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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Extreme Measures (1996)



Reviews and Comments

While Hugh Grant's nervous, stuttering persona works for films like The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, I was dubious about how it would work playing a doctor, who often needs to be quick thinking and self-assured, in a suspense film, which can afford no distracting mannerisms. Thankfully, I never had to find out. Hugh Grant turns in a confident performance in this tense thriller, displaying acting talents for which I would not have previously given him credit. Gene Hackman is great as usual, giving his character compassion and menace in just the right proportions, and Michael Apted's direction skillfully creates an atmosphere of utter helplessness, as Hugh Grant's character finds himself up against seemingly impossible odds. The script is especially noteworthy, as it elevates what might have been a run-of-the-mill action thriller in to a sincere, highly satisfying, thought-provoking motion picture. Extreme Measures concerns an outrageous situation, but one that's motivated with very real, relevant moral issues. While the film takes a very definite stand, you may ask yourself, "Who's right?" more than once. And whether it's the moral questions or the aftereffects of the heart-pounding suspense that linger in your mind, you won't forget this film all that quickly after leaving the theater.