Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (PG-13) - 2009 - Runtime: 106 minutes
Starring: Michael Douglas, Amber Tamblyn, Jesse Metcalfe
Director: Peter Hyams
Oh boy, this movie was just awful. It had promise, too. Supposedly it's based on an old 1956 noir thriller of the same name and while the plot sounds intriguing (and it actually is), everything else in this movie seems to stumble around like a hapless drunk with his (or her - don't want to leave out all those women drunkards!) pants down around his (or her!) ankles.
Jesse Metcalfe (who was in John Tucker Must Die, a good teen comedy that unfortunately does not have anybody die in it) plays C.J. Nicholas, an earnest reporter who's looking for his next big break - apparently he already got one when he made a very good puff piece (which it is not - it's so badly shot and put together, something about some crazy junkie who threw her baby away after it died in childbirth, I think. It's not very clear because it's not a good report.) for the local Buffalo news. It was so good they sent him to the big leagues, New Orleans. Yes, the big easy is apparently the next step towards the network nightly news desk. Lame, right? It already sounds a bit implausible. But for some reason, C.J. just knows the D.A. is falsifying evidence. And the only way to prove it is by pleading guilty to a recent murder that he didn't commit - but tape evidence of his innocence as a way to show up the D. A. during his trial.
I'm not gonna lie, it sounded pretty good. But I just can't get past the poorly paced and un-thrilling scenes that take place. And on top of that, it just seems like everyone is phoning their performances in. I'm sure Michael Douglas was just trying to pick up a paycheck because he's, umm, like not convincing as an evil D.A. getting off on his power trip. And Amber Tamblyn is the love interest, but there's absolutely no chemistry between her and Metcalfe. And in the movie, they fall in love in a matter of six or seven days. It's completely absurd - Maggie and I had some fun MST3K-ing some lines about their puppy love. There's way too much building up to the ending that it was pretty excruciating. I just wanted to get to the end because it seemed like all the actors did too.
So do yourself a favor and skip this one - it's pretty awful and no amount of good twists (and there is a fairly decent one at the end) could help save this one from peeing all over itself.
Rating: Avoid Like the Plague