Run time: 117 mins
In Theaters: Friday 9th July 1999
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Production compaines: Lakeshore Entertainment, Screen Gems, Arlington Road Productions Corporation, Gorai / Samuelson Productions, Samuelson Productions
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
Fresh: 55 Rotten: 34
IMDB: 7.2 / 10
Director: Mark Pellington
Screenwriter: Ehren Kruger
Starring: Jeff Bridges as Michael Faraday, Tim Robbins as Oliver Lang, Joan Cusack as Cheryl Lang, Hope Davis as Brooke Wolfe, Robert Gossett as FBI Agent Whit Carver, Mason Gamble as Brady Lang, Spencer Treat Clark as Grant Faraday, Stanley Anderson as Dr. Archer Scobee, Viviane Vives as Nurse, Lee Stringer as Orderly, Darryl Cox as Troopmaster, Loyd Catlett as Delivery Man, Sid Hillman as Phone Technician, Auden Thornton as Hannah Lang, Mary Ashleigh Green as Daphne Lang
Jeff Bridges stars as Michael Faraday, and teacher at George Washington University who teaches a course on American Terrorism. Some people think that this was convenient given the plot of the film, but I think that it's a way of already instilling a sense of fear and uncertainty. In the first scene, Faraday rescues a young boy who had lit some fireworks and forgot to throw them. The boy is coincidentally the son of their neighbors, Oliver and Cheryl Lang (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack, both extremely creepy and frightening). After some hunches about Oliver, Michael starts to do some investigating and what he turns up is not pretty.
I am surprised that Tim Robbins hasn't played many villains before. Everything down to the serious, intimidating looks on his face just scream evil. Although, he does have a lot of range as an actor, he can play both good guy and bad guy. Joan Cusack scared the bejesus out of me with her sinister smile that never seemed sinister on screen before. Both these actors are excellent and key to the flow of the movie.
As for Bridges, his intentions are good but I don't think that he's right for the part. He's a great actor, but it's hard for him to be emotional without someone laughing at him. Faraday is a man who is scared; even when there's nothing to be scared about. I just didn't buy him in this role.
This is a top-notch thriller that kept me wanting more. I'm usually not taken or frightened by thrillers but this one had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, right up until the refreshingly creative surprise ending.