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The Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object

The Next Three Days on IMDb

Plot Overview

educational suppliesJohn Brennan (Russell Crowe) is a keeper. He grew up in Pittsburgh, PA with his brother Mick (Michael Buie.) They had a cross on the wall, a flag on the porch and a dog in the yard. Their parents (Hellen Carey & Bryan Dennehy) are still together and keep in touch with their nearby sons. John is a respected teacher at a community college. He plays poker with the guys one night a week, has date night on Saturdays with his wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks)—joined by his brother and his brother's wife Erit (Moran Atias)—and takes the family to their vacation cottage in Canada once a year. He shares child care duty for their 3-year-old son Luke (Tyler & Toby Green.) He's kind to his neighbors, polite to strangers and patient with every­one. He's so perfect that women routinely con­tem­plate making a play for him but demur seeing he's taken and loyal to a fault.

mom, dad, babyLara is a successful career woman, a caring mother, and a pleasing wife. She's the beta bitch at work and would have been alpha were she not so absorbed with her family. Her mother is cold and distant, and Lara can't seem to relate well to other women either. She's just had a shouting match with her boss Elizabeth Gesas—calling her a “useless cow”—, a cat fight with her sister-in-law, and sassy words from the baby sitter. She couldn't even pass a home­less woman in a vast parking garage with­out bumping into her. Unfortunately, that bump trans­ferred some trace evidence onto her from this mugger who'd hit the first person out of work, which was the boss. That along with motive, a witness seeing her leave, and other circumstantial evidence convicted her for life. Her appeals have run their course and been exhausted.

cop writing ticketDetermined, John has contrived a quixotic plan to break her out of the formidable Allegheny County Jail before she's being trans­ferred in three days. That's “tough” but staying out's the rub. After 9–11, Home­land Security made cities develop lock­down plans. Pittsburgh being built on the confluence of three rivers spanned by bridges and surrounded by hills pierced with tunnels has choke points made to order. That combined with roving patrols make escape impossible if one doesn't meet the tight dead­line, and, of course, some­thing will inevitably go wrong. But PGH is also integrated and the blacks we encounter here at what­ever level of law enforcement seem to be uppity and occupying positions beyond their competence. The school­teacher has won with poor hands before. He's a master bluffer. Remind me never to play poker with him.


John's ultimate goal is to establish his home in a country abroad beyond the reach of U.S. law. One of the many obstacles he encounters is a confrontation with a thriving meth house. Guess which house has the better “luck.” (Prov. 12:7) “The wicked are over­thrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.”

(Prov. 12:8) “A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.” Their lawyer (Meyer Fisk) advised John to get on with his life and forget a lost cause, “I need you to look at the evidence and forget that Lara's your wife. I'm not saying judge her innocent or guilty, I'm just saying look at it.” That didn't set will with John who proceeded to think out­side the box. He made his taciturn dad proud.

money bags(Prov. 12:9) “He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.” John's ex-con advisor Damon Pennington (Liam Neeson) advised him (a poor school­teacher) about “Money. You'll need a truck­load of it. Every­thing's expensive: hotels, travel, information. You run out of money, you run out of friends.” Acquiring it, along with other preparation, may necessitate a modification of behavior. “Can you kill a guard?” he asks. “Leave your kid at a gas station? Push some nice old lady to the ground just because she gets between you and the door? Because to do this thing, that's who you have to become.” He might have to forsake his Mister Nice Guy image to get what he needs to serve him.

(Prov. 12:10) “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” John had a hard time intimidating the owner of a (lucrative) meth lab who pointed out that, “You can't even shoot a [guard] dog.” Trying to find a source of documents John asked a street dealer Mouss (RZA) who mercifully steered him to a source, only to get him rolled.

Production Values

” (2010) was written and directed by Paul Haggis. Fred Cavayé and Guillaume Lemans had written the screen­play for the French flick “Pour Elle (All for Her) on which this one was based. It stars Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson. and Elizabeth Banks. Crowe does swell as the determined husband. Banks used her screen time to good effect. The excellent cast included Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Brian Dennehy and Jason Beghe.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements. It was filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, using authentic location shots. Its runtime is 2 hours 13 minutes. The pace is steady, constantly tightening the inexorable tension.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is one well made film earning high marks on every level. I spent much of my early life in Pittsburgh, so I appreciated the feel of the neighbor­hoods and the aerial shots of the three rivers with the historic Fort Pitt on the point. My DVD included extended and deleted scenes for added benefit. I heartily recommend it.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.