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Absolute Power

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Absolute Power

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Dennis Haysbert
Director: Clint Eastwood
Rated: R
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: February 1997
Genres: Action, Drama, Suspense

*Also starring: E. G. Marshall, Ed Harris, Gene Hackman, Judy Davis, Laura Linney, Scott Glenn

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1.  Walter Frith review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
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Review by Walter Frith
3 stars out of 4

'Absolute Power' is another testament to Clint Eastwood's ability as a talented filmmaker. What makes Eastwood so good is not only his diversity in subject matter from 'Play Misty for Me' (1971) to 'Unforgiven' (1992) but his uncanny ability to take films with relatively long scenes and stretch them into the most absorbing films made anywhere by anyone.

'Absolute Power' is an extremely powerful motion picture filled with intrigue (both political and social) that manages to construct its plot line in a manner suitable for building to a daring climax but also in a way for serious discussion after you leave the theatre.

A life long criminal who specializes in high profile burglaries (Eastwood) forces his way into a mansion one evening and upon committing a routine heist is forced to hide in seclusion when others arrive. From his viewpoint he witnesses a sexual escapade which leads to a murder involving a billionaire's wife and the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States (Gene Hackman). Also involved in the clandestine crime are two Secret Service agents (Scott Glenn and Dennis Haysbert) and the President's Chief of Staff (Judy Davis).

The investigating homicide officer who tracks Eastwood to the scene of the crime (Ed Harris) is the film's protagonist who is the key to the film's central focus. Eastwood has an estranged daughter (Laura Linney) who gets dangerously close to the investigation not necessarily for her own good. Rounding out the film's cast is veteran character actor E.G. Marshall as a billionaire and political king maker. It's his wife who is murdered.

Oscar winning screen writer William Goldman ('All the President's Men') is credited with this clever screenplay based on the novel by David Baldacci.

What makes 'Absolute Power' so enjoyable to a large extent is seeing Eastwood gradually move into parts that fit his age. He is well seasoned in this film (Eastwood is 66) and he doesn't perform any silly physical stunts and the film isn't filled with unnecessary violence. Instead it relies on heightened scenes of keeping the audience guessing what's to come next.

This is a smart film brimming with conniving wit that manages to remain highly entertaining and credible throughout its entire running time.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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