Director Neil Jordan (THE CRYING GAME) injects the standard revenge saga with new life by asking difficult questions about the meaning of courage in his thriller THE BRAVE ONE. Jodi Foster (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, INSIDE MAN) showcases her knack for playing characters with a mix of strength and vulnerability, while Terrence Howard's tender charisma comes through IN Mercer, the cop who knows more than he's letting on. Foster plays New Yorker Erica Bain, a radio talk show host happily engaged to a doctor (Naveen Andrews, LOST). The walls of Erica's safe existence come tumbling down one night during a walk through Central Park with her boyfriend, during which they are mugged, he is killed, and she is severely beaten. When she wakes from a coma three weeks later, Erica's eyes assume a haunted look and she fears the city she once loved. So she buys a gun, and when she witnesses a domestic fight and murder in an all-night convenience store, she uses it to save herself. This first murder opens the door to others, as Erica takes to the streets at night, baiting criminals and extracting her revenge. Her vigilante actions become sensationalized in the media, while her talk show becomes a platform from which to explore her new feelings about New York, the "safest big city in the world." Detective Mercer, who was assigned to Erica's original case, begins to put the pieces together as the bond between the two grows stronger. THE BRAVE ONE is a gritty, engaging, and well-crafted thriller that relies on strongly developed characters, rather than action and violence, to carry a story that makes no easy assumptions about the definitions of good and evil.
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"Terrence Howard is excellent as a savvy policeman fascinated by Foster. The film is at its best when the two are matching wits and baring souls."USA Today - Claudia Puig (09/14/2007)"[A] disturbing, intense, and unexpectedly timely Gotham City art thriller. Foster brings her fierce spin on the lone woman-in-jeopardy character, Jordan his mastery of psychologically tumultuous film tropes."Film Comment - Amy Taubin (09/01/2007)3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he film is all about Foster. You can feel her bend every sinew and synapse into creating a fully dimensional character."Empire - William Thomas (10/01/2007)4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's given real intensity by Foster's gravitas, director Neil Jordan's competence, Terrence Howard's presence and a script revelling in misery."Uncut - Chris Roberts (03/01/2008)4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he streets of New York contort from idyllic Sesame Streets into a maze of dark alleys and watchful eyes, inking the plot with an equally dark tone."Ultimate DVD - Ultimate DVD Staff (05/01/2008)
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