1 hour, 52 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for language and some violent content
Anthony Hopkins ... Ted Crawford
Ryan Gosling ... Willy Beachum
David Strathairn ... Joe Lobruto
Rosamund Pike ... Nikki Gardner
Embeth Davidtz ... Jennifer Crawford
Billy Burke ... Rob Nunally
Cliff Curtis ... Detective Flores
Fiona Shaw ... Judge Robinson
Bob Gunton ... Judge Gardner
Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins "Silence of the Lambs") is a rich man in his late sixties who owns an aeronautical company in California. He discovers that his much younger wife, Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz "The Emperor's Club"), is having an affair with a detective, Rob Nunally (Billy Burke "Ladder 49"). Infuriated, he plans to kill her in what he considers a perfect crime.
Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling "Half Nelson"), is a hotshot assistant district attorney, days away from quitting the DA's office to take a high paying corporate job with an exclusive law firm in Los Angeles. His new boss and mentor is the beautiful Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike "Pride & Prejudice"). Reluctantly, Willy agrees to postpone his move to prosecute this one last, seemingly easy case. Instead he's drawn into a legal jousting match by a clever sociopath who, despite a signed confession, believes he can get the case dismissed, which would cost Willy his new job and would jeopardize the career of his boss, the city's DA, Joe Lobruto (David Strathairn "Goodnight, and Good Luck").
Considering that he's got a signed confession from Crawford who insists on conducting his own defense, it looks like a slam dunk for Beachum. But naturally, problems crop up. The gun recovered at the scene has never been fired. The detective who heard Crawford’s oral confession and was present when he signed the written one, was the man with whom Crawford’s wife was having the affair. And Willie's new boss doesn’t want to be kept waiting for their new attorney to finish with the case.
Watching this well-developed cat-and-mouse game directed by Gregory Hoblit ("Primal Fear") is great fun, despite an early major plot hole. The script written by Dan Pyne ("The Sum of All Fears") and Glen Gers ("The Accountant") is an intricate chess match, and the repartee between the older, cynical and psychopathic killer and the young, ambitious go-getting attorney is always riveting. This is an elegantly photographed and completely engrossing psychological thriller with two of the best performances of the year.
DVD Features: 2 alternate endings; Deleted scenes.