Paul Haggis is a director and screenwriter who has garnered Academy Award attention with "Million Dollar Baby" and "Crash." He helped rejuvenate the James Bond franchise in the 2006 update to "Casino Royale." In "The Next Three Days," Haggis teams up with Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks in a crime thriller that delivers real excitement along with a solid dose of confusion.
Crowe plays a mild-mannered teacher at a community college and Banks plays his wife. She is a well-dressed business woman whose boss is found dead on the same day they both had a loud public argument. A stunning murder conviction sends the wife to prison for the crime. But the foggy screenplay leaves us wondering if she is guilty.
Crowe is slowly transformed from a wimpy teacher into a hard-charging commando to rectify this situation. He ends up jumping into Pittsburgh's criminal underground to get what he needs to spring his wife from jail. The build-up to his plan takes way too long to develop. But once the action starts, it's a heart-pounding ride all the way to the final curtain that will satisfy fans of the genre.