Movie Review: 'Fracture' Starring Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins

Ryan Gosling in stars
Ryan Gosling in "Fracture.". © New Line Cinema

"If you look close enough, you'll find everyone has a weak spot."

The Bottom Line

A smartly-written, smartly-directed thriller, the 2007 film Fracture is a departure from most whodunits in that the audience knows right from the beginning which character actually committed the crime. It’s the delicious game of cat and mouse that plays out between the man who pulled the trigger and the attorney prosecuting him that sets Fracture apart from the average legal drama movie.

Pros

  • Just watching Ryan Gosling and Sir Anthony Hopkins square off is worth the price of a ticket
  • It is a delightful twist on the typical whodunit movie

Cons

  • The pacing is a little slow, but not slow enough to induce boredom
  • The film didn't need a clunky love story between Ryan Gosling and Rosamund Pike

Description

  • Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, The Elephant Man), Ryan Gosling (Remember the Titans, The Notebook), Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day, Pride & Prejudice), and Billy Burke (Ladder 49, Along Came a Spider)
  • Directed by Gregory Hoblit (Hart's War, Frequency, Primal Fear) from a screenplay by Daniel Pyne (The Sum of All Fears, Doc Hollywood) and Glenn Gers (Brother's Keeper, The Accountant)
  • Rated R for language and some violent content
  • Theatrical Release Date: April 20, 2007
  • Box Office: $39 million domestic, $91.4 million worldwide
  • Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes

    The Story

    Sir Anthony Hopkins stars as engineer Ted Crawford, a wealthy, meticulous man whose beautiful wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) fills her lonely days in the company of Detective Rob Nunally (Billy Burke). Mrs. Crawford has apparently slept around before and has figured out it’s best to not clog up her affairs by revealing any of her personal history – or even her real name – to her lover.

    Nunally only knows her as Mrs. Smith.

    Ted chooses the circumstances carefully and then exacts revenge on his wife for her cheating ways. Ted calmly puts a bullet in her head and then waits for the police to send in the hostage negotiator on duty (the aforementioned Det. Nunally) before surrendering. He admits he shot his wife and even signs a confession while his wife remains barely alive in a coma on life support.

    Assistant District Attorney Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) is basically wrapping up all loose ends before taking off for a cushy job in a prestigious law firm when Crawford's case winds up on his desk. Believing it's a slamdunk, Willy takes the case thinking it shouldn't require anything more than a single appearance in court to accept Crawford's guilty plea. But Ted Crawford, the sly old dog, has different plans... and Beachum is actually playing right into his hands.

    To Sum It Up

    Attaching "riveting" to a description of a performance has never seemed more appropriate than it does when describing the work of both Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling in Fracture. Hopkins and Gosling appear to relish their time together in scenes, bringing out the best in each other and treating the audience to some of the best onscreen chemistry between adversaries on film.

    The dialogue is biting and clever, and not every little twist is spelled out a mile in advance. With Fracture, director Gregory Hoblit delivers a spellbinding thriller that will keep you guessing to the end.

    GRADE: B+