Adapted from Andrew Klavan's bestselling suspense novel
, Don't Say a Word
is a suitable companion to director Gary Fleder's earlier hit Kiss the Girls
, with solid performances serving a plot that begins promisingly. The tension starts when the daughter of a top-notch New York psychiatrist (Michael Douglas) is kidnapped by a bitter ex-con (Sean Bean) with an old score to settle. Aided by an unwitting colleague (Oliver Platt), Douglas can save his daughter by extracting crucial information from a traumatised patient (Brittany Murphy), while his bedridden wife (Famke Janssen) and a tenacious detective (Jennifer Esposito) do their part to solve the mystery. Fleder pushes all the routine buttons with effectively sombre style and Don't Say a Word
will satisfy anyone with a preference for high-anxiety thrillers. Even as it grows increasingly conventional, it's still entertaining without being particularly original. As a by-the-book programmer, it's just right for rainy-day viewing. --Jeff Shannon
Psychiatrist Nathan Conrad (Michael Douglas) finds himself caught in a living nightmare when his daughter is kidnapped by desperate jewel thief Patrick Koster (Sean Bean). Koster is searching for a precious stone which was stolen from him years ago, and to this end he needs to obtain a secret code hidden within the disturbed mind of Elisabeth Burrows (Brittany Murphy), one of Conrad's teenage patients. Koster now tells Conrad that the only way he'll ever see his daughter again is if he extracts the code from Elisabeth; but Elisabeth isn't speaking ...