Popkorn Junkie

Movie review for the film Don't Say a Word starring Michael Douglass, Famke Janssen, and Brittany Murphy
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Note: This film has an R rating.

Junkie Rating:

This film received 2 1/2 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 2 1/2 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 2 1/2 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 2 1/2 pops out of 4 pops.


Cast and Credits

Gary Fleder (Director)
Michael Douglas
(Dr. Nathan Conrad)
Brittany Murphy
(Elisabeth Burrows) 
Famke Janssen
(Aggie Conrad) 
Sean Bean
(Patrick Koster) 
Jennifer Esposito
(Det. Sandra Cassidy) 
Skye McCole Bartusiak
(Jessie Conrad) 
Oliver Platt
(Dr. Louis Sachs) 

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"Don't Say a Word" is a suspenseful story of a cat and mouse game that a psychiatrist is playing with a man who kidnapped and is threatening to kill his daughter.  The rules of the game-- Dr. Conrad (Douglas) has until 5:00 PM to get a 6 digit number out of a very disturbed girl (Elisabeth Burrows, played by Murphy) that he is treating.  If he doesn't obtain the number, his daughter will be killed and possibly himself and his seven-foot tall giant of a wife (Famke Janssen is young and pretty but, seriously, way too tall for Douglas or any normal human man) will join in that fate.
     So, the plot sounds interesting-- which it is-- but in order for this story to take place, the audience has to accept many factors.  1)  Dr. Conrad isn't even really treating Elisabeth, his psychiatrist buddy just paged him one day and asked if he's take a look at her.  Dr. Conrad only met this girl once-- he basically knows nothing about her.  2)  Elisabeth is supposed to be an enigma.  She's been through 20 different hospitals and doctors and nobody can figure out what's wrong with her -- that is, of course, until Dr. Conrad meets her, spends 1 minute with her, and suddenly knows what's wrong with her.  He must be a genius!  3)  A Jennifer Lopez knock-off of a though-girl cop (Jennifer Esposito) starts sniffing around a murder investigation which conveniently happens to tie into the whole story at the end of the movie-- I'm sure you can guess what ultimately happens.  4)  The main reason that the female detective gets involved is because for some reason the kidnappers killed someone and didn't follow their own rules-- for what reason?  Probably so the writer could tie in the detective and wrap up the film into a nice, neat, little package.
     Besides all that, the acting was good for the most part and the movie was entertaining and suspenseful.  Liz and I both saw this movie together and we agree that "Don't Say a Word" was a good thriller, but it was nothing special.  There were too many devices and characters used to move the plot along; it was so formulistic.  I can almost imagine the writer sitting at his/her computer/desk-- plotting out the entire course of the story, getting stuck at dead ends and then adding a new element to help push through to the final destination.  The final product is nice and neat, but a little too neat and a little too obvious.

Liz & Patsy ( 2 out of 4 pops )


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Other Junkie's opinions.....

      Matt ( 2 1/2 out of 4 )

      Now...this is not a bad movie.  It's entertaining (to a degree), but altogether forgettable.  It has some good touches, but it's pretty much your typical, run-of-the-mill Hollywood thriller:  Dad (played well by Douglas) becomes a superhero and drives through the Thanksgiving Day Parade in pursuit of his daughter, Mom is a paraplegic and ends up breaking out of her cast and beating villains with her crutches, etc.  I do have to commend Brittany Murphy (who some may recognize from "Clueless" and "Girl Interrupted") for her convincing portrayal as a schizophrenic girl who holds a big secret.  Hopefully, she'll become a household name pretty soon.  There are no really taut moments of suspense, and though I consider the movie watchable, "Don't Say A Word" doesn't deserve a very good word of mouth.