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Non-Review Review: Man on a Ledge

I was at the launch of the Jameson Film Fest last night, so Ciaran bravely jumped in to review Man on a Ledge for me. What a ledge(nd).

Man on a Ledge has a fairly simple premise. Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), a former policeman, is pushed to the ledge of a Manhattan hotel in an attempt to clear his name after he was convicted of stealing a 40M$ diamond from David Englander (Ed Harris), a well established real estate investor. Nick demands to talk to officer Lydia Nercer (Elizabeth Banks), who was unsuccessful in her last negotiation with a suicidal cop, in order to form a large crowding the street below. This crowd acts as a distraction while Nicks brother, Joey (Jamie Bell), and Joey’s girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) break into one of David Eglander’s buildings, which is located across the road. The plan is to steal the diamond and prove Nick’s innocence.

Exactly what it says on the tin...

The film flips back and forth between the negotiations on the ledge of the hotel and the break-in across the street. It seemed to me to be a great idea to bring together a Phone Booth-esque situation with a diamond heist but, unfortunately, it wasn’t executed as well as I expected it to be. I enjoyed the movie, but it definitely could have been more.

The break-in scenes involving Joey and Angie are humorous, acting as a sort of ‘what would happen if you gave an average person the necessary equipment to pull off a bank heist’– plot thread, so this side of the story works well and gives the film a quirky side.

The higher-ups...

The scenes involving Worthington and Banks, however, never really pulled me in. I don’t really know why either. It may have been that Worthington just didn’t work too well in the role. He works well when he can interact physically with other characters but he lacked in this position. It also could have been due to the movie trailer which, in my opinion, gave away too much. A large portion of the movie is spent setting Nick on the ledge and explaining why he’s there… But that was already explained to me in a 2 minute trailer, I didn’t need a long drawn out version! A shorter trailer which revealed less of the plot may have benefited this movie better. I also feel the film could have added a lot more interest by detailing how Nick was allegedly set up. The film shed some light on this but it could have been covered in a lot more detail!

On the other hand, the movie does offer some impressive high rise camera shots, giving the audience a slight vertigo-inducing effect. I can’t help but feel that it probably should have been used more often. Still, it can’t help but pale in comparison to the recent Burj Khalifa scene in Mission Impossible 4. Is it just bad timing for director Asger Leth?

Banking on it...

I did like the film for the most part but there are quite a few scenes at the end of the movie which let it down for me, some that make me question the laws of physics and the competency of the  police force.

Nonetheless, this film did what it said on the tin and it was a bit of fun.

48 Responses

  1. There is a lot to be entertained by here but there is also way too much that we can’t actually take seriously and it actually ends up being more of just a silly thriller that has a good cast, that doesn’t really do much. Good review Darren.

  2. i read another review on this film. and they said about they same thing. I think I’ll be skipping this one. Thanks.

  3. Questioning the laws of physics? What…you don’t think he could eyeball and execute the distance to the exact spot with the bouncey thing below? I’m stunned.


    Yeah. It was a stretch. But it wasn’t a total waste — at least I paid matinee price and kinda enjoyed a few hours of movie watching.

  4. Damn.

    I was hoping for this one to be good.

    Sad. Sad..

  5. Your review has intrigued me enough to watch it when it comes out on video. Good job.

  6. I was wondering…

  7. Meh, I knew this movie was going to be somewhat of a generic flyover.

  8. I agree completely. I was kind of entertained but was hoping for more.

  9. I’ve seen a few disappointing movies this season. This is going to be one of them I would say. But then can it compare with the awfulness of Chronicle? I think not. dull dull dull except for the end scene where the boys beat each other to a pulp.. Thanks for the warning. TYhis one might be a download job.

  10. very interesting review!


  11. check out a trailer I made for this movie…http://youtu.be/ZkkVcX28yH8

  12. this movie is kind off disappointing too. it does look like phone booth

  13. Great post! I was a bit unimpressed with the trailer so I’m glad I skipped this one in the cinema. Perhaps Sam Worthington would do better in Wrath of the Titans?

  14. This reminds me of the song Jumper by Third Eye Blind (that I am listening right now.) 🙂

  15. Everyday on my way to work I pass a billboard for this movie and it looks so. stupid. I mean, it’s a man on a ledge that’s not a movie, it’s not even a sentence!

  16. One to watch on dvd I think…I’m usually quite intrigued by random titles like this, but it has had some pretty bad reviews and always gutting when the end is bad like you suggest…cool post though!!

  17. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought there were hints of a “Phone Booth” fell in that film, especially toward the beginning! 😛 True, it was somewhat entertaining, but mostly after a glass of reisling. It wasn’t a total waste of my time, but I doubt it’s worthy to grace my collection of DVD’s.

  18. It’s a shame that the film wasn’t as good as it could have been. Talent like Ed Harris, Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks shouldn’t be wasted.

  19. Read some other reviews online. Poor poor movie.

    Big disappointment.

  20. Reblogged this on Max Tindall and commented:
    I Think this movie was just plain stupid

  21. Love your blog! Spot on Review! 😀

  22. I saw this movie yesterday near Union Square, and I felt much the same way about it. The break-in and heist definitely drew me in a lot more than the actual scene of a “man on a ledge”, and I also felt that the chemistry for the brother and his girlfriend was the true draw. Not to be a spoiler, but at the end of the movie I wasn’t surprised about the bartender, but I was surprised that the negotiator was there – it was almost like the screenwriters meant to develop a romance, but decided to spend the camera time to redeem the cop partner. This movie was good, but I definitely thought it fell short of what it could have been. Great post though, and definitely spot on.

  23. My daughter and I LOVED this flick! I really didn’t expect too much, but it delivered an awesome experience.
    Ed Harris was brilliant!

  24. This movie is the definition of a rainy day DVD rental – I’m sure that I’d find it diverting at home, but I can’t imagine paying to see this in a cinema.

    If studios still made B-movies (rather than mid-level star vehicles with A budgets), “Man on a Ledge” just has ‘B’ written all over it.

  25. worthington delivers his lines like cardboard. there’s no life in him. he needs help in that department, just like he needed the help in avatar.

    i opted for the recent sherlock holmes movie this week.

  26. also, in your banner, in which you tout yourself as a fabulous blogger in ireland or something, the comma needs to be inside the quotation marks.

    • No worries, I actually speak British English, so I use the logical quotation or logical punctuation as it is known. The convention is to include within quotation marks only those punctuation marks that appeared in the quoted material but otherwise to place punctuation outside the closing quotation marks. Thhat said, I do believe that using capital letters at the start of a sentence is a universal rule of grammar?

      • Never would’ve thought I’d see that debate brought up on a film blog.

      • Sorry, I sounded a little bitchy, didn’t I? Apologies. I just find it rather interesting to critique another’s grammar while refusing to use caps.

  27. The Burj Kalifa scene in “Mission Impossible 4” that you mention was indeed the best part of that film: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/mission-impossible-4/

  28. very nice review. movie looks not so interesting.

  29. I shall watch this movie and see for myself! It sounds interesting. Thank you for the post. 🙂

  30. I write movie reviews from a feminist perspective….you might want to check out my blog. I do first run movies, but also older movies, too.

  31. Well, he may be enjoying something out there. Easy….

  32. That ledge thing looks appealing.

  33. u guys reply on my blogs please

  34. Think I’ll wait until “The Man on a Ledge” comes on Cable. Since then I can fast forward the slow parts. The mere fact Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is on a ledge makes it sound exciting to me. The interactions with the other characters somewhat less.
    At first when I heard of this movie it reminded me of the film “14 hrs” That one where the character portrayed by Richard Basehart threatens to jump. I watched in on TCM some years ago.Thanks to your informative review I see they’re completely different.

  35. Aside from the whole heist aspect being completely unbelievable, I thought that the performances lacked sincerity.

  36. I know I ‘shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’ but the title of the movie didn’t really sell me (couldn’t come up with something more… creative?) and had me thinking the movie wouldn’t be too big of a hit. As much as I dig Worthington, I think I’m gonna give this a miss!

  37. seems like a dud but sam worthington is starting to get big.

  38. Coming soon! When? Looks interesting. Thanks for sharing…

  39. great job on getting Freshly Pressed damo!

    • Well, it was Ciaran’s hard work. I just added the puns – which was clearly a crucial part of the whole process. (I also feel the need clarify that Ciaran does not pun.)

  40. Reblogged this on Unique and Unpredictable and commented:
    This is very interesting

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