Donít Say a Word
dir Gary Fleder
scr Anthony Peckham, Patrick Smith Kelly
with Michael Douglas, Sean Bean, Brittany Murphy, Jennifer Esposito, Famke Janssen, Oliver Platt, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Guy Torry, Shawn Doyle, Victor Argo, Conrad Goode, Paul Schulze
release US 28.Sep.01; UK 4.Jan.02
Fox 01/US 1h53
3Ĺ out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
i'll never tell Here's yet another big, glossy, preposterous Hollywood thriller ... but at least it has a decent streak of intelligence running through it. Dr Nathan Conrad (Douglas) is a high-paid New York psychiatrist who's drafted by an old friend (Platt) to treat the very disturbed young Elizabeth (Murphy). Then a villain (Bean) kidnaps his daughter (McCole Bartusiak), terrorises his wife (Janssen) and tells him that Elizabeth is the key to getting his life back. Meanwhile, a tenacious detective (Esposito) is coming at the case from another angle.

As the plot leaps through one improbable hoop after another, we're carried along for the ride by Fleder's smart, witty direction and the watchable, convincing cast. Not that they give us anything terribly new, from Douglas' usual reliable self and Bean's relentless villain to Murphy's psycho chick and Janssen's gorgeous, helpless, resourceful wife-mom (heavy shades of Hitchcock's Rear Window and The Man Who Knew Too Much). There's not a lot of subtext here, the story is fast and loud and entertainingly complicated--comparisons to Ransom are obvious, but this is much less ambitious and therefore much more successful. But it's in the tiny details that it rises above the seemingly endless stream of these kinds of films; little bits of humour or humanity keep us involved while the suspense actually grabs hold. Basically, it's that rare Hollywood action flick that's as enjoyable as you hope it will be.
themes, violence, language cert 15 17.Oct.01

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
i'll never tell send your review to Shadows... "This was a good thriller, Douglas did his part well - of course he is the only brilliant doctor who finally figures out what is really wrong with his patient - obviously, having his daughter kidnapped was good motivation which others had lacked. We both thought it was a good movie, suspenseful ending, but again left me with questions, some never answered, and if you read too deeply into it, some just does not make sense. But it was entertaining and yeah, I had flashbacks of Rear Window with the whole broken leg thing, but the actors played their parts well, and I would recommend you see it." --Laurie T, Minneapolis 21.Oct.01
© 2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

HOME | AWARDS | NEWS | FESTIVAL | Q&A | ABOUT | TALKBACK