Don’t Say a Word
Michael Douglas is “tremendous” (Tribune News Services) inthe psychological thriller “in the classic Hitchcock tradition” (The New York Observer). When The daughter of a prominent new York psychiatrist (Douglas) is kidnapped, his only hope for her safe return is to pry a 6-digit number from the memory of a troubled teenage girl – and time is running out!
Adapted from Andrew Klavan’s bestselling suspense novel, Don’t Say a Word is a suitable companion to director Gary Fleder’s earlier hit Kiss the Girls, with solid performances serving a plot that begins promisingly. The tension starts when the daughter of a topnotch New York psychiatrist (Michael Douglas) is kidnapped by a bitter ex-con (Sean Bean) with an old score to settle. Aided by an unwitting colleague (Oliver Platt), Douglas can save his daughter by extracting crucial information from a traumatized patient (Brittany Murphy), while his bedridden wife (Famke Janssen) and a tenacious detective (Jennifer Esposito) do their part to solve the mystery. Fleder pushes all the routine buttons with effectively somber style, so Don’t Say a Word will satisfy anyone with a preference for high-anxiety thrillers, even as it grows increasingly conventional; it’s entertaining without being particularly original. It’s a by-the-book programmer, just right for rainy-day viewing. -- Jeff Shannon
Vicious jewel thieves kidnap a smart little girl; her father, a master psychiatrist (Michael Douglas), must wrest a certain bit of information that the thieves want from a young woman (Brittany Murphy) who may or may not be crazy. Meanwhile, the psychiatrist’s wife (Famke Janssen) lies in bed with a broken leg and fights off the gang with her crutch. All these not quite fascinating activities take place in an oppressive, gray-blue Manhattan and culminate in a violent fight that goes on forever in the semi-darkness of a graveyard. The movie’s gravity is inane; nothing here works. Directed by Gary Fleder. – David Denby
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