Misconduct full movie review - Red Herrings Found
Movies made by the famed director Alfred Hitchcock were known to contain more than a few red herrings, a term defined as "?something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue.
" He didn't invent this item but he used them to his advantage in numerous films, making you look to the left while something happened on the right. It became associated with him as often as he used it. It's become something that can make a thriller just that touch more special and is used well in the film MISCONDUCT.
Anthony Hopkins plays Arthur Denning, a billionaire pharmaceutical CEO who has faced countless lawsuits brought against him by superstar attorney Charles Abrams (Al Pacino). As the film opens his temperamental girlfriend Emily (Malin Akerman) has gone missing until a text for a ransom comes in. Things turn odd at the money drop and the film drops back to the week prior to these events.
Ben Cahill (Josh Duhamel) is an up and coming attorney in the office of Abrams. Ben is a man willing to do anything to win a case. Married to Charlotte (Alice Eve), the two have hit a rocky patch after a miscarriage several month prior. One night after Charlotte has gone to work, Ben receives a friend request online from Emily, an old flame from college. Accepting the request they meet for drinks and Emily lets him know she has another reason for contacting him.
As Denning's employee and girlfriend Emily feels trapped and wants out but Denning is unwilling to let her go. To find her way to freedom she shows Ben that she has information concerning Denning's falsification and payoffs to FDA officials, information that could help Ben win a huge lawsuit against Denning. She also attempts to win back his affection and he almost complies but leaves instead with the evidence.
Approaching senior partner Abrams, Ben pushes to handle the case on his own. A win will result in his becoming a full partner, a loss his career at the firm. Everything seems to be going to plan until the disappearance of Emily and Ben's then finding her dead of an overdose in her hidden apartment. Her death could lead to an end for the lawsuit. But things twist and turn even more as the story unfolds. Better yet is that those twists result in more and more items and events altering from moment to moment, never confusing but always making for an interesting movie.
The film is an entertaining jump into a genre made popular by author John Grisham with lawyers facing off against hidden agendas and old grudges and the story here while not quite up to par with those Grisham has offered does a decent job of holding your attention from start to finish. And by finish I mean until just before the credits roll so pay attention.
Hopkins and Pacino both do a good job here but seem to be less than enthused about the film. Don't get me wrong, they both do a tremendous job. But there just doesn't seem to be the spark here seen from either actor in other films. Duhamel shows that he has the ability to carry a film and do it well. The fact that he doesn't get near the opportunities he deserves is a shame when you see some actors less deserving getting better chances. With any luck this film will draw more attention to his abilities.
If this film played in any theaters I have little doubt it was a limited release. That's unfortunate because there have been other unworthy films that have had much more push behind them. That's one of the great things about movies coming out on DVD, the chance to discover a small gem that will hold your interest, entertain and keep you guessing. This movie qualifies on each of those counts and makes a good movie to take home for a nice evening as you try to figure out what will happen next with each passing minute.