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“The Next Three Days”
a review by Darby O’Gill

How far would you go for what you believe to be true, even if what you believe could be wrong? That’s the question the new Paul Haggis film The Next Three Days dares to ask. You might remember Haggis from his Oscar award winning film Crash, which had an amazing sense of realism that helped ground the film, and The Next Three Days is no different. Now, I’m not a big Russell Crowe fan. That is, I dislike him, but do find myself enjoying his films from time to time. This just so happens to be one of those times. Crowe brings a great sense of believability to the professor he plays that is suddenly thrust into a world that is truly foreign to him. Crowe normally plays confident badass heroes, but in this film he is unsure of himself, desperate, and getting his ass handed to him more than not. The movie is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was shot completely on location. The city of Pittsburgh plays a pretty big part in the movie. The prison they filmed at is right down the road from my wife’s father’s old house in Squirrel Hill. I’ve driven by it like a hundred times, so seeing it in the film gave me that “hey I’ve been there” feeling. I’ve never lived in Pittsburg, I’ve only visited over the years, but I think the movie manages to capture the atmosphere of the area amazingly well.

In The Next Three Days, a family living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh has their lives turned upside down, when early one morning Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) finds herself being arrested for murder. Her husband John Brennan (Russell Crowe), a college professor believes his wife has been wrongly accused, and after a few years of litigations and appeals, John quickly realizes that his wife could quite possibly spend the next twenty years of her life in prison. The realization is not lost on Lara as well, and when she tries to take her own life, John decides to do the unthinkable… Break his wife out of prison! That’s righ; it’s a prison break film. But, the thing that makes it great is that it’s not a Hollywood version of a prison break film. The Next Three Days takes an everyday man and brings him into a heist style situation. Now, there are some parts that don’t play quite as well as others, but the movie does work on a whole, and has a little bit of everything for everyone. It’s got drama, suspense, action, and even romance. Some could even argue that The Next Three Days is actually a love story. The movie also plays the “did she or didn’t she” card pretty well. I think the only reason this movie works as well as it does, is because of Paul Haggis’ directing. It’s not going to win him an Oscar this year, but it’s definitely worth checking out.