User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 78
  2. Negative: 15 out of 78
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  1. TheGilbertMulroneycakesEvent
    Mar 21, 2003
    4
    Elizabeth: bless you, I wish more of the filmgoing public thought like you, and had the ability to enjoy something on its own terms. But. This movie WAS trying to accomplish some great feat, or at least, it said it was. The problem is it doesn't seem to be trying very hard. It's a decent enough thriller, but the script lets it down enormously. I'll cut Randolph a break for Elizabeth: bless you, I wish more of the filmgoing public thought like you, and had the ability to enjoy something on its own terms. But. This movie WAS trying to accomplish some great feat, or at least, it said it was. The problem is it doesn't seem to be trying very hard. It's a decent enough thriller, but the script lets it down enormously. I'll cut Randolph a break for being a newbie, but not for the cop-out ending, which won't be revealed here lest I incur the Wrath Of Ed (rumble of thunder), but I will say this: it undermines everything that the film wants to say about capital punishment, and indeed it undermines the very ACT of saying ANYTHING about it by transparently playing for the audience's benefit, rather than the movie's. There's nothing wrong with playing for the audience, IF you set your stall out as that kind of thing immediately. But Gale tries to be two things at once. And fails. And is therefore a waste of a great cast: the Space, the Lett and the Linn, all great, yet all foundering. Ultimately, Gale is worth your time if your brain's switched off, but it could have been, should have been, and in fact thinks it is, so very much more. Sorry, Elizabeth. Collapse
  2. Jul 6, 2011
    5
    the first few minutes of the film are very bearable, and you can see the movie is being supported by actors who are very good at what they do and a nice director. the movie brings so many questions and doesn't answer them, sometimes it's not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case - it's very bad. you feel like it wants to be a very exciting thriller but it fails exactly when it gets tothe first few minutes of the film are very bearable, and you can see the movie is being supported by actors who are very good at what they do and a nice director. the movie brings so many questions and doesn't answer them, sometimes it's not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case - it's very bad. you feel like it wants to be a very exciting thriller but it fails exactly when it gets to the last scene, after you see it it seems like they wanted to grab everyone's attention and make the film memorable - didn't work on me. not worth watching - next Expand
Metascore
31

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 36
  2. Negative: 15 out of 36
  1. 10
    Another tediously sanctimonious message movie from Alan Parker.
  2. 50
    A shock ending may be the best hope for this film, a convoluted mystery that thinks it's way smarter than it is.
  3. 40
    The film's greatest asset is Linney, whose prickly, finely calibrated performance as the doomed Harraway makes her loss resonate more powerfully than any of the point-counterpoint rhetoric.