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A man checks into a luxury hotel under the name "Walker." After an expensive dinner and champagne, he writes a note... and climbs out the window onto a narrow stone ledge.

Welcome to the scenario that opens "Man on a Ledge," which is literally about a man sitting on a ledge to try to prove his innocence. The idea isn't half bad, but the casting of the eternally blank-faced Sam Worthington pretty much deflates the intensity -- the rest of the cast is quite good, but when the plot hinges around a person sitting on a ledge, they better be good.

Two years ago, Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) was accused of stealing a massive diamond from wealthy businessman David Englander (Ed Harris), and was sentenced to 25 years. When he's allowed a day out for his father's funeral, Nick escapes from his guards, picks up a cache of money and other supplies, and checks into the hotel. See above description of what happens.

Expecting a suicidal jumper, a massive crowd forms below, while the police try to figure out who Cassidy is and why he's up there. He refuses to talk to anyone except depressed negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks). But unknown to the cops, Nick's younger brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and Joey's girlfriend Angie (Génesis Rodríguez) are infiltrating a nearby building, where they plan to prove his innocence -- by stealing the missing diamond.

"Man on a Ledge" is another one of those movies that might have been simply sublime... if Alfred Hitchcock weren't dead. It has an intriguing idea, and a challenge that most Hollywood movies won't set up for themselves -- what if the hero of the piece barely ever moved from the ledge he's standing on, holding himself hostage in front of all of New York City?

So how does this movie fail? That would be Sam Worthington. This man has the acting ability of a tortoise who just smoked a giant bag of weed -- he never registers any emotions like fear, anxiety, rage or depression. Actually, he barely registers any emotions, period. It's like watching a lifelike robot trying to imitate humans, and failing.

A role like this one needs Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, (de-aged) Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell or Matt Damon, all of whom could pull off a disgraced cop going to desperate lengths to restore his life. But with Worthington up on the ledge, all feeling of tension is just sucked out of the central storyline. He's not even sweating!

Director Asger Leth actually does a lot better when he's focusing on anything other than the titular man on a ledge -- the infiltration into the vault is a genuinely tense sequence, with some clever twists along the way. However, I found myself a little baffled by the depiction of the people watching Cassidy. For some reason, the crowd of rubberneckers suddenly turns Cassidy into a hero for the common man... even though they don't really know much about what's going on. It feels awkward and is never really explained.

The rest of the actors are pretty decent -- Jamie Bell and Elizabeth Bell give excellent smaller performances, especially since Bell is playing a woman haunted by a failure to talk down a suicidal cop. Ed Harris is something of a cardboard villain though, and Kyra Sedgwick is utterly wasted as an annoying TV reporter who... reports.

The man on a ledge is the weakest point in "Man on a Ledge" -- which is a shame, because a strong, talented actor in that role could have made this a wonderfully memorable movie. As it is, it just reminds me of what happens when tortoises get stoned.
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VINE VOICEon 5 May 2012
One of those very high concept thrillers that is completly far fetched ad at times groan inducing, yet knows exactly what its doing in terms of action and thrills.

A kind of cross in story of the Samual L Jackson film The Negotiator mixed with the filming style of Phonebooth.

Man on a ledge has Sam (Terminator 4) Worthington as an ex cop who escapes from prison for a crime he did not commit and stand on the ledge of a posh hotel building to prove his innocence.

As the plot unravels, at to be fair a very quick pace, we realise he has other motives for doing so.

Ed (The Rock) Harris turns in great performance again as the villain, and with stylish pacy direction, this is fun, rather than a serious thriller, complete with some good action, and an old fashioned cheesy Hollywood ending.

Not great, never realistic, but there are far worse films.
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on 11 February 2014
A man checks into a hotel, eats an expensive breakfast, and then goes out onto the ledge.

People then start gathering below to see what he will do. The police are called in.

The man says he will only talk to Detective Lydia Mercer, a police negotiator. Mercer's last negotiation didn't end well.

When she arrives the man refuses to come in. They eventually learn he's a cop who was convicted who stealing a valuable diamond, which he denied.

It seems he just escaped from prison and he says he's trying to prove his innocence....

Given the high concept of the movie, it should have been a rush of a thriller, much like Phone Booth. The set up is great, and the fact that something else is going on in the background adds to the curiosity value.

But what we have is a case of nice title, shame about the film. Sam Worthington proves once again, that there is hope for all of us in the world of acting, because he is as wooden as ever in this, but has some very good support around him.

And here lies the major problem, the scenes that should thrill, are just dull, and whenever the titular ledge isn't on screen, the film does spark to life.

Harris, Bell, Banks, and even Burns make the film the watchable movie it should be.

The last ten minutes defy belief, and you really have to take a massive pinch of salt, because if a man has really spent all that time wasting police time, taxpayers money and holding up traffic, do you really think he would be in a pub with the negotiator at the end? I know its a little lethargic me moaning about it, but this stuff was done much better fifteen years ago.
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on 3 June 2014
I found 'Man on a Ledge' to be a very disappointing movie. I couldn't engage with any of the characters and thought the plot highly unlikely and contrived. i wasn't able to suspend disbelief, great cover though.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and Writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1
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on 11 July 2012
Despite one of the dullest movie titles in history, this is a fun caper film, where the cops try to figure out who the mystery man on a ledge is, and why he seems to be trying to hide his identity.
The man is played with his usual star power and likeable charisma by Sam Worthington, and is aided by Jamie Bell as his brother (excellent as always) and Genesis Rodriguez as the brother's girlfriend Angie, in a feisty and very good performance. Ed Harris represents the bad guy in an un-selfconsciously crotchety and craggy turn.
It's a fun thriller where everyone has some spicy sarcastic dialogue, the good guys are constantly up against tough odds, and their time seems to be perpetually running out. Races against time, tense action, and some entertainingly over-the-top stunts help to make this enjoyable, even if the ending's verging on a little too silly.
A good fun thriller.
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on 28 May 2013
Heist movies are always fun, the plucky band of criminals going up against the mean rich folk. In `Man of a Ledge' the problem is that you don't care for criminals - on either side. Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is an ex-police officer who was jailed for a diamond theft, now he is a man on a ledge. More specifically, a ledge outside of a hotel room. Why is he up there? Could it be anything to do with his brother and his brother's partner who seem to be getting up to something as everyone is looking up?

Suspending your sense of disbelief is an important aspect of most movies - to my knowledge aliens, gods, and mutants don't exist. `Man' is one of those films I find difficult to get my head round, it is meant to be heightened realism, but it feels like fakery. Things do not start off well at all with the entire ledge premise. Most people know that stepping out of a hotel window is near impossible; most of them prevent you from opening the window wide to stop people getting on the ledge and jumping. This problem nagged at me all the way through film, but it was not the only thing.

Too much of the film stays on the ledge. This might be ok with a top character actor drawing the viewer into their angst, but this is Sam Worthington in a role where his accent once more travels back and forth from Australia to American throughout. He is not a great leading man and does not have the presence to carry such a pivotal role, unlike co-star Jamie Bell who is given too little to do. Bell is a proper actor, but here is forced to ham it up. The rest of the cast bubbles along the C Level; Ed Burns and Elizabeth Banks. The films feels one tiny step up from straight to DVD fodder and that is not acceptable with the money that must have been spent. Blame should probably fall on director Asper Leth who fails to instil a sense of urgency or action, `Man on a Ledge' feels like a wet lettuce of a film.

`Man' comes with a couple of basic extras that don't add a huge amount. As it attempts to be a sleek action thriller, the BluRay is the way to go as the city does look good in HD.
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Sam Worthington (Avatar) plays Nick Cassidy, a man who has purportedly convicted of a crime he did not commit - the theft of a huge diamond belonging to diamond broker David Englander (Ed Harris - The Rock). Having escaped from custody, he checks into a hotel, then walks out on to the ledge, attracting attention from the street. As the police swarm his room and try to talk him down, it becomes clear this is no straight-forward suicide. There isn't a single finger-print in the room and the name is a fake. As police wrestle to figure out his motivations, he struggles to keep the public-eye solely on him. But will this outrageous plan come to fruition?

Also featuring Elizabeth Banks as a police negotiator and Jamie Bell (Retreat) as Cassidy's impatient younger brother, MOAL is a high-stakes heist film that is well shot and enjoyable through-out the 102 minute duration. Acting is an acceptable standard for most, with only Worthington standing out for being slightly robotic (having said that, he rarely has facial expressions in any of his films). Jamie Bell and Edward Burns are the stars of the show here.

I can't really go into much depth without revealing the finer points of the story, but needless to say it's a pulse-heightening affair from beginning to end with only a couple of pieces of dubious technology. One point I feel compelled to mention; we see a grate at floor height, then into the room behind it. Yet when our burglar has gone through this very grate into a horizontal shaft, she pops out of a vent in the ceiling in the room behind...

Extra Content: The theatrical trailer, a commentary with Elizabeth Banks and a featurette called "The Ledge".

Probably due to the uninspired naming; but MOAL has only just broken even on budget to box-office ratio. It's not as bad as the critics are making out, but it's not going to blow you away either, but having said this, it's a solid film that is more than worth a watch. Recommended!
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on 24 May 2014
I thought Man on a Ledge would be your average action movie in everyway. But it wasn't. The best thing was the original plot, which made the movie very exciting. The acting was good also. Highly recommended
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on 13 June 2016
Clever film with several twists that you can't see coming (especially the major one set in the bar at the end) and well worth a watch. OK there are some unbelievable bits and pieces (especially with the brother) but I liked the film.
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on 28 June 2014
we expected a run of the potential jumper film but not a bit of it, things quickly take an unexpected twist, I won't go into detail but the storyline will keep you on the edge of your seat, watch out for Jamie bell of billy Elliot fame,a very different and well acted part for him.
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