Directed by: Gregory Hoblit
Premise: A criminal prosecutor on his way to the top (Ryan Gosling) risks his career when he takes on an apparent slam-dunk murder case and finds that the defendant (Anthony Hopkins) has executed the perfect crime.
What Works: Fracture is a lot of fun. As a mystery and an ethical tale the film covers its bases and provides a worthwhile story and an engaging puzzle. What is most surprising about Fracture is the level of humor in it, most of it given to Hopkins. Where many thrillers tend to take themselves too seriously, Fracture is able to deliver welcome laughs in dry and witty lines of dialogue delivered expertly by Hopkins, who gives one of his better performances in recent years. Gosling is a good match for Hopkins as he is able to give a sense of youth, intelligence, and cockiness to the character while also making him very sympathetic.
What Doesn’t: Nothing about the film is all that memorable. The film is a well-done courtroom drama and has an effective mystery but beyond that Fracture does not offer much in the way of substance. There are hints of something deeper, especially in Willy’s relationship with Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike), his mentor-to-be at a private law firm but the romance between them is not handled particularly well and the strain on it does not carry much weight. In the end the subplot falls out of frame and is left incomplete.
Bottom Line: Fracture is a solid thriller with a good cast. While it is not likely to make any top ten lists at the end of the year, it makes for a fun piece of entertainment.
Episode: #138 (April 22, 2007)