When the daughter of a psychiatrist is kidnapped, he's horrified to discover that the abductors' demand is that he break through to a post traumatic stress disorder suffering young woman who knows a secret...
A Secret Service agent is framed as the mole in an assassination attempt on the President. He must clear his name and foil another assassination attempt while on the run from a Secret Service Protective Intelligence Division agent.
In 1947, a smart-mouthed Brit working in L.A. as a private eye (or peeper) is on a case to find the long lost daughter of a shady client pursued by two dangerous goons. The case leads him to a rich oddball Beverly Hills family.
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
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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