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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Jamie Bell
Sam Worthington
Anthony Mackie
Elizabeth Banks
Ed Harris
Edward Burns.
Directors
Asger Leth.
Screenwriters
Pablo F. Fenjves.
Running Time
102 minutes

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Man On A Ledge
He can see his house from here


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Plot
Escaped convict Nick Cassidy (Worthington) threatens to jump off a New York hotel. Negotiator Lydia Anderson (Banks) tries to understand his problems. Using the gathered crowds as a distraction, Cassidy's brother (Bell) breaks into a vault across the street.


Review
Man On A Ledge
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At once a literal 'high concept’ and a ripped-from-the-headlines true story, the 1951 movie Fourteen Hours had Richard Basehart standing on a ledge, threatening to jump while a sensitive cop tried to talk him out of it. At heart, Man On A Ledge is that movie done again with Sam Worthington in Basehart’s unsteady shoes and Elizabeth Banks as the cop, adding a barrel-load of twists. Meanwhile, an Inside Man-style contrived heist movie starring Jamie Bell takes place across the way.

Fourteen Hours, followed by variations like The Ledge and an episode of Cat’s Eye, is all about the narrow focus, spending almost the whole running time on the ledge with the intense psycho-drama. With the amiable but not exactly over-sensitive Worthington as the leading man, it’s plain from the outset that a) the hero doesn’t really plan on suicide, b) he’ll eventually get off that ledge and hit someone and c) there’s going to be a payoff in which someone takes the plunge. Indeed, no sooner has coffee-clutching cop Banks established a rapport with the ruffled hunk than attention skitters off elsewhere. This is a crowded thriller, with sub-plots involving a boo-hiss billionaire (Ed Harris), the ex-cop hero’s ex-partner (Anthony Mackie) and a long-in-the-making Internal Affairs case, plus significant bit parts for Edward Burns and William Sadler.

It’s perhaps a problem that there’s less suspense and peril on the ledge than in the diamond vault where Genesis Rodriguez squeezes her pink underwear into an Emma Peel outfit to crawl through Mission: Impossible-style air vents and Jamie Bell is along for the ride as the seeming weak sister of a brother. It’s complicated rather than clever and you get all the high-tech robbery clichés not raked over this season by Tower Heist, but this is the sort of reasonably well-made, packed-full-of-folks-who-are-fun-to-watch popcorn-fodder picture you’ll enjoy if you get over the suspension-of-disbelief bump early on. With minimal screen time, Harris is Man Of The Match as a supremely nasty property developer with a diamond fetish, but Rodriguez — a stone fox with comedy chops — will probably get the most future work on the strength of her showing here.


Verdict
It doesn't spend enough time on its ledge to be the definitive 'jumper' movie the title promises, but it’s a hoot if approached in the proper mood. Bonus marks for the street crazy who explicitly states the political subtext and plays a key role in the climax.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Man On A Ledge
Empire Star Rating

ENJOYABLE!

A GOOD ONE FOR A FRIDAY EVENING CHILLOUT, BUT DON'T TAKE ANY OF IT SERIOUSLY........... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 16:21, 30 June 2012 | Report This Post


Disappointment

The producers must have thought "Ow, let's take some aspects from the documentary 'Man on Wire', especially the part where everybody blocks the streets to look up at the wirewalker', and mix it with Spike Lee's 'Inside Man". Unfortunately though, their lack of originality is visible throughout the whole movie: Where Spike Lee made a mysterious heist movie with multiple plot changes and other surprises, Man on a Ledge reveals the objective at the beginning and without ANY surprises it t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Saxsymbol at 12:36, 26 February 2012 | Report This Post


Good Popcorn Muncher

Obvious title and a decent film to watch not requiring too much brain power nice penny drop moment and it has that thrillery tense hiest movie atmospheric music that builds up, its just a fun film not bad at all three stars. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bighousewill at 15:14, 17 February 2012 | Report This Post


Really good! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hotdogjelly at 22:27, 14 February 2012 | Report This Post


boring start

boring title, pretty boring film and the comedic moments do naaaat work. Its biggest problem is that it's just a shit idea, and the more you think about it, the shitter it gets. Picks up a little towards the end, but not enough. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 19:47, 05 February 2012 | Report This Post


Man on the Edge

Quite frankly one of the finest films of this "mini" genre-Kim references the "Cats eyes" segment,which as its only a short piece in a longer overall movie,lacks the tension and feeling that this movie has-a gripping tale and well worth standing in a long line to see..good camera work and a genuinely tense feel to the film make this one of the must sees of 2012-John Hadlow ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by john hadlow at 16:52, 01 February 2012 | Report This Post


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