2007 - United States - 112 minutes
Writers - Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers
Director - Gregory Hoblit
Internet Movie Database User Rating - 7.1/10 - Link to IMDb
My Rating - 5 of 5 Stars

This is a great mystery with superior acting. At the beginning of the film we see Ted Crawford - beautifully played by Anthony Hopkins - who is obviously a brilliant man. His hobby is designing part Rube Goldberg, part perpetual motion devices that use steel balls that travel intricate routes. We also get a quick insight into his huge ego. He's not a lovable guy.

We also find that his wife who is exhausted by trying to kowtow to Ted's massive ego is in the midst of an affair. She has kept her identity a secret to her lover, but discovers that her affair is no secret to her husband just before he shoots her in the head. This all takes place in the Crawford's home, and Ted remains there until the SWAT team and negotiator arrives. At that point he readily confesses to the crime and later signs a confession.

We next meet Willy Beachum, played by Ryan Gosling, who is with the district attorney's office. However, Willy will not be around for long as he has just accepted a position with a prestigious law firm. Circumstances arise - engineered by Ted - causing the judge to assign the murder case to Willy. Needless-to-say, the case is not the slam dunk that Willy perceives it to be, and thus we have a battle of wits between Ted and Willy whose ego is just about as huge as Ted's though he is a slight bit less obnoxious - although not by much.

Obviously, it would be unadvisable of me to disclose the mystery that interferes with the quick resolution of the case and the other elements of the plan so masterfully concocted by Ted. I read one review by a man who said he had figured out the ultimate mystery before the climax of the film. He's a much smarter man than I.

Apart from the mystery, the enjoyment of this film comes from the superior acting of the two main characters. Anthony Hopkins certainly has a way of excellently portraying brilliant homicidal men, and he gives us a delicious one in this film. I would have not thought that Ryan Gosling could do as well as he did in his part. His performance is a pleasant surprise - for me, at least.

Finally the DVD offers us a look at two alternate endings. I usually don't think the alternate endings change the film much, but the decision to change to the final ending makes this film so much better by strengthening the one big mystery of the film.

If you're into mysteries and great acting, give Fracture a spin.

Neil Turner
August 20, 2007