Mediocre reviews, but I thought this was very good.
Things are going just swimmingly for John Brennan (played by Mr. Russell Crowe): he has a beautiful, if somewhat short-tempered, wife (played by Elizabeth Banks), and a sweet kid. Unfortunately, that's all tossed into the air when the Mrs. gets arrested for murder. The evidence against her is damning. Over the course of a few years, she's tried, convicted, and loses appeal after appeal.
Desperate, John concludes his only course is to break his wife out of the slammer. (I assured Mrs. Salad I'd do the same for her.)
But how? Except for being Russell Crowe, he's otherwise the very stereotype of ineffectiveness: his day job, for example, is teaching literature at the local community college. So part of the charm of the movie shows him gradually educating himself in the methods of the covert outlaw. To enhance credibility, his initial attempts are badly bungled, but they're learning experiences. And as he gets more desperate, he's forced to the dark side…
Eventually, the escape attempt is set in motion, and the movie becomes an edge-of-seat cat-and-mouse game between John and the cops. And just behind all the action is a big question mark about Mrs. Brennan: is she guilty or not?
Written and directed by Paul Haggis, who also wrote Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, which makes him very OK in my book.