The most suspenseful thriller of the year explores just how far we will go to protect ourselves and our country. When a nuclear expert-turned-extremist (Michael Sheen, Underworld) plants devices in three separate cities, t... more »he country's counter-terrorism force springs into action and captures him. But the location of his bombs remains a mystery. With time running out, FBI agent Helen Brody (Carrie-Anne Moss, Disturbia) agrees to work alongside a mysterious interrogator known only as "H" (Samuel L. Jackson, Lakeview Terrace), whose ruthless methods get results. But a power struggle develops between Brody, "H', and the terrorist, and what happens next is unbelievable and -ultimately-Unthinkable!« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 8/3/2018...
Samuel L delivers the goods as usual! Nuclear bombs, planted in at least three American cities creates an unthinkable scenario that everyone would fear and Samuel L Jackson's character "H" shows his heroic best chasing the maniacal bad guy down and dealing out punishment that may be too much for some viewers!
IVOR I. from CHICAGO, IL Reviewed on 9/10/2012...
Absolutely dreadful, overrated piece of pink propaganda that shows zero faith in its audience. What has happened to American film making one wonders at the end of this fecal pile of cliches, quarter-truths and ridiculous simplifications. Samuel Jackson portrays an undercover terrorist interrogator, Uncle Sugar's Final Solution, who is brought out from under his suburban rock to save the Land of the Brave and the Home of the Free from the ultimate threat, a White converted Muslim terrorist, Arthur Younger(Michael Sheen). Sheen is a fine English actor, well known for his performances of prime minister Tony Blair in 'The Queen' and the legendary soccer manager Brian Clough in 'The Damned United.' Sheen is, however, out of his league in the scenery-chewing stakes against Sam Jackson. Worse, his accent, supposedly from Central Pennsylvania veers somewhere between Southern California and Somerset. At any rate, Jackson discovers Younger has planted three maybe nuclear bombs in different locations across the U.S. and must locate them. This is 'the Plot!
Jackson a/k/a "H," has to extract the desired info from Younger and save millions of American innocents from nuclear holocaust by any means necessary. Thus H races against strictures of time, authority and the ethical rules of morality vis-a-vis interrogation. Enter the ultra-butch FBI problem solver/apparatchik Helen Brody (Carrie Ann Moss). While H practices all kinds of perfidious games and modes of physical torture on Younger, Brody mouths every cliché possible concerning integrity, ethics, and procedure. Thus we have three characters played by strong actors in search of an author. Unfortunately, this is all there is!!!
Every rhetorical stereotype is well worn since the time of Aristotle. In this film, the tin-eared writers and its clueless director, Gregor Jordan, literally and metaphorically trip over their dicks as they consider little cartoon bubbles of intellect concerning civilized behavior, the degradation of torture, ethics, morality and religious war. Unfortunately, hackneyed truths about the hypocricy of religion, war and state-sanctioned torture and mass-murder turn this film into a joke. Indeed, this kind of situation, plot-wise can only work when it is portrayed as a Beckettian absurdity. Notions of soldiers, policemen, politicians and terrorists in general as arbiters of philosophy and theology ring about as true as a sow in lipstick and high heels.
On the other hand, if you like your truths simple and your acting hysterical, this baby is for you. If you like violence, this one cheats you, too. There's an especially good scene where Jackson cuts Younger's incredibly good-looking wife's throat. Most of it goes on off-screen, of course.
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Another must-see film
Eric L. Willard | FPO, AP United States | 06/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am usually hard pressed to give 5 stars to any movie, game, etc but this movie gives excellent reasons for me to give 5 stars. The review by M. Himed was excellent except one point. He/she stated that there was a scene where a woman said she had been raped. He said we didn't know if she was Muslim or Christian. He was incorrrect. The woman speaking to Carrie-Anne Moss was Sam Jackson's wife and in the beginning of the movie they clearly state, his wife is a devoute Muslim. It's one of the reasons Sam Jackson is considered to be one of the dangerous people that the Gov reps use to do their dirty work. Michael Sheen is awesome in his performance. With a large, well known cast around him, he stepped up and delivered an amazing performance. This movie shows the average viewer that sometimes, the unthinkable MUST be done in order to save the lives of the innocent. I can't recommend this enough."
Nereida Kusnadi | 06/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is an excellent, thought provoking piece. The characters are not the run of the mill fluff types. The director skillfully depicts the array of human emotions the characters would go through during a catastrophic threat. Whatever your beliefs on interrogation methods and human rights, this fiom shows that it is not a simple matter as the agents vacillate in where they draw the line and what they consider acceptable or unthinkable when innocent lives are lost or in danger."
Kari Murphy | The Horizon | 07/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As stated by many reviewers, this movie is a 5 star "under the radar" supernnova! Samuel Jackson portrays a "non-existent" terrorist interrogator, who is brought out to save the country from a nuclear Muslim terrorist, Arthur Younger played beautifully by Michael Sheen. Younger is frighteningly convincing with a mysterious conviction, a personal and religious agenda involving at least 3 hidden nuclear bombs of mass destruction, hidden in unknown metropolitan America.
Jackson's character is magnificent, simply known as "H," the silver bullet weapon who is the only chance to extract key information and save millions from an impending holocaust. The movie races under a pressure cooker of time, obstacles of authority, and confusion on how far to go in this unbelievable quandry of intensity and horror. What does "H" need to do to uncover and neutralize this madman's design to kill millions of innocents? The military and intelligence teams are portrayed with sublime perfection, especially the supporting actress, Carrie Ann Moss. She is utterly convincing as an icon of righteousness in being Helen Brody, FBI supervisor. Helen is on a rollercoaster of confliction, bound by integrity, ethics, and procedure who undergoes a shattering metamorphasis as the plot unfolds into one of narrowing, "unthinkable" choices.
This movie is more than thought provoking...it erupts off the Richter scale with aftershocks of repercussion that stay with the viewer for days! Shameful, painful, but somehow justifiable degradation of civilized behaviors under the duress of mass annihilation. What exactly will we do to protect our own and how will we justify it after the fact? "All virtue is summed up in dealing justly." ~Aristotle~ The premise remains as to "What is justice in certain circumstances...or does it cease to exist?" How far can we go before we individually and collectively blur the lines of our ethics and morality and revert back to primitive survival instincts? Is survival a matter of virtue or justice? Are basic instincts wrong?
This movie is impossible to watch without churning up inevitable questions of what lies beneath our civilized behaviors. Physical and mental torture are dancing on the razor's edge, the director (Gregor Jordan) is masterful at capturing the hidden, delicate and sledge hammer effects of this incredible and poignant battle. A masterpiece that will haunt our thoughts into analyzing each and every facet in this prescient film. Absolutely unthinkable to miss this one..."
Mekkins | Out There | 08/05/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've had a hard time finishing movies lately - they all seem to bore me anymore. I don't know if I'm becoming ADD as I get older or movies just suck worse than ever, but this was the first film in a long time that I not only finished, I've watched it twice. And will probably watch it again. Riveting is not a word I often apply to movies but this one wins that accolade. The last movie I became this glued to was "Hard Candy" - well, the middle hour of it anyway. Funny, both of these movies deal with torture and that's not anything I'm into watching (I've never had any desire to see any of the "Saw" movies). Maybe because they both depict torture as a moral conumdrum - is it acceptable in some cases? I must admit, I was rooting for the Ellen Page character all through "Hard Candy". Also, while "Unthinkable" is more graphic, both movies leave more to the imagination and only provide quick shots of the gore. The camera doesn't dwell on it.
One criticism I have of the film is the scene where Brody comes into the torture room to take over the interrogation from Jackson. A device has Yusef's jaws pried apart and it looks and sounds as if Jackson is drilling holes in his teeth. When you get a good shot of Yusef's mouth and teeth a minute later, you would expect to see some missing or broken teeth; or holes drilled through one or two a la "Marathon Man". But no. Other than some blood on his chin, his teeth are so white and perfect they would do justice to any magazine cover. It's not that I wanted to see him with missing and broken teeth but for the sake of realism ... come on. But that's my pet peeve with the film. Overall, a well done and thought provoking movie."
Definitely food for thought but very hard (for me) to watch
K. Corn | Indianapolis,, IN United States | 07/19/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The situation: Nuclear bombs are planted in at least three American cities and a terrorist has decided he will endure any torture, if necessary, to stick to his beliefs. Samuel Jackson plays H, a man who is willing to do just about anything to get information from the terrorist. Things become very bloody and very gory quite quickly.
Before describing this movie any further, I need to be clear that if you have ANY difficulty watching graphic portrayals of a man being tortured...you will definitely have issues with this one. Whether you can stand to watch the movie or not, at least think about what levels of torture you would find acceptable to save lives. Not every single detail of the torture is shown but there is enough to be quite graphic, along with the screams of a man in deep pain. It is very easy to imagine exactly what is being done...even when it isn't shown.
Helen Brody, played by Carrie-Anne Moss, balances out H's commitment to full scale torture. She is horrified by how the terrorist is treated but also has to question her values as time goes on.
When the movie ended, I confess that I said, "Wait! Is that the ending? They left it like THIS?!"That ought to tell you that this isn't one of those movies where every last detail is nicely explained and packed in a fine, neat ending with a moral or message with a capital "M". You aren't pounded over the head with any meaning. However, after I got over my initial disappointment (after all, I'd watched all those torture scenes and that is NOT my cup of tea), I started to realize how the ending made sense.
My take is that this movie is meant to get people thinking how far they would be willing to go to potentially save lives. Also at stake: how useful is torture in getting the truth out of the tortured? What toll does it take on those who are torturers? How do people who have a strong distaste of certain types of torture react when they have to question their deepest beliefs?
In spite of my strong reaction to the ending, this movie did leave me thinking about it for days so that could be reason enough to see it. Samuel L. Jackson gives a very strong performance and the woman who plays his wife (can't recall the name of that actress) has one powerful moment where I believe she makes Helen Brody realize that life is far more complex than Brody ever realized. I may not be remembering these words perfectly but Brody doesn't hide her disgust when she asks H's wife something like "How can you justify what he does? How can you accept him?" The wife explains her side of things and Brody is forced to think beyond "good" and "evil" and truly wonder what needs to be done to keep the country safe. At least, she starts down the path of doubt.
I related strongly to the characters and wish I hadn't assumed that the ending would be so pat. If you want a suspense movie that makes you think, try this one. If you like to know exactly "what happens next?" the ending may leave you feeling let down. It left me feeling that way. But the movie still haunted me.