Fracture (2007)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Courtroom Drama, Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Apr 20, 2007 (USA)  |   Run Time - 113 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Derek Armstrong

If it's a rite of passage for young actors to play a cocky lawyer with a Southern accent, then Ryan Gosling gets his out of the way in Fracture, a limp and boring legal thriller from director Gregory Hoblit. The posters featured a sinister Anthony Hopkins with the tagline "I Shot My Wife," preparing viewers for the sociopathic Hopkins they first met in The Silence of the Lambs, or at least a tense showdown between acting powerhouses separated by two generations. None of this materializes. Hopkins is mischievous but never frightening, while Gosling seems even more smug than the role requires. But even if the lead performances didn't leave a viewer wanting, the plot would. Hopkins' character embarks on an unnecessarily showy murder-in-broad-daylight plan that relies on an unlikely number of cooperating factors, all so he can toy with the legal system and, in a familiar device, toy with one particular DA like it's his personal mission. But at least the Hopkins stuff is easier to suffer than a side plot about Gosling's hotshot attorney ascending to a new law firm and tax bracket. Despite engaging in one serious blunder after another, Gosling's Willy Beachum is courted by the type of firm that'll spend tens of thousands just decorating his office. In a distractingly bad performance, Rosamund Pike plays the firm's envoy and sudden love interest for Willy, and spends all her time trying to bully the floundering Beachum back into line, when any real firm would have moved on weeks earlier. Fracture isn't without the occasional clever idea, but it's swallowed up by dull execution, unlikable characters, and an unsatisfying anticlimax.