Review

Harry's glad that this FRACTURE is on the screen & NOT in his left leg!

Published at: April 13, 2007, 2:37 a.m. CST

FRACTURE is essentially your basic incredibly brilliant bad guy trying to pull off the perfect murder – playing a game of cat and mouse with everyone that’s trying to prove he did it. They all know that he did it. But he’s so out thought all of them, that they seem like well educated bumpkins in the aftermath. To pull this sort of film off there are two things you really need. An actor of ferocious wit and charisma (BING! Serve up one Anthony Hopkins!) and secondly a young actor that can dance with Sir Anthony. (BING! Serve up one Ryan Gosling!) Director Gregory Hoblit is an interesting filmmaker. I’m really quite fond of his work… from NYPD BLUE to the features PRIMAL FEAR, FALLEN, FREQUENCY and HART’S WAR. With PRIMAL FEAR, his direction led to an amazing debut performance from Ed Norton, who garnered a Supporting Actor nomination at those Oscars – and many felt, should have walked away with the Award. Here, Hoblit has Ryan Gosling – who is fresh, in audience’s minds, off an Academy nominated performance – and Anthony Hopkins, who is just plain great in everything he does. The film is a dance between these two talents. It’s very much like Hopkins’ hobby in the film. He creates perpetual motion machines with little glass balls that drop and roll and rise and fall and race along tracks. He’s set these two wonderful performers to go at it. Now the film has a novel-like pace to it. That’s not saying it’s slow, but it comes in chapters of revelation. This film is a mystery. A page turner. A film that makes you wonder, step by step – HOW Hopkins did what he did? Where a key piece of evidence is? And how on Earth does anyone expect anyone to out think a murderous Anthony Hopkins character? No disrespect to Ryan Gosling, but seriously… You just don’t play the murder game with Sir Anthony. He’ll pistol whip you like you were a gentleman caller on his virginal daughter. There’s just NO WAY you’re going to out think him. And if there’s a problem in the movie, it’s simply the baggage that Anthony has of being 20 pages ahead of every other character in the script. Hell, he’s not just aware of the script, he’s ahead of the writers and the director. There’s no way he can lose. Right? Right. Now the key person to watch, career wise after this film is Kramer Morgenthau – his cinematography is very very handsome here. Making Los Angeles look lush and sumptuous. It really is quite lovely. And of particular benefit by his lens is Rosamund Pike and Embeth Davidtz. Wow they smolder well in this. This is a type of film that we don’t see attempted well these days. The adult crime of passion flick. There’s a unspoken sex going on in this pic that just makes the film slightly humid without being an out and out bitch in heat. If you get my meaning. Rather this film is preoccupied by one thing. Gosling and Hopkins – and figuring out which is the cat and which is the mouse – and which will end up trapped by the end. It’s a nice departure from the stray pixels and half-drawn characters we get too much of today. Give it a shot, if that sort of film appeals to you. You know, a smart steaming page turning mystery that keeps ya guessing. You know, a good old fashioned yarn. I like those a lot.

Readers Talkback

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  • April 13, 2007, 2:52 a.m. CST

    Hoblit's films

    by halfmahalfn

    A good old fashioned page turning yarn is one thing. If this is meant to excuse a certain genre laziness then I'll be first in line to miss it. A standard whodunit just doesn't quite grab you like the stories behind Fallen and Frequency. I mean, Fallen, a brilliant movie playing on the fear of crowds, the fear of infection a real horror throwback. Then Frequency - a batshit crazy film with Jesus on a radio to the past. Sure it stumbled some, but it was different and exciting enough to matter for something. Then you hit Hart's War and Bruce in an army prison doesn't do nothing. And now this. Here's hoping Hoblit brings something more than mere courtroom conundrums. And here's hoping this post-beer binge's awful alliteration leaves me soon.

  • April 13, 2007, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Embeth Davidtz

    by palimpsest

    Oh yes indeedy. And does anyone remember that TV movie where Tony Hopkins has a split personality disorder and tries to argue with himself the pros and cons of some murder or other?

  • April 13, 2007, 3:42 a.m. CST

    I could have written this review

    by conniebrean1

    I learn nothing here that I didn't know from the posters in the subway.

  • April 13, 2007, 3:46 a.m. CST

    when writing about mystery and crime thrillers

    by HEADGEEK

    you don't give away the plot turns. Otherwise, you're kinda an asshole. Point is, it's a very good film.

  • April 13, 2007, 4:04 a.m. CST

    I kinda just hope it's not him playing his Hannibal

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    looks good though, and so Harry, are you implying he got away with it??? (Rhetorical question, I don't really want to know, I kinda hopes he does, just because the villain rarely gets away with it).

  • April 13, 2007, 4:34 a.m. CST

    What is it with people here...

    by raw_bean

    ...who think 'review' should mean 'detailed synopsis'? Well done Harry, you piqued my interest without spoiling the film.

  • April 13, 2007, 5:48 a.m. CST

    won't be seeing this

    by Cedar_Room

    just the one killing?? Just the ONE?? what sort of a film is that????

  • April 13, 2007, 6:44 a.m. CST

    Wish I hadn't seen the trailer...

    by Rocha70

    Unlike this review, the trailer shows what appears to be 90% of the twists. I noticed they have a shorter teaser/trailer now that doesn't ruin it, but the damage has been done. Idiots.

  • April 13, 2007, 7:06 a.m. CST

    Has Anthony Hopkins ever...

    by LargoJr

    ... made anything other then 'creepy smart guy who kills people' flicks that DIDN'T flop at the box office? MAN what I wouldn't do to see him in a smart and enjoyable comedy (sigh)

  • April 13, 2007, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Hannibal Lector ruined him as an actor

    by Garbageman33

    I hate to say it because he was so great in that film. Trouble is, they gave him an Oscar for it and now he plays everything the same way. Sure, it kinda makes sense for this film, but even in "The World's Fastest Indian" he had some Hannibal in him. And that made considerably less sense. If you want to see Anthony Hopkins actually acting rather than doing schtick, go back and watch the scene in "Remains of the Day" where Emma Thompson discovers he reads romance novels and see him convey all that longing and embarrassment without saying a word. Amazing.

  • April 13, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST

    i don't know... this kinda looks shit-tay

    by Charlie Murphy

    and yeah, that headline is pretty lame. i usually wouldn't comment, but... really?

  • April 13, 2007, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Asimov's Tales Of The Black Widowers

    by Mr Incredible

    You would probably enjoy more than this movie.

  • April 13, 2007, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Si Si garbageman...

    by PMcGoohan

    about Hopkins in "Remains". Also, a pretty decent performance in "Shadowlands"

  • April 13, 2007, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Hoblit is a spectacularly generic filmmaker

    by Osmosis Jones

    Primal Fear was great, but that due to the cast and screenplay. Everything since then has been gravely flawed in some way. Fracture looks equally skippable. "Willie".

  • April 13, 2007, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Where was the Hannibal in The Edge?

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Solid little quasi-action movie - no Lectorizing in that moobie. And seriously folks - watch Lion in Winter. He was a great character actor pre Hannibal for a good 20 years.

  • April 13, 2007, 10:20 a.m. CST

    The trailer...

    by jimmy_009

    ...suggested this was Hopkins unofficially resurrecting Lector again. Glad to hear it's something else.

  • April 13, 2007, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Rosamund Pike

    by neonist

    Those were the only 2 words the review needed for me.

  • April 13, 2007, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Are you in phoenix Harry? Spoilers

    by babypanda

    last night at the opening night of the Phoenix Film Festival. Overall I liked it. Tony was great as a non-cannibalistic version of Lecter. I mean, who doesn’t want more Lecter from Tony, but not cheesed out like some of the last of those films. Spot on. Gosling was great too. I’d not seen him in any of the films he’s been in thus far his carreer but he did well as an affable lawyer type that happens to wear better suits than anyone I’ve ever seen working in a DA’s office. Does he touch his face often in other films? Or was it a tidbit throw at us for exhausted exasperation effect? Almost like coke-nose but maybe he just has allergies. Far fetched on the love relation front: She’s hot but going to Thanksgiving after knowing a woman for 2 seconds is ridiculous. And her dad’s a judge. DOY! I did want to mention the laughs. There are at least three I shared with the audience, and a few more on my own. (wink) I am the baby panda, and I have arrived. Tonight: Sleeping Dogs Lie.

  • April 13, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST

    His best (for me) was Bligh in "The Bounty"

    by BenBraddock

    He was really great in that role, should have got an Oscar. Don't think he was even nominated..

  • April 13, 2007, 12:54 p.m. CST

    I will say it again

    by emeraldboy

    Hopkins best performance is, was and will always be remains of the day. That is a masterclass in acting. Stupendous.

  • April 13, 2007, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Gosling's performance?

    by BigFo

    Harry you mention "No disrespect to Ryan Gosling, but seriously… You just don’t play the murder game with Sir Anthony". That refers to their characters but how was Gossling's performance? Love the non spoilerific review btw..

  • April 13, 2007, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Remains of the Day vs. Philadelphia

    by Garbageman33

    I still can't believe Anthony Hopkins lost to Tom Hanks playing a man dying of AIDs who's still 30 pounds overweight. Yeah Tom, way to throw yourself into that role.

  • April 13, 2007, 3:42 p.m. CST

    AGREE TO DISAGREE

    by The Real MiraJeff

    I was going to post my review today too. Let me say that Fracture is not all it's cracked up to be. If you've seen a certain Ashley Judd film, or consider yourself a Law and Order buff, this film will seem like a tired retread to you. The script thinks its twice as clever as it really is, which is to say, not very.

  • April 13, 2007, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Remains of the Day was a masterpiece of Adult storytell

    by GQtaste

    they don't make enough of. I find it similiar to "The Age of Innocence." Both of them bring up emotion in me of unrequited love everytime.

  • April 14, 2007, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Hoblit for "Hobbit"!

    by JackPumpkinhead

    Someone had to say it.

  • April 14, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST

    When Sir Anthony Hopkins calls Ryan Gosling...

    by rbatty024

    "old sport" in the trailer, I was convinced it was a glossy Hollywood adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The suprise ending? Gatsby really was having an affair with Myrtle! Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnn.

  • April 14, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Is the headline of this article an inside joke ?

    by feckdrinkarse

    Or does it just stink ? On second thought, either way it sucks. You should be able to do better. Btw, in your opinion, Mr. HEADGEEK, is it possible to live a happy life as an obese man ? I'm starting to question my lifestyle.

  • April 14, 2007, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Cool, thanks for the review Harry.

    by nopix

    I'm always up for thrillers like this if they are fun.

  • April 14, 2007, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Ummmm...

    by thebearovingian

    I'd seen some TV spots and was interested in seeing this. I was wondering when we might see a review here on AICN and now we have one. BUT I'm not any more interested now. Could we have a few more details, please? Is the entire movie set in an interrogation room?

  • April 15, 2007, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Is it just that I am jaded with life

    by Chiziola79

    Or that in my opinion a man who runs a movie web site should start to review more than 1 movie every 3 months and that his reviews catch the eye and dont seem to have been written after being handed a big envelope filled with cash from the studio. This film looks shit and cant believe harry chose to review this but ignores other much better ones. Jesus I really need to delete this site from my favourites it is worse than hitler

  • July 7, 2007, 12:15 p.m. CST

    chiziola79 mate..... what the fuck?

    by Seph_J

    you may be right, but dude........ perspective?

  • Sept. 1, 2007, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Not Bad at all

    by JDinDahouse

    Well acted and decent dialogue. A good rental due to the cast and the competent direction.