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Edge of Darkness (2010 movie)

A movie directed by Martin Campbell

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A Father With Nothing To Lose is a VERY DANGEROUS Man Indeed...

  • Jan 30, 2010

The last time I was privy to a Mel Gibson film was “Apocalypto” when he was at its helm as director. The last time he was in front of the camera was in the movie called “Signs” which was a box-office success in some ways. Gibson once again stands in front of the camera with director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) at the helm in “Edge of Darkness”; an adaptation of the 1985 BBC series of the same name. The original was a 6-hour thrill ride full of drama and suspense, and admittedly, it is difficult to cover such ground in a mere 2 hour movie. To cut to the chase, the film’s translation is rather uneven but the strong performance by Gibson manages to keep it aloft and it is just fun to see the former “Lethal Weapon” star beat up baddies once again.
Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a single father and a Boston detective who is just so happy to see his daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) come for a visit. Later that evening, Thomas discovers that Emma is sick and when she is about to reveal her troubles a gunman just puts her down and she dies almost instantly in her father‘s arms. Being a cop and a father burning with rage, Craven and many others believes that he was the intended target until he begins to go through her daughter’s things and something feels out of place. Evidence points to her job in Northmoore headed by CEO Jack Bennett (Danny Huston) and a U.S. Senator (Damian Young). Craven is now bent to find the truth and satisfy justice using his skills as detective; that government agent Matt Jedburgh (Ray Winstone) has come to admire, Jedburgh was hired to clean up the mess but he ends up aiding in Craven’s cause. Beware a father with nothing else to lose….

              Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven in "Edge of Darkness."

                                            Bojana Novakovic as Emma Craven in "Edge of Darkness."

                         Danny Huston as Jack Bennett and Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven in "Edge of Darkness."
“Edge of Darkness” is a film that carries the usual themes of government conspiracies, revenge, justice and power-hungry officials. There is nothing original to the movie’s theme, the bad guys are your usual corrupt figures that seemed hell bent on being almost inhuman. It is a good premise despite its unoriginality and such movies do have the potential to be an entertaining fare. However, I felt that the screenplay is oftentimes over-reaching in its intentions to cover as much ground as possible that the end result ended up a little cloudy and fails to generate the needed tension and suspense. I know Campbell knows how to direct a film of this type but the film feels a little episodic and the list of leads felt very convenient. I found it rather hard to buy into the fact that some suspects appear so eager to confess the truth despite the powerful conspiracy behind Emma’s death.
The film is also full of characters that drive Craven on his quest for justice and as expected they have their own motivations for whatever agenda they have. The film is also full of dialogue, as we see the main antagonist (played by Danny Huston) reveal his villainy. The antagonists seem too eager to play hard and be “villainous” in Campbell’s effort to emphasize their greed and indifference. It is not as if their motivations are hard to buy into, but the bad guys are full of cliché. The one redeeming character aside from Craven is the government agent Matt Jedburgh who appears to be so full of layers and whose motivations are his own. I liked the way he has this “I’ll be the judge of that” attitude and the way he digested those pills meant that he may be dying of an illness that he is seeking redemption. 

            Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven and Shawn Roberts as Burnham in "Edge of Darkness."

                                        Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven in "Edge of Darkness."

                    Ray Winstone as Darius Jedburgh in "Edge of Darkness."
Mel Gibson always puts up a great performance and “Edge of Darkness” is no different. Gibson is fantastic as Thomas Craven, his portrayal as the film’s lead is the film major selling point. His open-wound acting makes his portrayal of a grief-stricken father lusting for justice is very convincing. Gibson manages to instill needed humanity in Craven’s character by emoting the needed punch to the senses in the film’s dramatic scenes. I had no issues believing that Craven is a man with nothing else to lose; if you pay attention to his eyes, you see someone hell-bent on destruction and would do anything to get his way. I liked the occasional black humor injected into the film’s dialogue.
So how is the action in “Edge of Darkness”? Well, they are pretty well staged; they‘re no “Lethal Weapon“ but more on “Taken“ and “Death Sentence“. They are realistic enough to give the film that necessary grit and some visceral punch. The fights and the gunfights are pretty quick and intense; I also liked the way Craven makes his moves to outsmart those who shadow his investigation. Now, even though they were as entertaining as I would have wished it to be, it generates some small thrills but it couldn’t keep it up because of the manner they are spaced out (some felt like they were ‘fillers’) and some did open quite a few holes in the script. The film has some pretty bloody and intense scenes; the old-fashioned blood and gore manages to give the movie its needed ‘punch’ despite its dull moments.

                     Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven in "Edge of Darkness."
“Edge of Darkness” is one film that could have benefited if it was even slightly longer by 10-15 minutes. It is a violent film full of grittiness and ‘punch’ but the script becomes too cloudy and episodic to achieve the necessary suspense. The screenplay just felt too compacted to cover too many bases; while some messages about environmental abuse are good, it just couldn’t get all its points across. Gibson is a movie star and while this movie isn’t the best one to stage a comeback, he does manage to keep the movie aloft with his performance. He is a great actor but even a great actor of his caliber can’t save a compacted screenplay and convoluted direction.
Recommended with caution, RENT IT First. [3 ½ - Stars]


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3 ½ - Stars: A Father With Nothing To Lose is VERY DANGEROUS Indeed... 3 ½ - Stars: A Father With Nothing To Lose is VERY DANGEROUS Indeed... 3 ½ - Stars: A Father With Nothing To Lose is VERY DANGEROUS Indeed... 3 ½ - Stars: A Father With Nothing To Lose is VERY DANGEROUS Indeed... 3 ½ - Stars: A Father With Nothing To Lose is VERY DANGEROUS Indeed...

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September 27, 2010
Why is it that when ratings are high on the reviews, the numbers go lower with the big thumbs up?? This happened before when I rated someone else's review....... Anywhoo, great review as usual. I must have been hiding under a rock because I didn't even know this film was even out. Gibson, on a personal level does not appeal to me anymore cause he's now a drunk, but I do LOVE his acting and I think he can't do wrong in a drama. I need to rent this one when it comes out; despite the few little faults you had about the movie, I think I would love it. I like to see a man take up for what is right and have some revenge...good stuff there!!
April 22, 2010
Excellent review I recently saw this film and I found it very,very impressive Mel Gibson was in top form and Martin Campbell did an excellent job in my opinion on bringing his dark and macabre revenge/conspiracy thriller to the big screen. I'm writing my review now when you have the time please check it out.
February 15, 2010
Nice review. I just got out of the theater seeing this with my wife and I thought it was an excellent movie. I would give it 4.5 stars. I agree with a lot of what you say regarding the characterizations of the main players with the exception of one point: Tom Craven's rage. I never felt like he was enraged; in fact, in the opening scenes after his daughter's death he was almost cold. He definitely played the "man on a mission" act well, but I always felt like he was driven to uncover the plot and never felt like he was out for revenge (at least up until the end). I also thought the dialogue between Craven and Jedburgh was golden and added so much depth to the movie. All in all, Edge of Darkness is a tightly plotted movie that relies on the story more than anything else. When I first saw the BBC Films icon in the opening credits I was caught a little off guard. I had no idea that this was a mini-series prior to reading your review. Thanks for that tidbit of information. I may have to go see if I can find the mini-series to watch and compare.
February 15, 2010
Cool! Glad you liked the movie! I think the reason for Craven acting cold was because he was attempting to detach himself from his daughter's death and used his drive to find out who was after him (he thought he was the target at first), I also think he blamed himself for her death in the beginning; his eyes did show the grief and pain albeit his actions were a bit detached. Of course those emotions changed to a desire for revenge when he uncovered the truth. I liked the movie, but it just missed several things that made the series suspenseful. I also liked the exhanges between Craven and Jedburgh; they were nicely executed. I intend to re-watch the series soon enough. Thanks for the read and the comment.
February 09, 2010
I've been wondering how many movies you'd be watching while you're away from Lunch! So, I am guessing there'll be a whole series of reviews for us? ;-) As far as I'm concerned, it's hard for Gibson to do wrong (in movies, that is), lol...
February 15, 2010
he-ha! I actually didn't watch much on my break. Like Gibson or not, the man can act.
January 31, 2010
Eh. I'm still boycotting anything to do with Gibson after his sexist, racist, and anti-Semitic outburst a while back. I do like some of his films from the '80s and '90s, but I'm not going to support him and have him think that his films do well because people are siding with his views. As far as I'm concerned he should have been tied up and humiliated by Jewish women who force him to memorize long passages of the Talmud or else they torture him they same way the English tortured William Wallace. I know, not very pacifistic, but I can't stand bigots... especially ones who get away with their hateful rants because of their celebrity.
January 31, 2010
So was his excuse that he only said those things because he was drunk. Generally, being drunk causes you to lose your inhibitions and say what you're actually thinking and feeling. And his insensitivity afterword didn't exactly support his claim either.
January 31, 2010
yeh I am with you, guys. I hate what he said and his excuse that he was drunk just made it worst. But I like giving second chances, after all, I still watch Roman Polanski's movies. (and what he did is arguably worst). You guys know that the director of JEEPERS CREEPERS was a convicted child molester? I just found out recently but he did his time.
January 31, 2010
Yeah, weird how his films keep being about scary monsters that prey upon teenagers too.
January 30, 2010
This one is on my radar...not sure whether I will take your cautious recommendation or see it at the theater.
January 30, 2010
I bet it's better than "New Moon"...LOL! I liked the movie but the story should've been better directed. The acting was really great though.
January 31, 2010
hey, bud, I just reviewed a Korean disaster movie with a strong humanity in the screenplay...you will dig it!
January 30, 2010
I guess by definition a 2 hour film that started out as a 6 hour mini-series is going to seem "episodic," and not surprising that it needed to be longer. I'll be passing on this and catching on cable for free. It's funny but since I got that movie gift card I've been very miserly about using it. Not once yet.
January 30, 2010
How about using the card on DAYBREAKERS?
January 30, 2010
RIGHT! I gotta check and see if it's still playing. Things close so quickly around here. Rats. It's already closed at all of their theaters.
January 30, 2010
That's weird. It's still playing around here. Not much of the movie going public there?
January 30, 2010
I guess not. And there don't seem to be any discount or second run theaters at all that I can see.
More Edge of Darkness (2010 movie) reviews
review by . March 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A father's love
There has been much glorification about a mother's love and mother's day. Not much has been focussed on a father's love.      This movie is quite a disaster considering it's Gibson's. Too much talking, too little actions and slow pacing to be a thriller. Or is it really a thriller? Perhaps it's not. A drama I'd think is more appropriate. Oh sure, there are a lot of shootings & some car chasing, other than that, the only salvation lies in the love …
review by . May 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
How far are you willing to go to keep a secret?  How about the truth?  Depending on the circumstances and those involved, would you be willing to kill for either? Edge of Darkness is just that.  It borders the line between sanity and insanity, it tempts madness, and challenges one man's morals and limits after he witnesses the horrifyingly graphic death of his young daughter.  This conspiracy thriller film is a roller coaster ride through a haunted house that with quite literally …
review by . May 28, 2010
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The darkness engulfs...
You know something sinisterly good is cooking when bodies start plopping up from beneath the serene surface of a woodland river in Connecticut, with what seems like the façade of a nuclear facility looming in the distance. That facility belongs to Northmoor, the evil corporation that serves as the antagonist of Edge of Darkness. They’re in charge of the nation’s nuclear stockpile, they say. It’s all under the jurisdiction of the President of the United States, they defend. …
review by . September 26, 2010
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Mel Gibson is back. And he's pissed off.
Despite his rants Mel Gibson has always been one of my favorite actors. So when i saw the preview for Edge of Darkness I was happy to see the guy acting again.      Edge of Darkness is a movie about a fathers love for his daughter. And how far he will go to avenge her after she is brutally killed on his front porch.   Sound Familiar? Well yeah because the story (like Avatar) is one we've seen numerous times already. Story wise theres nothing special about this …
review by . April 22, 2010
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A father's rage cab be a very dangerous thing....
Mel Gibson is a fantastic director, actor and producer   he is uncompromising when it comes to his films  such as" Gallipoli"(1981), " Lethal Weapon"(1987), "Ransom" (1996),or his Academy award winning film " Braveheart"(1991). Gibson has proved repeatedly why he is one of Hollywood's best and most powerhouse actors, after having a career that spans almost thirty years Mel Gibson had seemed to slip into obscurity after making his two last …
Quick Tip by . May 28, 2010
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Better in theaters when the volume of suspense is LOUD. If you're patient enough to reach the fast-paced ending, it might be worth the ride.
Quick Tip by . March 14, 2010
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Some see justice at the end, I see dark sides to corporations & governments. Not Gibson's best.
Quick Tip by . February 01, 2010
Decent Action Drama and whether you love or hate Mel Gibson, you cannot deny that the man can act.
review by . January 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Director Martin Campbell refashions his 1986 Edge of Darkness: The Complete BBC Series to fit into a two-hour film format of the same name starring Mel Gibson as the tortured father using his police credentials to discover the identity of his daughter's murderer. Is it a successful re-creation? For all intents and purposes, the piece does work as an example of unrelenting drama with a visceral reality that smarts the eyes and turns the stomach. A visibly older Gibson stares at the audience with …
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About this movie


Edge of Darkness is a 2010 film adaptation of the 1985 BBC television series of the same name. The film stars Mel Gibson and Ray Winstone, and is directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Michael Wearing, who also directed and produced the series respectively. Edge of Darkness follows a detective (Gibson) investigating the murder of his activist daughter (Bojana Novakovic), while uncovering political conspiracies and cover-ups in the process.

In the US, Argentina, and on DVD in Australia and the UK, the film is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, which also distributed the unrelated 1943 film with the same title.


Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson), a single father, has been a Boston homicide detective for many years. His 24-year-old daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic), his only child, is killed on the front steps of his home. At first it appears that Craven was the intended target. He soon uncovers evidence that leads him to think differently, and decides to pursue the information at all costs. He learns his daughter led a secret life that led to her murder. He quickly finds himself confronted with a shadowy world of corporate collusion with government-sanctioned murder. In the process he collides with a secret government operative, Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), whose job is to clean up and hide any remaining evidence. Craven's singleness of purpose in finding answers about Emma's death becomes a transforming experience that changes his life.


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Director: Martin Campbell
Genre: Drama
Release Date: January 29, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: William Monahan, Andrew Bovell
Runtime: 117 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros Pictures
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