Fracture

 
Cat-and-mouse thriller isn't meant for kids.
  • Review Date: August 13, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Man tries to kill his wife and fool the legal system; young lawyer struggles with corruption but eventually makes the right choice.

Violence

Man shoots a woman in the face: Viewers see the shot, then the movie cuts to her falling and her bloody body on the floor (this image is repeated in flashbacks). The killer drags a bloody body across the floor, leaving a smear; man shoots himself off screen, but his bloody head is visible several times (in the present and in flashbacks); in a drawn-out scene, doctors "pull the plug" on a comatose patient; man is tackled by police, his face pressed into the floor.

Sex

Credits sequence shows a sex act in extreme, shadowed close-up (making it hard to decipher); a woman has an affair; talk of intercourse in a courtroom setting; man says his wife/kids left him because he had an affair; post-sex scene in bedroom (man and woman get dressed); repeated joke about a private investigator named "Dick" has innuendo; some crude language ("He's trying on the dress, he's sniffing the panties," "put your fingers up [the] skirt" of a dead woman, etc.).

Language

Frequent uses of "f--k," as well as other language, like "a--hole," "hell," "s--t," "ass," "goddamn," "screwed," and "bastards."

Consumerism

Mac laptops, cars (BMW, Porsche), L.A.'s Hotel Miramar.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking at parties.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this legal thriller includes a lot of dialogue about legal and moral matters, which means it's not really for kids (and it probably won't interest most of them anyway). It begins with a brutal murder (the bloody-faced body is visible repeatedly); a character shoots himself (it's off-screen, but his bloody head and crumpled body are visible); and another is tackled by police (he struggles before being pressed to the floor). The film opens with very close, very dark shots of their a couple having sex; their affair inspires violent jealousy. Characters drink at parties and swear (language includes several uses of "f--k" and many other curses).

What's the story?

Offered a fancy job with a glossy L.A. firm, superstar deputy district attorney Willy (Ryan Gosling) has one teeny case to finish first – a case that will teach him the usual lessons about justice, power, and arrogant villainy. Willy's nemesis is Ted (Anthony Hopkins), who shoots his lovely younger wife, Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz), angry that she's been sleeping with a detective, Rob (Billy Burke). The fact that the adulterous couple don't tell each other their real names leads to increasing trouble for Rob -- and for Willy, who's charged with putting Ted in prison. Willy and Ted face off for the first time during a hearing at which Ted announces that he'll defend himself. It's easy to see that he knows exactly what he's doing, but because Willy is distracted, he doesn't take the case as "seriously" as he should. Willy's boss, Joe (David Strathairn), suggests that the young lawyer's impressive 97% conviction rate has something to do with how good he is at this particular job (putting criminals away, rather than getting them off), but Willy believes he deserves to move up. To this end, he falls for Nikki (Rosamund Pike), the woman who will be his boss at the swanky firm; she promises him a "trial by fire" in his first case and invites him into her bed to boot. She's pretty and well-appointed, but Willy soon finds himself more drawn to her father -- a wise, moral-minded judge (Bob Gunton) -- than he is to her. But not to worry. Willy's proper focus is the same as the film's: his relationship with Ted. They trade courtroom dramatics, then find themselves competing in more profound realms involving morality, life, and death.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Gregory Hoblit's movie is beautifully composed -- scene for scene, it offers great-looking shadows, camera angles, and deep focus shots. But it moves slowly and utterly predictably, a sad state for a thriller. The liveliest surprises come from an observer of the central action, Rob's partner Detective Flores (Cliff Curtis). Though he only appears in a few scenes, Flores is consistently funny, clever, and convincing. And that makes him more than welcome.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie depicts its wealthy villain. Does it rely on Anthony Hopkins' performances in other movies to flesh out his character? How does actors' previous work influence how audiences react to them? Families can also discuss the appeal of legal/courtroom thrillers. How realistically do they represent the U.S. justice system? Why do so many of them have tidy endings? Is that true of real life courtroom cases?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 19, 2007
DVD release date:August 14, 2007
Cast:Anthony Hopkins, Embeth Davidtz, Ryan Gosling
Director:Gregory Hoblit
Studio:New Line
Genre:Thriller
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and some violent content.

This review of Fracture was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bymr_aaron_s April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

A good movie for a Friday night with my wife.

Adultery, and one man's violent response to it. See how he carries out his plan for revenge against his cheating spouse, and how he masterfully executes each detail, while fully protecting himself from incrimination, from murder to court room scenario rehearsal. And you think people can get away with murder? Although there is no nudity or graphic sexuality, the innuendo is clear. It's a mature theme for mature minds, and it gives an alternate perspective to commitment, forgiveness and reconciliation within the struggling marriage: no commitment, no forgiveness, and ultimately, final retribution.
Teen, 15 years old Written bycjkesinger April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Good mind thriller- Common sense media over exaggerates content

This was a good movie that plays with the mind- dont come expecting a fast paced thriller though- content wise ive seen worse in the violent and sexual contents in pg-13 movies, and for language its only about 6 f-words. Good movie for ages 14 and up
Teen, 16 years old Written bysgt123 May 9, 2015
age 2+
 

Mature Subject Matter. Ok for 15+

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass