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Movie Review

Fracture a.k.a. La Faille (France) / Il Caso Thomas Crawford (Italy) / Das Perfekte Verbrechen (Germany) / Murtumaton (Finland)

MPAA Rating: R language and some violent content

Reviewed by: David Simpson
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Crime Psychological Thriller Drama
Length:
1 hr. 53 min.
Year of Release:
2007
USA Release:
April 20, 2007
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Relevant Issues
Copyright, New Line Cinema

ADULTERY—What does the Bible say about adultery? Answer

anger in the Bible

murder in the Bible

death

justice

the final judgment of God

justice of God

Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer

Featuring: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davidtz
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Producer: Liz Glotzer, Charles Weinstock
Distributor: New Line Cinema

“I shot my wife… prove it.”

Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) is a highly successful structural engineer who discovers his wife is having an affair with a police detective. In a fit of anger, he murders his wife and surrenders to police; coincidentally, the detective is his wife’s lover. It’s then discovered that he has tangled a legal web of doubt over his case, and what appears to be a simple open and shut trial, drags on.

Willy Beacham (Ryan Gosling) is the lawyer that is given the case, and on the verge of a big pay raise, and a job at a high rise law firm, realizes that the case is a lot deeper than he ever imagined. He has to choose between his career or chasing down the evidence to convict a man who is working to con the entire American judicial system.

“Fracture” is a dark film. None of the characters are particularly redemptive. Hopkins’ Crawford is sadistically awful, a cold-hearted killer with no emotion and no remorse. However, Beacham and those in the judicial system do the best they can to bring justice. Beacham has the opportunity to make choices that would bring him sweet and quick victory, but would ultimately ruin him if he was found out. It’s a film that shows how important it is to be upright and hold strong to your convictions.

There is a moderate amount of R-rated language—a half dozen uses of the f-word, and a number of other obscenities (s**t, d**k, d*mn, a**hole). The film starts out with a blurred out love scene with some sound effects. This unnecessary introduction establishes that Crawford’s wife is cheating on him, although this isn’t realized until 10 to 15 minutes later. There is some kissing and flirtation between the adulterous couple, and later a scene with Beacham and his female boss. It’s implied they are sleeping together.

The violence is what really makes this an R-rated movie. There is a point blank murder where a woman gets shot in the head. This is later described in a graphic way. A man commits suicide by shooting himself in the head (offscreen), but the after effects are seen. There is blood, but graphic details are avoided.

It seems every review I write I’m mentioning the word adultery. “Fracture” is no different. Sin occurs because of adultery. Adultery occurs because of sin. We are confronted by it every time we go and see a story in the movie theater. It is so key for us to not be taken in by the characters’ other righteous behavior, or innocence, and forget that when we sin, there are always consequences. Without the adulterous behavior from Crawford’s wife, we wouldn’t even have a story. That is the power of the decisions we make.

Crawford decides to take the law into his own hands, and then manipulate the law for his own benefit. This involves lying and perverting events, all because of a poor decision that someone made as a consequence of another poor decision. This is the cycle Satan takes us on, an endless wheel of self-destruction.

What’s disappointing for me about “Fracture” is not the moviemaking quality or the performances. It’s just that even the “good guys” make such poor lifestyle choices. There are so few that have upright morals, and are yearning and desiring to be the best people they can be.

“Fracture” is a strong film. It carries a good message in the end that sticking to doing the right thing may lead to difficult times, but ultimately is the decision you should make. I can’t be harsh on the script, cinematography, or actors. It’s solid, concise, and well put together. I think, overall, anyone can enjoy this movie. It just bears thinking about what our actions can ultimately bring. Good or bad.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—Solid acting, good story and great ending. I highly recommend.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Christine, age 46
Positive—Coming into this film you know by the trailer that Hopkins kills his wife. Whenever I see trailers that display that much of the plot, it is really hard for the movie to offer much creativity, but this movie manages to do it. They do a really good job of establishing the characters and letting you know exactly what makes them tick. They then take the time to show them evolve through out the film so that by the time the movie is over you feel that Gosslings character has been redeemed and he has come to grips with who he really is. This movie is really smart and gets you thinking how did Hopkins make the evidence disappear? I would have liked one more thing to think about during the film but for most people they are going to love this movie. It deals with greed, murder, lying, truth, and justice.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Jon Roberts, age 29
Positive—“Fracture” was an AWESOME, AWESOME movie! Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins were fantastic. The movie kept you in suspense until the very end. It was funny, yet serious. There were some moral issues: Hopkins killing his wife, her having an affair, Gosling sleeping with a woman (they were not married), but other than that Great movie!
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Aleshia Horner, age 19
Positive—I am very cautious with movies, and this one was captivating, had great twists and unexpected outcomes and was a wonderful movie. Anthony Hopkins was perfect. It was not chilling, as his other movies have been, and I was relieved. It was intelligent and enjoyable. Thumbs up!
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Nmac, age 53
Positive—Great courtroom drama, always enjoy Anthony Hopkins. To bad they had to throw in some f-words, otherwise it could have been PG-13.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—L B, age 49
Positive—I very much enjoyed this movie. Anthony Hopkins was excellent.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—E. Sherwood, age 48
Positive—I enjoyed this story. It kept me interested and the ending was satisfying. I would have liked to see a bit more emotion from Gosling, it seemed to me his character lacked depth. This movie had some offensive language, but it was kept to a minimum. Typical of Hollywood these days, the “good guy” character has an immoral relationship with a woman, but no steamy sex scenes polluted this movie. It was just made obvious that they had been together. She is shown sitting up in bed from behind, putting on a nightgown. Very tame for today’s movies.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Riki Spalding, age 37
Neutral
Neutral—For an R-rated film, “Fracture” was actually pretty clean. I agree wholeheartedly with another reviewer: if the language was shored up even just a little bit, then this movie could have easily passed for PG-13. I think it was a bit long. The middle just drags along with no action, twists, nor new discoveries. The protagonist hits a lot of dead-ends, and in a way, I felt like I did too sitting through the movie. However, everything does come together nicely in the end, which was a pleasant surprise, but it doesn’t rectify the ambivalent middle act.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Jacob Keenum, age 21
Negative
Negative—I fell asleep in this extremely boring moving… it was a let down and boorrriiinnnggg! The best part was Dr. Lector… oh wait a minute, that was “Silence of the Lambs”… but the character he played in this movie was the most entertaining in the movie, the best actor in the movie by far, but still it was just not a very good movie. You could see why he killed his wife, she was having an affair, but the way it was planned out was not a very clever plot. I left the theater thinking… more money down the drain. I wish I had waited and rented it.
My Ratings: Average / 2
—DonnaM, age 51