In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity-including murder-becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. When an intruder breaks into James Sandin's (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide. Written by
I saw this movie with basically no expectations, yet I managed to be quite disappointed. With competent actors such as Ethan Hawke and Lena Heady, and a premise that (at least to me) sounded exciting, I don't really know how they managed to ham it up this much.
It's' predictable to the point of being laughable, and the family characters seem cut out of some template on basic movie-making. And the "villains" brings little new to the table, copying the home-invasion-psychopaths of Funny Games, The Strangers etc. (2 examples of it being done right, in my opinion).
I think this movie got a free ride on the hype it garnered online, with a sleek campaign and major buzz on Twitter, proving that all a movie really needs to make it is a brief, smart slogan and peoples imagination and anticipation creates the rest.
Too bad for an interesting idea. Can't help to think that maybe another director could've done something memorable with this.
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