Review: Planning a Prison Escape in ‘The Next Three Days’

“The Next Three Days” is a compelling drama starring Academy Award winner Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks. Banks plays Crowe’s wife, Lara Brennan, a corporate executive who is at the wrong place at the wrong time and is soon convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Crowe’s character, John Brennan, is similar to one in the October film, “Conviction,” in which the protagonist would do anything to get her brother out of jail. Brennan resorted to unimaginable yet clever ways of attempting to release his wife. 

I loved that Crowe plays an ordinary simple man. From the very beginning, the audience is encouraged to believe in the love and passion that exist between Brennan, a teacher and father, and his wife. Therefore, it was even more exhilarating as the audience awaited the couple’s fate.

Academy Award nominee Liam Nelson plays an ex-con who offers Brennan vital instructions on how to plan and carry out a successful prison break. Nevertheless, after an attempt to tap into the elevator system goes terribly wrong, a frightened Brennan decides that a traditional prison break is not possible.

Day after day, Brennan studies tutorials on YouTube and masters daily prison routines.

The couple’s deeply depressed son serves as an additional catalyst for Brennan’s actions, and the warden’s decision to order a prison transition forces Brennan to expedite his plan — in the next three days.

Overall, I rate the movie at 4.5 stars. The storyline was common, but it was delivered in a fresh way. Although the rising action before the climax was rather lengthy — sometimes over emphasizing certain themes — the acting was superb. I would definitely recommend going to see this movie within the next three days!