May 31, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 59°F


Jail-break scheme builds suspense

What sacrifices can free an innocent loved one? Is he or she worth the hard fight? “The Next Three Days” asks these questions with excitement in its powerful and thrilling take on the prison escape movie genre.

The blissful family life of John Brennan (Russell Crowe), his wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks) and son Luke (Ty Simpkins) shatters when police arrest Lara on charges of murdering her boss. After every conceivable legal option fails to free his wife, John seeks advice from Damon Pennington (Liam Neeson), an ex-convict and expert prison escapee who warns John of the difficult and cruel considerations.

The film’s exciting tension builds as John dodges imprisonment, obsesses with crime and contemplates a life without his wife. Russell Crowe displays great versatility, capturing John’s emotional turbulence from happy-go-lucky father and husband to unflinching criminal. His powerful performance creates a compelling story of a man whose perseverance nearly destroys the family he loves.

Despite some slow pacing issues and a dark and mysterious plot point revealed too late, “The Next Three Days” is thrilling and sophisticated. With its prison escape and the cops and robbers premise woven beneath the fabric of strong characters and a riveting story, this is one film moviegoers won’t want to let get away.

“The Next Three Days” was written by Fred Cavayé and Paul Haggis and also directed by Paul Haggis.