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'Next Three Days' delivers smart suspense

November 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
In "The Next Three Days," Russell Crowe plays a man trying to cope with his wife's imprisonment for murder.She's doing poorly and he's a mess, so he eventually comes to the conclusion that the only way out is to break her out of prison.

Writer-director Paul Haggis sets up this film with a nice slow build. The whole time you're watching you can feel the tension inching its way into your seat.

Then, in one gripping freeway scene the movie suddenly shifts into full speed ahead as the action plays out.

Crowe gets extra points for often having to convey what's going on without ever saying a word--acting with props instead of people.

And it's great to see Elizabeth Banks - who's so well known for her comedy work - get back into the drama world. Her range is evident and impressive.

This is a smart movie and it's fun to watch what happens as you guess along the way.