Friday, September 28, 2001

Out of words

Movie: Don't Say a Word

Posted on Fri, Sep 28, 2001 at 4:00 AM

**1/2
Don't Say a Word
Length: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Website: http://www.dontsayaword.com
Release Date: 2001-09-28
Cast: Michael Douglas, Famke Janssen, Sean Bean, Jennifer Esposito, Oliver Platt
Director: Gary Fleder
Screenwriter: Anthony Peckham, Patrick Smith Kelly
Music Score: Mark Isham
WorkNameSort: Don't Say a Word
Our Rating: 2.50

Had it been made in the late '80s, "Don't Say a Word" would have provided decent (if instantly forgettable) neo-Hitchockian thrills. But OMD isn't on the radio, Michael Douglas is now better suited to oddball older-dude roles (see "Wonder Boys") and this entire strain of thriller has run out of contextual steam.

Douglas plays Dr. Nathan Conrad, a $200-per-hour Manhattan shrink; Famke Janssen is his wife, Aggie. One morning, anonymously British bad person Patrick Koster (Sean Bean) and his standard-issue, underclass scumbag crew kidnap Dr. Conrad's kid, Jessie (Skye McCole Bartusiak). Patrick gives Conrad until 5 p.m. to finagle out of traumatized teen waif Elisabeth Burrows (Brittany Murphy) a secret code number that will lead the kidnapper to a gem worth $10 million. Or else.

Director Gary Fleder ("Kiss the Girls") animates his contrivances with considerable pep, but the whole concept is a bit over-tired. Thankfully, Douglas resists revisiting his own '80s and continues to refrain from revealing his buttocks.

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