Film Screening 7th April, 2011

Poster for The Next Three Days

The Next Three Days 

8:00 PM, 7th April, 2011

  • M
  • 133 mins
  • 2010
  • Paul Haggis
  • Paul Haggis
  • Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Liam Neeson

Lara Brennan (Banks) is in trouble. Hauled away one morning by cops, she’s accused of murdering her boss and the evidence against her is compelling. Opportunity? Check. Motive? Check. Blood on her coat matching the victim? Check. And she’s off to prison for the rest of her life.

Fortunately for her, she’s married to John Brennan (Crowe). Father to a bullied son, husband to a captive wife, and… mild-mannered college professor? Unable to lead a normal life, or successfully appeal the sentence, John does what every loving, caring husband would do: he plots to break her out of prison. Soliciting the help of a seven-time prison escapee and published author on the subject (Neeson), John begins learning all manner of criminal activity. And, as is seemingly a requirement for all cinematic obsessives/criminals, he even covers a wall with maps, photos and notes outlining his plan. How original.

Fascinating as an instructional film on how to break someone out of prison, The Next Three Days is also a gripping exploration of our inherent potential for violence and crime. Given the circumstances, would you do the same? Crowe certainly makes it seem easy enough, solidly convincing as a man obsessed with reuniting his family at all costs. Banks, usually confined to comedy, performs admirably too as the depressed and hot-tempered Lara.

Based on the 2008 French film Anything For Her – also screening this semester – this is a must-see film, especially if you anticipate needing to break someone out of prison anytime soon.

Adrian Ma