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(Review originally written at 25 July 2010)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's hard to understand why some movies ever got made. Who ever green-lighted this unconvincing and formulaic story to be filmed? And even bigger question, why did all of these great and established names committed themselves to this project?

Thing with this movie its story is that it never reaches a level above average. No shocking surprises or twists, no real convincing emotions, no tension. It feels just like a very empty and distant movie. The story unfolds itself as a very unconvincing one, since some very unlikely things start to happen in the movie. I just never understood the fact why the parents weren't desperate to get the truth from their son. They just eat together as an happy family, when the son is being nothing but death silent about the whole situation. This would had ticked me off as a parent and would had driven me insane. Just imaging your son being the main suspect in a murder case but he doesn't say anything to you about what happened. I would feel so mad at him and terribly unsure but not Liam Neeson and Meryl Streep. Also the way how the entire suddenly seemed to be against the family seemed so incredibly forced and silly that it all became incredibly unconvincing. The movie doesn't make you sympathize enough for any of its characters or with its drama. It would had perhaps also helped if the boy was really innocent and had nothing to do with the death of the young girl at all.

Yes, there definitely are far worse movies out there but that doesn't make this movie a good one. Even though the movie never gets above the level of average it also never goes below the level of horrible. It's just a very average movie, by the numbers.

Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, Alfred Molina, Edward Furlong and John Heard are all actors that appear in this movie and it really makes you wonder why. I just can't imaging after reading the script that they seriously thought this would make a great, powerful and effective movie, that would leave a lasting impression on people and could even sweep some awards. All actors make some mistake in their careers and this movie seems to be one for all of them. Also some actors just get terrible underused in this movie. What was the point of the John Heard character? And why is Alfred Molina role so small in this. His role seemed like it could had played a far more important one for the movie. It could at least had given the story some more depth with its entire court proceedings.

Not an horrible movie but I just can't think of any reasons why you should ever watch it.

5/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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