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A movie directed by Gregory Hoblit

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Not As Intelligent As it Thinks It Is, or Was Supposed To Be

  • Apr 13, 2008
  • by
Pros: See Review

Cons: See Review

The Bottom Line: In the end Fracture disappoints because everything happens pretty much as one might predict it would.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

...Nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb...Amendment 5, United States Constitution.

And so goes the premise of Fracture (2007) staring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. What started out being a fairly intelligent and somewhat spellbinding affair ended far too formulaic and patronizing for my liking.

The Story-Line

Directed by Gregory Hoblit (Fallen, Frequency) with screenplay by Daniel Payne (Sum of All Fears) Fracture begins with a frolic in the hay so to speak as Jennifer Crawford (Embeth Davidtz – Bridget Jones’s Diary, In Treatment) and Lt. Robert Nunally (Billy Burke – 24, Ladder 49) have an affair. Problem is Jennifer’s aerospace engineer husband Ted, has known about the affair for quite some time and has set about revenge. Did I mention that Ted is exceedingly bright?

Cold and calculating, Ted shots Jennifer—who is much younger than Ted—in the head (in the face really right under her left cheek bone), and promptly cops to the murder when Lt. Nunally—who happens to be a hostage negotiator—shows up at Teds house. In court Ted decides to represent himself and Los Angeles DDA Willy Beachum (Gosling – The Notebook, Stay, Young Hercules) agrees, because after all Ted confessed and He—Willy—is one his way out, going to join a prestigious law firm and work for his girlfriend Nikki (Rosamund Pike – Pride & Prejudice).

But this is just want Ted was counting on, and while Willy, who prides himself of his 97% win rate, is not paying attention Ted is acquitted and of course double jeopardy attaches.

My thoughts

I have mixed feelings about Fracture; one the one hand I applaud the movies sincere attempt at an intelligent script. The first two thirds of the movie were nicely played. But the ending was too formulaic, too pat, and not at all believable. Ted after all is an intelligent man who covers all of the bases and would never have allowed himself to be caught the way he was; he would after all have puzzled out that angle and deftly side-stepped it.

Ryan Gosling was miscast in his role as the arrogant, on-fire Deputy District Attorney and I (nor did my wife for that matter) buy the romantic connection between Willy and Nikki. She played her character far snotty and calculating to have reached back and snatched Willy form the bowls of the L.A. dating scene. It would have far more likely for her to have found a suitable mate swimming in her own pond of dysfunction.

Sir Anthony Hopkins is brilliant in his role as the arrogant, self-confident, Porsche driving, but ultimately insecure, distinguished older gentleman married to the beautiful younger—bored—woman. I love to watch the man perform his craft; he is like a butcher carving out a cut of prime rib from a just slaughter steer!


In the end Fracture disappoints because everything happens pretty much as one might predict it would. What started out smartly ended rather stupidly, almost as if the writers and director did not trust themselves to trod new territory and let the bad guy go, let the system be beat, let evil triumph; you know the stuff of real life!

Despite Gosling’s miscasting he did turn in a fine performance and Hopkins shines. But Fracture while it had its moment’s falls short of the mark.


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More Fracture (2007 movie) reviews
review by . December 08, 2009
A twisty and brilliant cat and mouse thriller..
Hitchcock help further  the genre of film noir and  thrillers back in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's  and early  70's. But even after his death  some very few films  have been able to capture and recreate  his style and look, and Fracture is one of those  films  that while it pays homage to Hitchcock It creates it's own style and  plot device using  elements from  Noir  and elements from serial killer  thrillers  and you get  …
review by . November 17, 2008
This is a thriller which unfortunately goes over territory that has already been explored many times. With unlikeable characters and unnecessary plot devices, the performances by Hopkins and Gosling almost manage to rescue the tepid plot, with the former offering his best Lecter-type creepiness, minus the fava beans and Chianti.     Drawing inspiration once again from The Beatles, I summarize the story below, hopefully for your entertainment.     (To the tune …
review by . October 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: It's smooth I guess, the story sucks but it sucks consistently.       Cons: Main characters playing to type, the others just barely there, flat flat flat       The Bottom Line: If you're going alphabetically through a list of movies, move to FRAD. E . F or whatever, just skip FRACture.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Director Gregory Hoblit, Fracture is a near masterpiece …
review by . September 30, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
I expected better reviews on fracture but I suppose not everyone will be able to give complete attention to Hopkins and overlook the films flaws. Yes Anthony Hopkins had yet another one man show where he gave us some comedy, a little creepiness, and amazing intelligence to defeat the law. Ted Crawford (Anthony Hokins) has found that his wife is cheating on him with a man who looks further down from Crawford's age and closer to her own. Crawford waits for his wife to come home and then proceeds to …
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Vincent Martin ()
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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About this movie


In director Gregory Hoblit's 2007 thriller, FRACTURE, one thing is clear--highly successful engineer Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) has shot his wife (Embeth Davidtz). What is not clear, though, is how Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), an assertive assistant D.A. on the verge signing with a major law firm, will convict Crawford, since the calculating suspect is masterfully exploiting legal loopholes that may keep him a free man. As Beachum becomes more and more determined to beat Crawford at his own intricately setup game, he risks losing both his shot at the lucrative job and his new love, Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike). <br> <br> Easily Hoblit's finest film since 1996's PRIMAL FEAR, FRACTURE benefits from a similar sense of suspense, which is heightened by the fascinating interplay between Hopkins and Gosling. While Hopkins verges on Hannibal Lecter territory, he never makes the leap to that villain's macabre persona, instead making Crawford a chillingly detached criminal who finds room for occasional mome...
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