Paramount Pictures | Release Date: April 12, 2002
8.8
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 168 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
148
Mixed:
14
Negative:
6
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8
FrankO.Jan 31, 2006
Cast and director did good job of escalating the consequences of the characters actions, nice plot twists; Jackson was better than Affleck; Pollack was good as lawyer; ending was contrite.
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9
CorentinH.Nov 26, 2006
Very good movie. I love the music and ambiance ...
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7
JWMay 28, 2006
Pretty darn good, given the wild leaps it sometimes makes. Both leads play against type; Jackson by looking frumpy and helpless, Affleck by doing a decent acting job in a worthwhile film. What's with Pollack and boats these days?
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8
kangoAug 19, 2010
If you think you've had a hard day, try this...

Jackson plays Doyle Gipson, an insurance salesman who is trying to earn his family back. Between attending AA meetings, he is seeking regular access to his two children. Affleck plays Gavin
If you think you've had a hard day, try this...


Jackson plays Doyle Gipson, an insurance salesman who is trying to earn his family back. Between attending AA meetings, he is seeking regular access to his two children. Affleck plays Gavin Banek, whose law firm demands he do morally questionable deeds so they can keep earning from their clients. We see their flaws but if there is a difference early on, it is that Gipson wants to do right by everyone while Banek is blinkered into looking after himself. Beginning sharply with a car accident, Banek makes a choice which robs Gipson of something that can't be replaced. Gipson in turn has something Banek desperately needs. As one man's manipulative tactics are used in increasingly desperate measures, the other's wanting to do the right thing quickly evaporates as he is pushed to the brink and beyond. All the action is played out over the course of a day and what a day it is. I've seldom seen so much packed into one 24-hour period that feels as real as this. Things of course move along rapidly. Just when you think a scene may become bogged down in too much talk, one guy makes his move, sparking off the next in the series of clashes. By the end however, both come to ground with a view of themselves they didn't have when they set out that morning. Damage has been done but maybe some can be repaired as two men learn from each other how to be better and move forward. The ending is a very satisfying one. The writing is excellent and moves between moral drama and gritty thriller. It's not all about two men locking horns as their story is interwoven with background to their lives. Whether Banek in discussion with his wife or Gipson having a dilemma in a bar, these scenes add depth but never take away from the intensity. The success of this film is also largely about the two lead performances. Affleck raises his game while Jackson is as charged as ever. He doesn't radiate hugeness as in other roles, but is just as effective in this often broken character. Both ensure their duel is a fascinating one from start to finish.
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