The Escape Artist 2013

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Will Burton is a talented junior barrister of peerless intellect and winning charm who specializes in spiriting people out of tight legal corners. But when his talents acquit the notorious prime suspect in an horrific murder trial, that brilliance comes back to bite him with unexpected and chilling results, not to mention a shocking twist in the tale.

Starring:
Toby Kebbell, Ashley Jenson
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 4 hours 18 minutes
Starring Toby Kebbell, Ashley Jenson, Sophie Okonedo, David Tennant
Director Brian Welsh
Studio ACORN MEDIA
Rental release 18 November 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Valerie J. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Nov 2013
Format: DVD
Will Burton (David Tennant) is considered the number one barrister by his peers; he has a perfect track record, never loses a case. Maggie Gardner (Sophie Okonedo), the number 2 barrister, resents him. She resents Burton even more when he is under the spotlight yet again when he successfully gets a sociopath called Liam Foyle (Toby Kebell) freed on a technicality. Liam Foyle had tortured, mutilated while still alive, and ultimately killed his female victim. Furthermore, he gloatingly admitted he's just not a very nice person. While Burton thought his client guilty all along and could barely conceal his disgust, he never expected his family to become the killer's target upon his release. And he never thought he would be forced to act outside of the law to protect them.

While some might question the authenticity of The Escape Artist's plot so far as legalities, and the actions of lawyers, barristers, and judges are concerned, all I can say is 'it's a film, meant for entertainment'. And entertain it does. It's a thriller, chiller, killer movie. This is a three-part, 180 minute, TV mini-series, BBC at its best, but it really needs to be watched in one stretch, which is how I watched it. The evil of Foyle is palpable and the tension nicely builds up. When it got to the last half hour, the sting in the tail, I thought the storyline and character actions had turned ridiculous - but that too was all part the plot. Of course, David Tennant and Sophie Okonedo were outstanding as always, and so was Toby Kebbell.

By the way, there is a bit where Sophie Okonedo's character, Maggie Gardner, is frightened after receiving a mystery gift left in her apartment. It's not very clear what it is and she doesn't say although the audience is supposed to know. Well, I can tell you.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan 2014
Format: DVD
If you don't take this too seriously it is great fun! A case of "the biter bit" - the story of a barrister who gets off a guilty man and then pays a big price - is very similar to one of P.D.James novels. The audience is manipulated into a very questionable moral position and ends up fully rooting for "the hang em and flog em " brigade!
That said it's addictive - if rather absurd and decidedly simplistic - viewing which is certainly entertaining and well acted morally questionable fun!
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By still searching TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 April 2014
Format: DVD
David Tenant plays hotshot barrister Will Burton who has yet to lose a case and is the darling of his chambers and the envy of his rivals, chief among whom is Maggie Gardner (Sophie Okonedo). Will is happily married to Kate (Ashley Jensen) and they have a young son, Jamie (Gus Barry). The series opens as Will successfully defends a particularly nasty client, Liam Foyle (Toby Kebbell), on trial for murder, by spotting a legal technicality in the prosecution case, and chalks up another victory, at the expense of prosecuting counsel, the aforementioned Maggie.

We get glimpses of Foyle's domestic circumstances, which leaves us in very little doubt that this is a very odd individual indeed. One would, of course, have expected the not guilty verdict to have invoked within the accused a feeling of gratitude towards the person securing his freedom. However, with this individual abnormal is normal and things take a horrible turn for the worse at the expense of Will, his family and their continued well-being.

Following on from the equally outstanding, What Remains, this first rate film, originally aired on BBC as three one hour episodes, is suitably eerie with gothic overtones. As might be expected the whole cast is magnificent, with Toby Kebbell outstanding as the creepily evil Foyle. It examines the usual `law story' themes of guilt, retribution and the nature of justice and is a right up there with the best of BBC drama.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By B. Russell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Nov 2013
Format: DVD
Crime dramas are ten-to-the-dozen at the moment - but 'The Escape Artist' is different as a mixture of an excellent story line and emotional acting have created a dramatic master-piece.

The basis of the drama is ingenious - a barrister who goes on the hunt off a man he successfully defended after he murders his wife (will say no more for those who have not watched). The switch between the lawyer and the criminal really allows us to sympathize with the characters. But no story is complete without good actors, and this has top class! Sophie Okowendo and David Tennant are amazing here and they bring an excellent script to life.

Overall, I think this is one of the best original drama's that the BBC has produced in recent years. I would recommend to all and I really hope that a second series comes along next year! 10/10 - Thank you BBC!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lys Smith on 24 Jan 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this with a little trepidation, at first. A legal drama is something I love, but a legal drama that deals with a vengeful former client? I thought it might be too clichéd. I was happily wrong.

This is a thriller, first and foremost. It operates within the legal world, but it's far more removed from it than, say, 'Silk'. David Tennant was particularly breathtaking in this show.
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One of the scariest and most suspenseful series I have seen in a long time. David Tennant heads a strong cast and the script is brilliant - just the right balance of light and dark, and not a word wasted. A must-see for those who appreciate high quality British drama.
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