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For Hire
For Hire
Actors: Rob Lowe, Joe Mantegna, Bronwen Booth
Director: Jean Pellerin
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2006     1hr 40min

Mitch Lawrence (Rob Lowe), a Chicago cabby and would be actor, is a man whose dreams are starting to fade. He's got a loving and pregnant wife and a decent clientele, including the successful writer Lou Webber (Joe Mantegn...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Rob Lowe, Joe Mantegna, Bronwen Booth
Director: Jean Pellerin
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Allumination
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/14/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Don't wake a bear - he might be bigger than you are .
Vlad | | 08/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I watched this movie only for Joe Mantegna ( he is an exellent actor , and he always pick good movies ). So , he prooved it again .
Pure cab driver meet a bestselling novelist ( Joe Mantegna ). They become friends . But novelist has one little problem - a violent stalker . Everything becomes too predictable :
1.Novelist need something from the caby. And he does .
2.He is going to pay him , to kill the stalker. And he does - $50.000.
3. To make him do it , writer setting up caby with fake doctor . Come on man , always get second opinion ! You don't have cancer !
4.His wife loosing her job . Can you se now ? He is setting you up !
I was very suprised ! Too predictable . I was wrong ! When caby understood , that he was set up ;he was just a subject of a new novel ... You have to se , how he paid back ! What can I say ? Never think , that you smarter than someone else ... You never know !"
Gregor von Kallahann | 12/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"It's no secret that actors like to keep working. So when prestige projects aren't available, they'll gladly take on lesser ones. I'm not clear whether FOR HIRE was actually a cable movie, a small limited release film, or a direct-to-video number. It stars Rob Lowe and Joe Mantegna, who both have been known to take on lesser roles when great parts weren't available. They turn in solid performances, and the movie has a pretty intriguing plotline (with a number of holes) that borrows perhaps a bit too heavily from Patricia Highsmith's RIPLEY'S GAME (itself filmed a few times under its own name and as Wim Wenders' acclaimed THE AMERICAN FRIEND).

Whatever its origins, it was apparently such a minor release that few professional critics ever reviewed it. (Check for verification). But it is interesting to see posting from "citizen reviewers" such as the ones below and on other sites to see that many people do indeed find much to enjoy in these so-called minor efforts.

As a psychological thriller FOR HIRE is pretty implausible--but it is engaging. And if the viewer can suspend his dibelief on several occasions, he will no doubt find much that is enjoyable in the movie. FOR HIRE actually takes the premise of RIPLEY/AMERICAN FRIEND to a somewhat different level. Yes, every man may have his price (especially financially strapped men with dependants who have reason believe the end is near), but this movie brings in an even more cynical manipulator, one who is not merely an amoral criminal, but a diabolical schemer who's out, essentially, to play God (or the Devil). Whatever drives him, in fact, has to be more than the desire to sell a few books: he's out to prove something about the infinitely corruptible nature of human beings.

Which is something most of us already know, so ultimately what's the point? {SPOILER WARNING] We know that the schemer--the always intriguing Joe Mantegna--is somehow capable of pulling off the most elaborate of ruses on the hapless young cab driver/aspiring actor (Lowe) he takes under his wing. As "great deceivers" go, Mantegna is appropriately satanic. Few living authors could marshal the resources or the will power to pull off this huge a ruse.

Rob Lowe's earnest, honest cabbie character could have been developed a bit more sharply. We know that he's a good guy because he adroitly prevents the cab company's owner from exploiting his cabbies too overtly. And he loves his wife and unborn child. That makes him a decent guy. It does not make him the nearly incorruptible paragon of virtue that Mantegna's character seems to take him for. Turning an actual saint into a sinner is no mean feat for a would-be devil. Proving that your average Joe may have his price is actually no big revelation.

But all these implausibilites and inconsistencies aside, FOR HIRE is not such a bad way to spend an hour and a half. But movies like this beg another question. The premise is not bad, and the acting is quite good. What could have made this little movie better? One often detects--in a mediocre or even a bad film--a good movie trying desperately to get out. Would a little more development money have made a difference here? A few more rewrites? As career moves go, it probably did no harm (and may have actually helped) its two stars. Mantegna gets to do something a little more complex than a gangster part. And Lowe, who was about 10 years into his career rehabilitation effort at this point, actually gets to strut his stuff a bit and in effect play two parts, since much his screentime has his actor character doing Shakespeare with his small theater troupe.

They both get a chance to shine here (the only drawback for Lowe being his awful looking bleach job, the only advantage of which is that it provides an authentic enough pallor when his character begins to sicken). But the movie could have been much better. Given world enough and time--and maybe a bigger budget.

Not a keeper ultimately. Consider renting it if you're a fan of either actor, or of psychological suspense films.

Cami's review for "for hire"
ninion wyndom | pensacola, fl | 03/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"i would definetly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys intelligent, psychological, suspenseful movies. and rob lowe is absolutely gorgeous! but thats just my opinion, see for yourself."