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Death Sentence [Blu-ray]
Death Sentence

James Wan (Saw) brings the ultra-violence to this gritty story of a suburban father (Kevin Bacon) who discovers the consequences of revenge after his son is murdered. The perpetrators of this senseless killing are a multi-...  more »


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Movie Details

Format: Blu-ray
DVD Release Date: 12/16/2008
Release Year: 2008
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
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Movie Reviews

Revenge and other forms of Madness
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"DEATH SENTENCE is a tough movie to watch, not because it is a poorly made film, but because of the degree of violence that, once started, is mayhem on a roller coaster ride. Though based on a novel by Brian Garfield, the script by Ian Jeffers is a patchwork quilt - the holes show whenever the police arrive on the scene. James Wan, of the 'Saw' movies fame, directs with a keen eye for breathless action sequences and almost intolerable suspense timing that makes the film fly through the 111 minutes of the Unrated version.

During the opening credits we are introduced to the perfect family via home movies and domestic scenes: Nick Hume (Kevin Bacon) is the devoted father, Helen (Kelly Preston) his bright and loving wife, Brendan (Stuart Lafferty) is the golden boy son with all the hockey laurels, and Lucas (Jordan Garrett) the younger 'also ran' son. The glitch in this family's happiness happens one night when, out of gas while driving home from a hockey game, Nick stops at a gas station and while Brendan is in the convenience store a gang comes in and murders the store owner and Brendan: the reason for the killing is not robbery but an initiation rite into a gang accomplished by young Joe Darley (Matt O'Leary) and the demand of his older brother Billy (Garrett Hedlund, in a very out of character role from his usual 'Troy', 'Friday Night Lights', 'Eragon', 'Georgia Rule' persona). Nick witnesses the killing and when the lawyers and police work with him in the aftermath to 'arrange a deal' instead of a murder trial, Nick decides to take matters in hi s own hands.

The Darley brothers are part of a ruthless gang sponsored by their own father Bones Darley (John Goodman, in a very dark and well-realized role). Nick stalks Joe Darley and murders him, and once the deed (that happens to begin a gang war against Nick) is done the terror begins. The gang is out to kill not only Nick but Nick's family also. How this pursued and pursuers game works out furnishes the remainder of the film. It is the old eye for an eye story that ends in tragedy for everyone concerned.

When the film is dealing with the 'family' and the 'gang' the dialog sparkles, but when the police, headed by Detective Wallis (Aisha Tyler), become involved the aid from the police becomes as ludicrous as the dialog placed in their mouths. Kevin Bacon gives a bravura performance as the gentle father driven to murderous madness and Garrett Hedlund matches him as the ruthless and terrifying gang leader Billy. There are enough sidebars about father/son relationships on both sides of the plot line to make the movie have a message. But in the end it is the wildly frantic camera action and directorial decisions by Wan that make this a horrifying and arresting film. Not for the queasy viewer. Grady Harp, January 08"
I don't agree with the critics on this one
damoviecritic | Seattle, Washington | 12/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I usually agree with the mainstream critics about movies, for the most part. However, this movie, like the 1st Saw film, is a major exception. If you are looking for a best picture candidate, you will not find it here. However, it is a very entertaining, engrossing movie that will probably not appeal to the squeamish. The movie fits right into the Parent Revenge mold quite well. The oldest son is killed by gang. Dad avenges death. Gang fights back. Dad goes crazy and kills gang members, before the whole thing culminates in a final shootout full of graphic carnage. If you are looking for an insane action movie, this isn't quite it. In particular, the first half is very deliberate in trying to convey Bacon as a real guy, trying to avoid violence, but ultimately succumbing to it. I found this journey that he takes to be quite believe, up until a scene near the end in a hospital in which he turns into Rambo. Rather than being moving, it is slightly laughable. Then the movie turns into a straightforward, albeit very well shot, action flick full of gore and carnage. Many critics bashed the film for it's hypocrisy in having the movie condemn violence while later depicting it in stylish, perversely entertaining detail. However, I think this was justified by a gang leaders quote at near the end of the film. "Look at you," he says to Bacon. "You've turned into one of us." The man is right. The gang leaders have slit throats and shot heads. But so has Bacon. He is a lesser of two evils to be sure, but an evil none the less. While this may be a cheap attempt by the director the make the film more serious, it does work. It is true that Bacon has transformed into a kind of monster. I give great credit to Bacon's performance, along with almost ever other actor. If a dark, violent, disturbing movie is what you are in the mood for this weekend, skip Halloween, and go see this."
Death Sentence is death wish for a new age
FlimAfflicted | 11/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Revenge is best served....period
This movie is a wicked ride. For all you Death Wish, Straw Dogs, and The Crow fans out there, this film is dark and gritty. Fast paced action and some good raw emotion. I won't ruin the story but if revenge is your kind of dish i recomend you pick this up, grab a snack and sit back and watch Kevin Bacon kick so much @$$ you'll probably go blind."
A study in justice/revenge
P. Crookshanks | Suffolk, Va USA | 09/01/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is about an upper class executive family and family of gang members. It shows the interaction of the upper class family and their two sons and the gang leader father and his two sons.

When the upper class son is murdered in front of his father's eyes, the younger upper class son has issues of never measuring up.

The justice department wants to make a deal that will never bring the murderer to trial. Law enforcement is unable to control the activities of the gang and is useless to this family.

This was an initiation killing into the gang. The upper class father refuses to identify the murderer in court and thus a war of families to the last member begins for which law enforcement blames the upper class father.

What was just business as usual for the gang, becomes personal and was on a personal level with the upper class dad from its conception.

Has a lot of action scenes and brutality. If you like making your own ending. You will like this movie. You won't leave uplifted. John Goodman is the gangland father and Kevin Bacon the executive father."