Rated NR

A crafty jealous husband (Anthony Hopkins) shoots his cheating wife (Embeth Davidtz) and decides to represent himself at his trial. He’s up against an assistant district attorney (Ryan Gosling) whose big law career gets sidetracked by what’s supposed to be an open-and-shut case. The film is pretty ridiculous, and it’s a little too easy to figure out. Gosling saddles himself with a strange Southern drawl, because so many recent screen lawyers (Matthew McConaughey, Keanu Reeves) have set the lawyer-with-a-Southern-drawl precedent. It’s an annoying performance from an otherwise great actor. Hopkins is doing his sly-devil routine, and while he does that routine well, a preposterous and predictable screenplay lets him down. This movie feels like many other courtroom thrillers from the past, especially the boring ones. The film also features lots of continuity problems—little things like clocks telling the wrong time and disappearing and reappearing gum. Stuff like that gets on my nerves.

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