Fracture 2007

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(116) IMDb 7.2/10
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Courtroom drama starring Anthony Hopkins. Engineering tycoon Ted Crawford (Hopkins) is a meticulous man in all things but, when he shoots his wife for stepping out on him, he may have taken on more than he can control. He confesses to the crime, gains the right to represent himself in court and moves to trial as soon as possible. The prosecutor is Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) - a young, upwardly mobile lawyer soon to join a reputable firm and start his big earning years. Beachum believes the case is a cake walk but Crawford has a few details up his sleeve that'll put the young attorney firmly on the back foot. For example, the arresting officer was the man his wife had been having an affair with. The thrust and parry of Beachum and Crawford in the courtroom provide the meat of the film. The confident Crawford waxes grandiloquent like George Galloway in front of congress as Beachum slowly, steadily, takes it on the chin but homes in on the essence of Ted's game.

Starring:
David Strathairn, Cliff Curtis
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 52 minutes
Starring David Strathairn, Cliff Curtis, Rosamund Pike, Ryan Gosling, Embeth Davidtz, Billy Burke, Anthony Hopkins, Fiona Shaw
Director Gregory Hoblit
Genres Thriller
Studio ENTERTAINMENT IN VIDEO
Rental release 13 August 2007
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 52 minutes
Starring David Strathairn, Cliff Curtis, Rosamund Pike, Ryan Gosling, Embeth Davidtz, Billy Burke, Anthony Hopkins, Fiona Shaw
Director Gregory Hoblit
Genres Thriller
Studio ENTERTAINMENT IN VIDEO
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Feb 2008
Format: DVD
The strength of this film lies with Ted Crawford's (Hopkins) laid-back trivial manner. He sits doodling in court oblivious to what is being said, but it is all carefully calculated. The articulate engineer who calmly shot his wife and admitted it to the arresting officer, whilst with a gun in his hand and subsequently signs a written confession - is surely going down for the crime.

Willy Beachum, the confident and cocky attorney accepts the case after Ted asks for it to go straight to trial with no defence team required. He struts into court as if it's his territory - certain the trial will be over in minutes. It soon becomes apparent that Ted has a plan - he pleads `not guilty', through careful orchestration he ensures there is no evidence against himself. From the initial certainty he will go down for the murder of his wife, it looks as though he's going to get away with it.

You can see that he is revelling in the frustration of Beachum, he plays mind games - speaking in symbolic anecdotes. Parallels have been drawn to Hannibal Lector, and you can see why. For the start there's a feeling of calm genius at work, his composure his disturbingly unemotional and you sense his fun at toying with others.

The film needs a worthy Nemesis for Crawford - and Ryan Gosling is convincing as the `best in the business' young and talented attorney. The interactions between the two are darkly humorous and tense. It's these moments which provide the films best scenes.

In a nutshell: The film is very enjoyable, from the first few minutes I was drawn in by Hopkins' cool as a cucumber manner and felt a compulsion to watch in order to see if he would be brought to justice or not. The film doesn't necessarily stay with you much after you've seen it - but for the duration, it's magnetism will draw you in like an iron filling to a fridge magnet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. N. Pomfret on 8 May 2008
Format: DVD
It is not spoiling the plot of Fracture to say from the outset that Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) shot his wife. A seemingly pedestrian case for the prosecution, representing the last trial for Deputy D.A. Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) before he heads off for a grand new job, evolves rapidly into a nightmare.

The case soon starts to crumble, with Beachum's future career likely to follow suit. It is clear that Crawford, defending himself, is a far more able opponent than the Deputy D.A. had planned on. The crystal clear case against the defendant is soon shattered - leaving the prosecutor bereft of a useable confession or even the possession of the murder weapon!

Fracture is part-legal drama, but also partly a story of psychological development. Initially, the viewer is probably rather pleased to see Hopkin's character devastate the arrogant Beacham's evidence. Yet, later in the film, we see the prosecutor become a far more likeable person, and perhaps wish for him to eventually nail his target. It's a film about law, honesty, revenge and compassion. Although the central premise revolves around the mindgames Hopkin's is playing, the film is also effective at generating emotions in the viewer.

The film is not really an action movie, despite the occasional physical drama. However, if you want something more cerebral and wish to avoid stereotypical legal fiction, it is highly recommended. The DVD does not really contain any great shakes in the way of extras. It doesn't really need them. Just sit down and enjoy the film.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Philip Solo on 23 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
Whoa!! .how to transform an `open and shut case' into Jagged Edge!. Plot simple and brooding, man shoots wife, apparently confesses, and bored indolent up and coming new job lawyer gets instant brownie points - wrong!

Gosling's vacuously disappointing baby faced new recruit to major law practice is carelessly lazy and arrival stressed. He unknowingly and lazily is soon out of his depth as he accepts what appears to be a `facts-obvious' case with Hopkins as the seemingly 'hands-up-I-did' it wife shooter. From then on he is amusingly manipulated with `Seven-like' ease by Hopkins' character who veers alarmingly from Celtic to Gaelic vocals and becomes more and more Hannibalised as the frames click by.

A great novel evidence twist of course, which I won't do a spoiler on, but Hopkins has it all worked out to escape justice and commit the perfect murder. The problem with the movie being..reversal.. One identifies almost immediately with the pastiched Lecktor/Hopkins character and revels in his cleverness. Set against the smug, pasty looking, overworked over-reaching and thoroughly unadmirable mega-salaried legal suit stepping out of inwardly neurotic 'Model man's advert land' he scores instant audience points - you want Hopkins to win !

And predictably he does - up to a point. (beware partial spoiler!!) The film should have ended there with its bleak and cold hearted message that clever people can often `get away with murder' because.. well they planned well and the opposition set against them was inadequate.

The movie offers more stereotypical but nevertheless real glimpses into the money power ego culture of American law firms.
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