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The Contract
The Contract
Actors: Morgan Freeman, John Cusack, Jamie Anderson, Alice Krige, Megan Dodds
Director: Bruce Beresford
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2007     1hr 36min

The only thing standing between an assassin and his target is a father who must protect his son. — While on a hiking trip to reconnect with his son after the death of his wife, Ray Keene (John Cusack) stumbles into a nightm...  more

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Morgan Freeman, John Cusack, Jamie Anderson, Alice Krige, Megan Dodds
Director: Bruce Beresford
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/24/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Robert E. from STONE MTN, GA
Reviewed on 11/26/2009...
This was a very good movie. Alot of excitement and twist and turns. I give it a 4star rating.
Steven H. (summitco) from OGDEN, UT
Reviewed on 10/8/2009...
A few pretty good sized holes in the story but how could you not like Morgan Freeman and John Cusak.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jean C. (Ragamuffin)
Reviewed on 8/22/2009...
We really enjoyed this movie and it kept you on your toes all the way through. Great actors.
Jason C. (JJC) from NEWARK, NJ
Reviewed on 4/17/2008...
When you have an action crime-drama that headlines Morgan Freeman and John Cusack, it's a certified watch. However, "The Contract," which stars both of these actors on opposite sides, sadly disappoints and we're just left with a "good flick."

Frank Carden (Morgan Freeman) is a high-profile assassin, who is working with his own hired crew for big-time client who wants a big-time job done. The job consists of "two acts," and after Act One is done, Carden gets into a bad car accident with a careless driver and once he's rushed to the hospital unconscious, the doctors realize the man is armed and not law enforcement. He's then arrested by U.S. Marshals, as they find out Carden is ex-military, missing in action and is using the alias of a dead child. When Carden recovers, he's then escorted by three Marshals to a Federal prison, only Carden has stolen a cell phone from one of the nurses and has staged his escape during his trip to prison. When Carden kills two of the Marshals, the car runs off a cliff and into a river where Carden shoots the third Marshall and they both escape the car.

Meanwhile, ex-cop and widower Ray Keene (John Cusack) along with his estranged son Chris, are camping in the woods with hopes to bond as father and son again. When Ray sees Carden and the Marshall in trouble in the rapids, he takes it upon himself to save them. The Marshall quickly identifies himself and states that Carden is his prisoner. The Marshal dies from his gunshot and Carden tries to persuade Ray to let him go in good faith, that Ray won't be harmed and Carden will go about his business. Ray refuses to let him go and takes Carden in his own custody, still handcuffed with Ray now armed with the Marshal's gun! Ray's plan is to escort him through the rural Washington town to the nearest precinct, but Carden's hired hands are on their trail and will execute Ray and his son to save their boss and continue to Act Two...and above all...get paid! And the FBI is also looking for these people, with the aid of the local sheriff department.

There's a few more twists and turns here, including a secret operative in the FBI that is aware of Carden and his mission, and also one of Carden's crew being hired to kill Carden himself. During the journey, Ray and Carden get acquainted, but not buddy-buddy, which is interesting, and furthermore what is Act Two?

"The Contract" is a good movie with a decent storyline and a decent director. But I felt that Freeman and Cusack were wasted here. Their names got me set to watch something great...but what surfaces, is nothing more than a decent generic action film.

Check it out, but don't expect to be blown away.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

The Contract - high stakes action in the Pacific Northwest
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 07/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Contract has a great duo helping it with Cusack and Freeman at the helm, and reminds me sometimes of films such as Cliffhanger and The Hunted. The scenario of a fugitive on the run in the wilderness is nothing new but this film also has some nice political intrigue. I found the arrogant attitude of the "East Coast" suits to be somewhat believable although at times the film had some unbelievable aspects to it when it came to technical direction. The main one was the depiction of a helicopter crash that showed the landing as an outcome that was totally different given the previous scenes that showed how it was disabled and what the angle of descent was. Regardless, that is nitpicking and not unexpected as this film is not a dark drama that you would find perhaps from the talents of Michael Mann. The scene shortly before the end depicting Cusack's character (Ray) meeting up again with Freeman's (Cardin) was a bit over the top, considering what Ray had just gone through he would have been interviewed extensively perhaps for the next several weeks and not simply allowed to go home and watch the 6:00 news the next day.

The film is enjoyable for the fact it is centered on a recently captured man who is in charge of putting teams together to carry out high profile contract killings. The story plays out not on the streets of Los Angeles or New York City, but the vast mountainous region of Washington State. Freeman and his crew of associates are believable for the most part, and the in-house fighting that erupts among them when things go wrong is a nice addition to the turmoil they face, although not surprising or unexpected. Car wrecks, Helicopter crashes and shootouts all meld together pretty nicely. Overall, this film is a good action thriller with a recipe that includes enough adventure to keep you watching till the end.
"
Not Worth The Paper It's Written On
Mark Eremite | Seoul, South Korea | 01/07/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I see John Cusack and Morgan Freeman's face on the cover of a DVD box, I buy it. Not that these guys have never made a bad movie, but they've certainly never made a movie worse. The same is true here, although the movie was already pretty bad to begin with.

Gym teacher Ray Keene (Cusack at his most vacant) has a pubescent son who is grappling with several dull plot contrivances (the Dead Mom and Infrequent Pot Smoking). In an attempt to bond with him before he goes too far down the wrong path, Ray takes his boy hiking. Turns out they BOTH end up down the wrong path, in the middle of which is escaped-assassin, Frank (Freeman, who gives new meaning to the phrase "phoning it in"). Frank is pursued by his team of assisstants (assassisstants?), who want badly to be paid, but not far behind are also a group of snobbish U.S. Marshalls who have their own agendas. It's Ray's job to avoid these two deadly (?) forces and bring Frank to justice.

No, wait. Ray's job is a gym coach, making the next several hours of his life a pretty amazing feat, as he scales bluffs, outwits and outmanuevers a whole cadre of military-trained mercenaries and political heavies that appear to have no skills beyond complaining about coffee and smirking smugly at the incompetent local lawmen. And, to be fair, the local lawmen are remarkably incompetent.

Who wrote this thing? Furthermore, how did they get Driving Miss Daisy's Bruce Beresford to direct? That must be, at least, how they got Freeman to lend his Oscar-winning weight to the title. And that would explain Cusack (because who WOULDN'T want to star next to the incomparable Freeman?). But none of it explains the script's tired dialogue ("You said mom would be okay!" Ray's son, Chris, keens. "But she wasn't okay! She wasn't okay!"). None of it explains the crumpled story-line or the ludicrously two-dimensional characters (Alice Krige's skullish Gwen Miles is so flat she seems concaved). And the plot holes! Let's just say that they eventually become an acquired taste. By the time you get to the scene I call the "Helicopter Crash Conversation," you'll be shaking your head AND laughing.

The really funny thing, though, is that it's obvious SOMEONE put a lot of work into the film. Certain scenes (the hit-and-run at the start, the accident that leads to Frank's initial capture) are smartly done. And in the hands of an abler scribe (it was penned by the late Stephen Katz, who did mostly teleplays for The A-Team and Hardcastle and McCormick) it might have pulled together into something you could take a passing interest in. Instead, there's this silly, incomprehensible glob of a film, notable only for being the first time I've ever seen Morgan Freeman look tired without also thinking he was doing a great job of acting like it."
What happens when a bad film happens to good actors...
secrethalo | United States | 09/23/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I'm a fan of both Morgan Freeman and John Cusack. But this film does them little justice. Mainly the poor script and amateur supporting cast ruin what could have been an interesting movie. Worth it to watch on a rainy day, for free. Do not pay to see this movie."