out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Don't Say a Word
Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4
In this child-snatching suspense story, Michael Douglas plays Dr.
Nathan Conrad, a successful Manhattan psychiatrist whose eight year-old daughter
Jessie (Skye McCole Bartusiak) is kidnapped on Thanksgiving by Koster, a
European jewel thief (Sean Bean). To get her back, the doctor most promise not
to call the police. He is then given seven hours to unlock the mind of a new
patient, a deeply disturbed woman, Elisabeth Burrows (Brittany Murphy), referred
to him by a colleague (Oliver Platt), and extract a six-digit number that's the
key to locating a rare red diamond worth $10 million that Koster and her father,
his ex-partner, stole a decade ago. But Elisabeth cryptically insists, "I'll
never tell...any of you." Adapted by Anthony Peckham and Patrick Smith Kelly
("True Crime") from Andrew Klavan's novel and directed with visual flair by Gary
Fleder ("Kiss the Girls"), this is a tension-filled, if predictable, thriller,
juggling four different scenarios: a) the doctor's desperate attempts to draw
the number out of Elisabeth, b) flashbacks to the childhood trauma that has kept
her in various psychiatric institutions for years, c) the crooks' interaction
with the doctor's bedridden wife (Famke Janssen), immobilized after a skiing
accident, and d) the involvement of a tough NYPD detective (Jennifer Esposito)
in a seemingly unrelated murder that eventually leads to Jessie's captors.
Problem is: you know from the getgo how it's going to turn out - and none of the
actors are trying anything new. Douglas faced similar nightmarish predicaments
in "The Game" and "Fatal Attraction," while Brittany Murphy honed her
quirky/crazy character in "Girl, Interrupted." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1
to 10, "Don't Say a Word" is a disturbing, diverting 6, escapist entertainment
that really shouldn't be dissected.
Copyright © 2001 Susan Granger
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