Feature

The Next Three Days

In the new film by the director of Crash, a college instructor played by Russell Crowe plots his wife’s escape from jail.

Directed by Paul Haggis
(R)

*

The director of Crash can’t seem to loosen the grip of his heavy hand, said Scott Tobias in the A.V. Club. With The Next Three Days, Paul Haggis attempts to put aside the “weighty self-importance” of his 2001 Oscar winner and similar past efforts, but “old habits die hard.” This movie, which should’ve been a propulsive thriller about an ordinary man’s extraordinary mission to bust his wife from a county jail, is instead “burdened by moral questions that don’t add in value what they subtract in pace.” A “brooding” Russell Crowe doesn’t offer much help, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Crowe’s mumbling community-college instructor throws himself into the study of jailbreaks when his wife is convicted of a murder he’s certain she didn’t commit. But he changes too little: He’s desperate from the start. The suspense picks up when the jailbreak attempt finally goes down, said Justin Chang in Variety. After two long hours of watching prep work, though, we’re not inclined to get very excited.

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