The Next Three Days parents guide

The Next Three Days Parent Guide

Playing a cat and mouse game with detectives who are closing in on the escapees, the film does a fair job of holding the audience's attention to the final climatic moments.

Overall C

Even though his wife (Elizabeth Banks) has been convicted of murder, John Brennan (Russell Crowe) refuses to believe she is guilty. When the despairing woman attempts to take her own life, John is convinced the only way he can save her is to break her out of prison.

Release date November 19, 2010

Violence D+
Sexual Content B
Profanity D+
Substance Use C-

Why is The Next Three Days rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Next Three Days PG-13 for violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements.

Run Time: 134 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

It’s not hard to understand why John Brennan (Russell Crowe) does what he does. But is it possible to justify?

His wife Lara (Elisabeth Banks) has been accused and convicted of murder. Three years into her sentence, their son Luke (Ty Simpkins) is beginning to forget what it is like to have a mom at home and John is tired of the prison guards and bars that stand between him and the woman he loves. Convinced she is innocent, he tries the legal recourse route using every penny he can scrape together from his teacher’s salary. But the couple’s hopes for a new trial are dashed when their appeal is thrown out.

Rather than continue to fight the system, John tracks down an ex-con (Liam Neeson) who has published a how-to book after escaping from prison seven times. Though John is warned about the risks of attempting a jailbreak, he forges ahead with a plan to spring his wife out of the correctional facility where she is being held.

Increasingly obsessed with the idea, he plots out his strategy on his bedroom wall, collecting maps, photos, time schedules, delivery truck routes and Internet videos on stealing cars and making bump keys. He also drives to the seedier side of town where he sells prescription drugs on the street to make some quick cash. While there, he also searches for a criminal element that can forge passports and other vital documents he’ll need for a quick trip out of the country with his wife and child.

Directed by Paul Haggis, the film’s tension builds at an escalating pace as the awkward academic seemingly bumbles his way through his early preparations. He is nearly caught while trying to test a homemade elevator key during a prisoner visit. Too eager to acquire fake papers, he is beaten and left bleeding on a dark side street after two thugs lure him into a trap and steal his money. Still filmmakers take no shortcuts to ensure audiences are on side with the petite blonde inmate whose innocence is questioned. They also give ample reasons to explain John’s vigilantism. But it becomes increasingly difficult to excuse his actions when he turns to crime as a way to secure his wife’s freedom and leaves a trail of fatalities in his wake. His recklessness also forces his parents (Brian Dennehy, Helen Carey) and sibling (Michael Buie) into compromising situations even though he is fighting to correct an injustice in the justice system.

Playing a cat and mouse game with detectives who are closing in on the escapees, the film does a fair job of holding the audience’s attention to the final climatic moments. However, the movie is not quite as convincing at making the audience cheer for a man who knowingly steps outside the boundaries of society to secure his own desires.

Directed by Paul Haggis. Starring Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson. Running time: 134 minutes. Theatrical release November 19, 2010. Updated

The Next Three Days
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Next Three Days rated PG-13? The Next Three Days is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements.

Violence: Characters involved in accidents and crime are shown with blood on their faces, hands and clothes. A man is beaten and has a knife held to his face. Adults argue on several occasions. A woman opens the door of a speeding car and attempts to throw herself out, nearly causing an accident. A murder is repeatedly depicted. A character attempts suicide. Characters are shot and killed. A man starts a house on fire. During a prisoner escape attempt, characters are threatened with a gun and shot at.

Sexual Content: Women engage in sexual dialogue that includes anatomical terms and crude sexual innuendo. Implied sex takes place off screen. A woman wears a low cut dress. A married couple kisses passionately.

Language: The script contains a strong sexual expletive and over a dozen scatological slang terms, profanities and crude expressions.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A woman gives herself an injection for medical purposes. Illegal drug dealing is shown. A man sells prescription drugs on the streets. Characters drink and smoke on several occasions. Characters have a meth lab in their basement.

Other: Characters lie to protect others.

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The Next Three Days Parents' Guide

John is able to get information on criminal activities on the Internet. Should law enforcement officers be able to persecute people who post these tips? Are there dangers associated with following these instructions?

How can circumstantial evidence lead to the conviction of individuals who did not commit a crime? What recourse is available to innocent people behind bars? What legal precedents have been set in these cases?

How do the filmmakers play on the audience’s emotions to justify John’s activities? Is there ever a time when his actions would be acceptable? In what other situations might people rationalize breaking the law?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Next Three Days movie is March 8, 2011. Here are some details…

The Next Three Days releases to DVD and Blu-ray (as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) on March 8, 2011. Both packages include the following bonus extras:

- Making The Next Three Days

- The Men of The Next Three Days

- True Escapes for Love

- Cast Moments

- Deleted Scenes

- Extended Scenes

- Full-Length Bump Key Video

Related home video titles:

Russell Crowe plays another character that turns to crime when he feels the authorities are being unjust in Robin Hood. Another criminal justifies his activities (and eventually gets a real life book deal) in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Unjustly convicted of a crime, a man plots revenge on his accusers in the classic tale The Count of Monte Cristo. Other movies that depict the plight of family members who watch loved ones go to jail include The Visitor and The Informant.