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46
3.5 out of 5 stars
The Contract [DVD] (2006)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Major Frank Carden (Morgan Freeman) is the leader of a group of well paid hitmen. His job takes his to Washington state. Through a series of events, his trip is interrupted and rescue attempt is botched.

Ray Keene (John Cusack) is going camping with his son (Jamie Anderson) for a much needed bonding trip. Playing the good Samaritan, Ray gets caught in the middle of the events, finding himself on the run with a handcuffed Morgan being followed by heavily armed bad guys who are being tracked by the good guys...but the bad guys have never seen a John Cusack film and don't know what a school teacher, wanting to bond with his son, is capable of doing.

The acting was good, even if the plot was weak. The film has a twist, but nothing to write home about. Might work for an action flick rental. Not on my keeper shelf.

Parental Guide: Couple of rare F-bombs, no sex, rear nudity (Megan "cute tush" Dodds)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2014
This is a very understated movie. A mix of action, adventure & intrigue with a great cast. Morgan Freeman rarely makes a mistake in his choices of movies & this is no mistake. It has the bonus of 2 of my favourite female actresses in Alice Krige ( the Borg Queen in Star Trek First Contact) & Megan Dodds (better known now for CSI New York).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2008
Professional hitman Morgan Freeman gets caught by police and then escapes during a car crash, but happens to run into John Cusack on a fishing expedition with his son. Morgan warns Cusack to walk away and pretend he saw nothing, but Cusack, much to his son's dismay, decides he's going to take Morgan in and return him to justice. The trouble is a team of Morgan's fellow villains are frantically trying to find Morgan themselves, so Cusack and son have to get Freeman back to civilisation (they're in the middle of a forest), whilst also avoiding Freeman's team.

I don't understand why people think this storyline is so weak as is makes for a compelling and suspenseful film as it turns out Freeman genuinely doesn't want to see Cusack and his son come to harm and wants to escape as much for their benefit as his. There is also a twist to the story when one of Freeman's team double-crosses him.

This is a very original storyline with Freeman playing the likable villain and Cusack trying to simultaneously bring a villain to justice and improve the relationship with his son, as the film progresses a strange bond develops between the three, this film is definitely worth checking out, Cusack and Freeman are excellent.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2010
After reading the other reviews of this movie I almost did not watch because I have found that the average ratings on Amazon are usually spot on. However, in this case I feel this movie is underated and I found it very enjoyable. It is what it is...an excellent chase movie. It is true it is somewhat cliched and the plot has a few minor holes but other aspects of the movie make up for these small weaknesses. It is also quite short at 89 minutes but the plot moves along at an even pace and it seems longer. To be honest I would normally only have given it four stars but I gave it five to counteract somewhat the many one star reviews and just to draw attention to the fact that there are varying opinions on the movie. If you want an hour and a half of good solid movie to unwind to then this is it. I saw it in Blu Ray so maybe the impressive scenery stilted my opinion but even in DVD I still thinks it makes a good movie.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
How much longer will I continue to watch films on the basis of John Cusack starring in them? He's always great to watch, but for every Grosse Point Blank or Being John Malkovich there's a Pushing Tin or Americas Sweethearts...it really is luck of the draw what you end up with.
The Contract firmly falls into the latter camp in that it is basically First Blood meets The Fugitive...but minus the tension and plus a diabolical script. Its not a fun film like ConAir but its watchable because Morgan Freeman and Cusack are great actors, but unfortunately nothing they do makes any sense at all. I am writing this review 10 mins after watching it because I know I will have forgotten everything about it tomorrow morning. Even the makers seem to forget what they're doing by the end, and the whole premise for the film - PE teacher (I kid you not)Cusack performing a citizens arrest on fugitive Freeman - just falls by the wayside like a deflating balloon...which, ironically, is the noise I wanted to make as the credits rolled up.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 January 2013
Look at the cast, how can this not be a great film, it has Morgan Freeman and John Cusack, everyone loves them, and Alice Krige and Bill Smitrovich two of the most under-rated actors in the business. And look, it was directed by Bruce Beresford who also did Breaker Morant and Driving Miss Daisy, he must know what he is doing. The plot is about some people caught up in the wilderness in a fight for survival against implacable foes, that worked so well in films like Deadly Pursuit, the River Wild, Nightmare at Bitter Creek.

How could this possibly go wrong?

Hmmm, well the script has to be the most lame ass piece of junk that has ever limped itself across a cinema screen, every single character is a cliche, it ties itself in incredible and implausible knots to avoid falling apart altogether. Why hand your gun to that minor character, oh, so he can get shot by mistake. There are also some seriously duff scenes, the night-time descent down a sheer cliff face would have been quite at home in a 1970s piece of children's tv.

Having got over the howling sense of disappointment and regret this film does at least pass the time, though mainly as you ask yourself 'can it get any worse' or 'could it get any more ridiculous'.

So no, this is not a little known classic, there is a reason it was sitting in the bargain bin, this is the sort of film that would give 'made for tv' a bad name.
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on 11 October 2013
Ray Keene (John Cusack), a father who wants to redeem himself in the eyes of his son (Jamie Anderson), is trying to bring Carden (Morgan Freeman), a world-class assassin to justice. All the while, he must protect his son and evade the assassin's team who are methodically hunting them down in the wilderness. Worth watching.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Contract is directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Stephen Katz and John Darrouzet. It stars Morgan Freeman, John Cusack, Jamie Anderson and Alice Krige. Music is by Normand Corbeil and cinematography by Dante Spinotti.

Widower Ray Keene (Cusack) takes his troubled son on a camping trip and ends up trying to bring a well known assassin, Frank Carden (Morgan Freeman), to justice. Not easy since Carden's team are tracking them through the wilderness.

A plodding no thrills wilderness hunt type drama without a sense of purpose or suspense. Pic takes a familiar route with characters tainted by family strife or harbouring good hearts beneath bad exteriors, while the script tosses in mundane exchanges at frequent intervals. Cusack and Freeman are on auto-pilot, though the latter seems to be enjoying himself in a bad boy role, and nobody ever convinces us that this is anything but TV movie standard story telling. Spinotti's photography around a mountainous Bulgaria (standing in for Washington State) is the highlight, and what action there is is handled in decent fashion by the director. Yet as various interesting threads are dangled to end up not being pulled, and the formula of genre is adhered to wholesale, you understand why it went direct to video and why all involved have pushed it out of their minds completely. 4/10
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2007
The film starts out well enough. Cusack is convincing as an ex-cop father who is trying to reforge his bond with his teenage son after the death of the boy's mother. Cusack and boy go on a camping-'n'-bonding trip out to some remote woodlands. Unfortunately for them, their path crosses the scene of a botched attempt to rescue an arrested master criminal and assassin, played by Morgan Freeman. The handcuffed Freeman has managed to mortally wound the marshall whose custody he was in. With his dying breath, the marshall hands his gun and charge of Freeman's character over to Cusack, with orders to make sure Freeman doesn't get away.

The bulk of the rest of the film sees Cusack herding Freeman up wooded hill and down rocky dale, in the hope of finding civilisation before Freeman's murderous goons track them down. It's here that the duff acting by the supporting characters, daft and all-too-convenient plot devices, inexplicably shifting loyalties and motives, and plain weird script-writing comes thick and fast. On top of that, I couldn't give you a spoiler that neatly summarises the film's ending if I wanted to, because I can't make head nor tail of the confusing mess for the life of me.

To cut a long story short, don't watch this film. Morgan Freeman's effortless suaveness is simply not suited to the role of the brutal killer he is supposed to be playing. He and Cusack lend a veneer of class and well-established respectability, but they and the film's large budget can only paper over the cracks for so long before the truth becomes glaringly obvious.

The Contract is a terrible film - a true turkey - and I can only suppose it was made as some kind of tax dodge.
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hello the film is quit good the only problem is the aspect is only 1.85:1 on the UK print and the US print is in the correct aspect of 2.35:1 so the film misses some scenes ie:people half on the frame. The audio is good this scores 8 out of 10 also the video print is good this scores 7 out of 10
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