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An attorney intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he's trying to prosecute.
After discovering that his wife was having an affair, Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins), the incredibly brilliant aerospace guru, plans her perfect murder. He tells her he knows about the affair and shoots her in the head at point-blank range. Hostage negotiator Rob Nunally (Billy Burke) soon arrives on the scene and realizes that she's still alive… and that she's the married woman he's been seeing! He never knew her real name or where she lived before tonight. What's even stranger is that Ted admits he shot his wife and it doesn't bother him at all – he even signs a confession. Enter a young, hot shot assistant District Attorney named Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling). He's already got one foot out the door so to speak (he just got offered a new high-paying job at another law firm) and figures this case will be pretty open and shut due to the signed confession, so it'll be his last victory with his current employer. However, things soon become complicated when the murder weapon becomes inadmissible in court and revelations about how the officer who made the arrest was having an affair with Ted's wife are revealed. Willy learns that his shiny new job is in jeopardy if he can't win this case. It's also quite clear to him that Ted is just enjoying this way too much... it's like a game to him.
"Fracture" is a very interesting movie, but not a great one. On the plus side, the acting is well done (Hopkins especially does a great job) and the characters development is pretty good. The cinematography is pretty good as well and the ball and rail machines that Ted built are really cool to watch (they're in his office and his home). Lastly, the murder Ted planned was really brilliant and his defense in court was well played. On the minus side, the movie was pretty slow and many important facts about the trial were never presented to the audience. The characters knew everything the whole time, but nobody bothered to fill the audience in on key details until the very end of the movie. I found that to be very annoying and silly. Lastly, there's a subplot about Willy and his new boss Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike) falling for each other, which really didn't belong in the movie. It really had no purpose other than to be used as plot filler, leading to a 112 minute running time. Overall, "Fracture" was hit or miss in parts, but it managed to hold my attention and the courtroom scenes were really interesting, as were the interactions between Hopkins and Gosling outside the courtroom.
All in all, I'd give this movie 3 STARS (out of 5). Re-watch value: MEDIUM