Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Elizabeth Banks
Russell Crowe
Brian Dennehy
Liam Neeson
Jason Beghe
Lennie James.
Directors
Paul Haggis.
Screenwriters
Paul Haggis.
Running Time
135 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Bringing Tibet Home
3 Star Empire Rating
Great Museum, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Montana
3 Star Empire Rating
Face Of Love, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Electricity
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating

The Next Three Days
Crowe has 72 hours. 55 fewer than James Franco


submit to reddit


Plot
Out of the blue, businesswoman Lara (Banks) is arrested and convicted of murder, her teacher husband John (Crowe) the only one who believes her innocence. When appeals are exhausted, Lara becomes suicidal, and as their son is suffering, John decides to break her out.


Review
The Next Three Days
Paul Haggis’ remake of a taut French thriller (2007’s Anything For Her) is along the lines of Prison Break minus tattoos. The focus is on the transformation of its mild-mannered teacher hero (Russell Crowe) into a steely action man, propelled into planning a daring escape by his passionate devotion to a hot-tempered wife (Elizabeth Banks), who may or may not be guilty of bashing in her boss’ skull with a fire extinguisher but still looks good in an orange jumpsuit.

John (Crowe) is such an innocent he seeks out the ex-con author (Liam Neeson) of a book about prison escapes and studies lock-picking and such on YouTube. Like obsessives in all kinds of dramas, he covers a wall of his home with The Plan, with photos, notes and timetables, so we can kind of see what he’s thinking.

After a lot of sad mooching around, suddenly it’s an action movie, Crowe’s quiet academic revealing big brass ones and a dangerous scheme far more intricate than we have been led to understand. That it also hinges on some preposterous good luck evading canny coppers (Lennie James and Jason Beghe) absolutely strains credulity, although fortunately for the film, Crowe’s presence and performance can’t be faulted. The most powerful scene has no dialogue, when he goes to the jail to tell Lara her appeal has been denied. The look in his eyes not only tells her she’s going to be a granny before she gets out of there — cue sobbing and screaming behind the glass partition — but reveals the depth of his feeling for her, upon which the entire story of his resolve depends. It’s John’s parenting that worries us! That his little boy (Ty Simpkins) needs his mommy is emphasised in John’s motivation. But he risks making the child an orphan and seems prepared to abandon him if things get tricky, as, naturally, they do. While this stresses the moral ambiguities of John’s dilemma, it is, along with some undesirable consequences of his scheme, disquieting.

Haggis does make Pittsburgh look better and more interesting than one would imagine, with unprecedented access to the real Allegheny County Jail (biggest urban chokey in the world) and the city’s transit systems boosting the climactic cat-and-mouse excitements. But the transitions from romantic drama into thriller are somewhat clumsy, and the conclusion begs the question: uh, now what?


Verdict
Okay, but it lacks conviction.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo


Related Reviews
Sounds
Next Three Days, The
 

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Next Three Days
Empire Star Rating

The Next 3 Days

An interesting movie, i had heard that it wasnt good, too slow paced and not engaging enough. But i must say i liked the way it set itself out to be, we dont know if she really did committ the murder, tou can argue that was done too quickly i.e. been found guilty and sentenced. But you are engaged by Crowe, you see him struggling with it all, hes an actor that is great playing the everyman, the normal guy put into a situation, pity Neeson wasnt in it more. But it gets beter as the movie goes alo... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by velvet at 11:41, 27 June 2011 | Report This Post


Creates Ambivalence

The Next Three Days was a commitment-test to watch – although the slick and surprising ending made up for the dissatisfaction and disengagement watching it. Another “reality-style documentary” that’s currently popular and masquerading as “new and original”. The main pain point is that the docu-film style disengages the audience. There’s a pastiche of different viewpoints and ambiguous snapshots of conversations and incidents, which makes the viewer ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by charraway at 00:15, 04 May 2011 | Report This Post


Excellent. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by reminn at 20:53, 17 January 2011 | Report This Post


RE:

It's not to bad as US remakes go could've done without the Hollywood over the top ad ons towards the end & have no clue as to the point of Olivia Wild's characters inclusion . A not bad 3/5, But do try & catch the original French feature All About Her. ... More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 15:56, 07 January 2011 | Report This Post


SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Review Of The Year: 40 Worst Posters Of 2014
One-sheets that you'd rather not have on your wall

Hobbit Q&As: Ian McKellen On Finally Saying Goodbye And Farewell To Gandalf The Grey
Read our exclusive Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies interviews

Review Of 2014: Empire's Interviews Of The Year
Crews! Chan! Chickens?! The chats we loved in 2014...

Gallery: Peter Jackson Prop Art: The Bigiatures
An exclusive look inside the director's secret warehouse

Review Of 2014: The Best TV Moments Of The Year
We celebrate the small screen's biggest scenes

A Day In The Life Of An Orc
Three of Mordor's finest describe life in the Dark Lord’s employ

20 Great Films You (Probably) Didn't See In 2014
The underseen joys and unreleased gems of the last 12 months

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)