ReelTalk Movie Reviews  

New Reviews
Jurassic World Domini...
Jazz Fest: A New Orle...
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue ...
more movies...
New Features
Poet Laureate of the Movies
Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks
Score Season #71
more features...
ReelTalk Home Page
Contact Us
Advertise on ReelTalk

Listen to Movie Addict Headquarters on internet talk radio Add to iTunes

Buy a copy of Confessions of a Movie Addict

Main Page Movies Features Log In/Manage

Rate This Movie
 Above AverageAbove AverageAbove AverageAbove Average
 Below AverageBelow Average
Rated 2.97 stars
by 1057 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Mesmerizing Thriller
by Diana Saenger

Manipulating a who-done-it twist into a will-he-get-away-with-it uncertainty, Fracture captivates from beginning to end. In Primal Fear, director Gregory Hoblit proved he could turn the boring courtroom world of opposing attorneys into edge-of-your-seat-excitement. With his direction and the aid of the riveting Anthony Hopkins and Oscar-nominee Ryan Gosling, Fracture may end up as one of this year's best films.

Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, a very successful aeronautics engineer who discovers his wife (Embeth Davidtz) cheating on him and shoots her in the head. Before the blood has pooled, he calls the police and admits the crime. Ted's cold and stylish home is crawling with cops by the time investigator Rob Nunally (Billy Burke) arrives. Ted licks his lips not for fava beans, but for the  delight of Rob's horrendous pain when he realizes Jennifer is the nameless woman he's been secretly meeting.

Ted makes no mention of this to the cops as they lead him away. He signs a confession, they take the gun as evidence and everyone assumes it's a closed case. That's what the district attorney's office assumes when they assign the case to Willy Beachum (Gosling). Because it's a slam dunk, he agrees to take it as he's leaving the job the next day. Willy has been invited to join a prestigious law firm by one of its female lawyers, Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike).

Willy's boss, Joe (David Strathairn), thinks Willy has unique strengths and tries to warn him that his lack of a middle initial  indicates he can never compete in the big lawyer world, which is Joe's way of saying he doesn’t want Willy to leave his office.

As Ted and Willy face off in court the morning after the shooting, it's like two quarterbacks against the line in a superbowl game. Sizing up his opponent, Hopkins' face turns into a mesmerizing Cheshire cat as it goes though eye motions, slight tilts of the head and lip movements just teetering on the verge of a smile. This all tells more about the dangerous Ted than words can say, and Willy understands immediately that this is no normal criminal. Still, Willy's mind is more on the beautiful Nikki and his new job, and suddenly Ted is a free man.

The next morning Joe is disappointed with Willy, but wishes him well in his new job. Unfortunately, the new firm is not so taken with Willy's legal skills and no longer wants him. Unemployed and frustrated, Willy spends days in the hospital at Jennifer's bedside. Although she's in a coma and on life support, Willy hopes she'll wake up and give him some clues about her maniac of a husband.

Willy's arrogance is soon overshadowed by his strengths, and he knows he can't let this case go. He and Ted run into each other frequently and each one is more cunning at every turn as they work through the theme of the movie. During Willy's first interrogation of Ted, he explains to Willy that he once candled eggs at his grandfather's farm and was told to discard any that were cracked or flawed and soon had 300 eggs in the bucket. "I found a flaw in every single one," said Ted. "Look closely enough and you'll find everything has a weak spot where, sooner or later, it will break."

So Willy's task is to find the crack in Ted which will take him through two courtroom dramas, one more riveting than the other. Don't get caught up in the pointless subplot of Willy and Nikki's relationship, it only detracts from the movie's intensity.  Still, the screenplay by Daniel J. Pyne (The Manchurian Candidate) and Glenn Gers (The Accountant) seems almost flawless in its set up and enigma aspects, thanks to Gers' ability to seek legal input from his sister, who is a real prosecutor.

“This script is also a puzzle piece in terms of the emotional life of the characters,” said Gregory Hoblit, “so we had to be very careful, yet still give the actors room to move. Glenn was great at understanding that.  I don’t think going in he anticipated that a scene could take such a left or right turn, but he quickly realized the special things that can happen with a story with when you let the moments happen with good actors.”

Hoblit is absolutely right. This gripping plot -- plus another incredible performance by Hopkins and the chance to watch  Gosling move into first-rate actor territory -- makes Fracture a movie not to miss.

(Released by New Line Cinema and rated "R" for adult situations, language and violence)

Review also posted at

© 2024 - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Website designed by Dot Pitch Studios, LLC