I thought this was an intelligent, well crafted film. The stellar cast and the tight direction complement each other. Beckinsale is outstanding but, to be fair, it is a great ensemble piece too. In my opinion, it is a very under-rated movie. The 'twist' at the end is brilliant and I, for one, never saw it coming. Watch the beginning very carefully! Highly recommended.
Well acted, great plot. Unlike some comments, I didn't think the ending was a let down. I didn't see it coming but maybe that says more about me... Love genre of movie, Hollywood need to make more. All the cast were really strong. It's quite a poignant tale for these times were journalists seem to have anything but morals.
The men are real scum in this one. David Schwimmer gets to play a guy who basically gives up on his heroic wife while Matt Dillon gets to play a blood-thirsty prosecutor bent on furthering his career whatever the human cost. Even Alan Alda (minus a fine little speech before the Supreme Court) gets to basically fail in defending his client.
His client is Rachel Armstrong (Kate Beckinsale) a journalist who finds herself in contempt of court for not revealing her source for a story on the outing of a CIA agent. (Shades of the Judith Miller/Valerie Plame Wilson case.) Here instead of the Iraq war we have an assignation attempt on the President supposedly by somebody in Venezuela after which the US takes some military action. Rachel ends up in jail and we get to see her suffer all the deprivations of being jail, getting beaten up, estranged from her son and her husband, who betrays her. She is doing all this to protect a source, and a kind of journalistic honor code. David Swimmer's character isn't interested in journalist honor codes. He is displeased that she cares more about protecting her source than in being with him and her son.
Clearly this is a Belt Way story told as a woman's POV flick. It is engaging and it moves right along. It is sharp, just a tad short of slick. We cannot help but identify with Kate Beckinsale's character. And when we find out at the very, very end whom she is protecting we understand. It is a nice twist, one of the cleverest I've seen in movies in quite a while. The end is just perfect.
I was about to write that "every soccer mom and indeed every mom will identify with Kate Beckinsale's character" but actually not all of them will. But when they see the ending they might change their mind.
See this for the clever twist, for the sharp direction and editing and for a fine performance by Kate Beckinsale.