Reviewed by: David Simpson
|Featuring:||Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davidtz|
|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.