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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 10 July 2009 (Spain)
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Remake of the 1956 film noir film "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" in which a writer's plan to expose a corrupt district attorney takes an unexpected turn.

Director:

Peter Hyams

Writers:

Peter Hyams (screenplay), Douglas Morrow

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jesse Metcalfe ... C.J. Nicholas
Amber Tamblyn ... Ella Crystal
Michael Douglas ... Mark Hunter
Joel David Moore ... Corey Finley
Orlando Jones ... Ben Nickerson
Lawrence P. Beron ... Lieutenant Merchant (as Lawrence Beron)
Sewell Whitney ... Martin Weldon
David Jensen ... Gary Spota
Sharon K. London Sharon K. London ... Judge Sheppard (as Sharon London)
Krystal Kofie Krystal Kofie ... Taieesha
Randal Reeder ... Survivalist Man (as Randel Reeder)
Ryan Glorioso ... Animal Shelter Attendant
Jon McCarthy Jon McCarthy ... Detective Rawley
Grant James ... Aaron Wakefield
Eric Gipson Eric Gipson ... Allen
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Storyline

High profile lawyer Mark Hunter has an impeccable record putting criminals behind bars and is a shoe-in for governor in the upcoming election. But when ambitious rookie journalist, C.J. Nicholas begins investigating Hunter for tampering with evidence to secure his convictions, the district attorney's perfect record is up for scrutiny. Commencing a risky game of cat and mouse with Hunter, C.J. frames himself as a murder suspect to catch the corrupt D.A. in the act. Romantically involved with C.J. but unaware of his assignment, assistant D.A. Ella Crystal becomes caught between her boss's political ambitions and C.J.'s dangerous expose. As mounting evidence stacks up against both men, Ella's own life becomes threatened when she discovers incriminating proof that puts the fate of both C.J's innocence and Hunter's reputation in her hands. Written by karon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why would a man frame himself... for murder?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a sex scene, violence and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Saudi Arabia

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 July 2009 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Más allá de la duda See more »

Filming Locations:

Winnipeg, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,177, 13 September 2009

Gross USA:

$32,917

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,395,707
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Hyams: [character] One of the characters is called Spota. See more »

Goofs

(at around 39 mins) Ella's hair falls in front of her right shoulder but in the next shot it's not. See more »

Connections

References Today: Episode dated 7 March 2000 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Incidental Contact
Composed by Shawn Harris
Provided by RoyaltyFreeMusic.com
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Only Douglas Worth a Look, Rest a Waste of Time
2 January 2015 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Peter Hyams's 2009 remake of "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" has a low-budget amateurish air, that is only underscored by the mediocre cinematography and the inept performances of the two leads. Restless from conducting coffee taste comparisons, an ambitious investigative reporter suspects that the District Attorney is planting last-minute DNA evidence to win an unbroken string of convictions. With information taken from the DA's office by a willing young assistant and the help of his buddy and co-worker, the reporter frames himself for a murder. He intends to reveal the corrupt District Attorney when the manufactured evidence is introduced into his trial. Jaws will drop at the ridiculous proposal, which is intended to win a Pulitzer, and at the ease of gaining access to confidential information. Heads will shake in disbelief as the reporter openly queries a police officer about the murderer's shoes, clothing, injuries, and weapon and then proceeds to purchase all the required circumstantial evidence to implicate himself. That the police, the judge, the jury, or the viewers are gullible enough to swallow this nonsense is pure fantasy.

Fritz Lang directed the 1956 original of the same title with a cast that included Dana Andrews and Joan Fontaine; however, that earlier decade was a period when purely circumstantial evidence could convict the innocent. Today, modern forensics, DNA testing, and social media have reduced the odds of wrongful convictions, especially with evidence as trumped up as the remake suggests. While the murder trial was in progress, Facebook alone would have turned up witnesses to the reporter's purchases and whereabouts, and any episode of CSI shows what forensics can accomplish.

Like a fresh-faced Boy Scout rather than an ambition-driven reporter, hunky Jesse Metcalfe is out of his depth in a shallow role. His unconvincing love interest, Amber Tamblyn, has a passing resemblance to the young Diane Keaton, but in looks only, not in talent. Only Michael Douglas retains his dignity; as the ruthless DA intent on a governorship, Douglas plays these smooth villains as though born to them. His effortless performance is all the more sterling in comparison to the non-support he receives from Metcalfe and Tamblyn. Joel David Moore as Metcalfe's sidekick brings some life and humor to a thankless role.

In today's world of DNA testing, Photoshop manipulation, social media awareness, and police forensics, Peter Hyams's reworked script is incredulous and beyond absurd. To coin a phrase, the plot has more holes than Swiss cheese. Nothing and nobody is believable. A gratuitous, poorly filmed car chase does little but help extend the film's running time 25 minutes beyond that of the original and create a plot twist. Yet another "solitary woman alone in an empty parking garage" scene will elicit groans; DA assistants should see more movies to avoid these clichéd situations. Any defense attorney with a correspondence-school education could locate witnesses and evidence to prove his client was faking. Any judge worthy of sitting on the bench would wince at a lengthy string of last-minute DNA introductions. Any jury told to convict only if the evidence is "beyond a reasonable doubt" would throw up their hands. Any competent District Attorney worth his salary and certainly one as experienced and ruthless as Douglas would immediately see that he was being set up. Even a professional performance from Douglas fails to save this laughable misfire; viewers should save their time and check out the original instead; perhaps Lang, Andrews, and Fontaine made the unbelievable credible .


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