had it.  He’s gonna bust her out.

And so he does.  And it’s pretty easy.  Roll credits.


I have no idea what the point of this film was.  Everything about it was mediocre, from the acting, to the story, to the lamely forced action scenes.  The only nice thing I can say about it is that it only cost me $4.99, instead of the usual pay-per-view fees of more like $15, which left me feeling free to watch something better when it was over.  Thankfully, what I watched next (review coming soon!) helped clear the bad taste that’s always left in my mouth when I see a completely worthless movie that cost bazillions of dollars to make — bazillions of dollars that could’ve been spent making five independent films that would’ve been fifteen times better.  Man, I hate it when that happens.


[Netflix it, if you still don’t believe me, you fool, you fool.]

Genre: Action (dubious)
Cast: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Ty Simpkins, Olivia Wilde, Liam Neeson, Brian Dennehy, Jason Beghe, Aisha Hinds, Daniel Stern


6 Responses to “MOVIE: The Next Three Days (2010)”

  1. Brian Says:

    I liked it. I saw it in the theatre and had been eagerly anticipating it. Is it a GREAT movie? No, it has some problems. But I had fun with it and enjoyed it and thought it was pretty damn good. The basic concept of it is that it’s a normal guy who breaks his wife out of prison… but rather than being a generic action movie, the stakes are heightened by a solid first act and a half of genuinely good drama with quality actors and character-building. And I think on level it really works. By the time it gets to the action scenes, you’re really invested in these characters in a way that you’re not with some action showboat piece like Fast Five. It’s a small, personal story that expands into action as it progresses. A character piece that calls to mind some of the great films of the 60s and 70s. And the fact that by the end of the movie, you’re not sure if Elizabeth Banks is guilty or not, and that for these characters it doesn’t even matter and you’re still rooting for them because you’re past the point of moral judgement… it’s a testament to how well the movie works, assuming it did for you as it did for me. As far as the story goes though, which seems to be your biggest gripe here, know that it is a remake of a French film called Pour elle, so perhaps that film deserves some portion of your disappointment.

  2. megwood Says:

    I didn’t find myself caring at all about the characters — and the little “did she really do it?” ruse felt so forced to me, so gimmicky, I never fell for it. Knew she’d end up being innocent, knew it would have a relatively “happy” ending. It was too Hollywood not to. I did know it was a remake — I wonder if the original is better? Have you seen it?

  3. megwood Says:

    The one thing I did appreciate, though, was the attention paid to the kid — his reactions over time (his reactions to his mother, I mean) as he grew up only getting to know her in a prison setting. They did a good job with that. The kid, actually, was the only character who seemed authentic to me. As for the father — I just have a really hard time believing any “normal” person would make the choices he made. They weren’t realistic, and neither was the entire jailbreak scene. I hope Haggis goes back to making his OWN movies next instead of redoing someone else’s. He’s better than this.

  4. RogerBW Says:

    Saw the trailer for this when it came out and decided to give it a miss – in part because it didn’t seem able to decide whether it was a “family strength keeps us going” drama or a thriller. (Yeah, I know, categories are evil, but it helps if the filmmaker knew what he was making.)

    Brian, thanks for the pointer – I’ll look out the original, which appears to be more of a straight thriller.

  5. Brian Says:

    Yeah, I haven’t seen the original, Meg. I tried to find it at the time this movie was released, and it’s not even listed as a potential “Save” on Netflix, much less available there. So, I have a feeling it may be very hard to find. But it is pretty well-rated… all of which made me think it sounded a lot more ripe for a Hollywood remake than just about every other remake they’ve been putting out.

  6. alisaj29 Says:

    I really, really, really, wanted her to be guilty, I was really pissed when I found she wasn’t. Plus it would have made more sense if the woman killed was the chick she fought with during dinner at the restaurant.

    I think they should have left the ending with you still guessing or showing her as being guilty.

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