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  • They say there's nothing new under the sun, and that's especially apt in sunny Hollywood. So it's tempting to ask, merely as a theoretical exercise, "can you make a movie that is essentially a model kit assembled from other movies, and still make it effective?" "Don't Say a Word" proves that the answer is "Yes." WHY you would want to set out to do such a thing is another question; you'll have to ask the producers about it.

    In the movie, Michael Douglas plays an affluent, happily married psychologist who has to contend (as Michael Douglas does in every movie), with a seriously disturbed woman. The femme-looney in this outing is Elizabeth Burrows (Brittany Murphy), a 10-year, 20-institution veteran with enough contradictory diagnoses to sink a DSM textbook. He is called in to consult by a colleague (Oliver Platt) and then is bewildered as a shadowy band of Bad Guys snatch his daughter and demand that he work his famed empathy thing with poor Britt and get her to give him a ten-digit number that they need. Her dad, it seems, ripped them off during the heist of a precious red jewel, and they need the number to find it. Douglas figures out that while she has problems of her own, Elizabeth has been confounding her doctors by imitating various symptoms, in effect, staying institutionalized to hide from the evildoers. Me, I would have gone to Tahiti; to each his own.

    The kidnap-flick tropes then come in fast and heavy: the Panicked Discovery, the Initial Phone Call, The List of Rules (no cops, yada yada), "No Deal Til I Talk to My Daughter", the Desperate Clock-Race Across Town, the Tough Female Detective trying to Figure It All Out, and more. We get a host of other familiar faces, too: the Bad Guys are a band of high-tech thieves (which are so common in movies, they must have a hell of a union), with black leather jackets, sleek laptops, and a guy whose job during the robbery is to stand in the middle of the bank with a stopwatch calling off the time, as though they were at the Olympic trials for the 100-meter Felony.

    But all this is skillfully handled, with just enough tweaks to the familiar formulas to make it feel fresh. At one point, Douglas makes the kidnappers relocate to meet him, a nice twist on the usual "kidnappers run the bagman all over town" scene. And the bit with the mental patient, well, it beats can-we-raise-the-money-in-time? For his part, Michael Douglas does well, though he is a little too slick to portray besieged decent men. My hunch is that Harrison Ford was first choice to play this role. Famke Janssen is good as his wife. Though the script gives her little to do, she is really the one who makes us feel the panic and despair that attend the abduction of a child, and though it's a familiar movie scenario, it is still able to play on the nerves quite effectively. The little girl playing Douglas' daughter does well, too, cute but not cloying, smart but credible; there is an amusing scene where she attempts to make conversation with the hulking, tattooed murderer who is guarding her, eventually cajoling him into making peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches. And, carrying on the proud tradition started by Alyssa Milano in "Commando", does her level best to foil her captors.

    The Bad Guys are a little disappointing. They are assigned quirks rather than characters (one never appears to have a name). As the head villain, Sean Bean makes what he can of his feral charisma, but he literally phones this performance in. I think the poor guy is doomed to spend the rest of his career playing Hibernian heavies in leather jackets. Their operation seems a little too well-orchestrated, especially since the movie supposedly take place less than three weeks after they've been sprung after doing a dime in Attica (where one guesses they studied electronic eavesdropping in between lifting weights). And while the movie doesn't say how much the priceless rock is worth, by my estimation, after splitting the proceeds and covering their overhead, surveillance equipment, and tattoos, the gang should have just enough left for a celebratory lunch at the IHOP.

    The best performance is by Brittany Murphy as the twitchy, wary Elizabeth. With her weird hand gestures and tuneless singing, this character could have been really annoying. But Murphy makes her guileless and affecting. Watching her stare out her barred window at the tugboats in the river, your heart breaks just a little.

    The story is not always credible, especially the parts involving Jennifer Esposito as the detective, who is really a sideshow anyway. We also see several New Yorkers who are surprisingly pliant when deprived of everything from cell phones to speedboats. And the parents adhere blindly to the "don't tell the cops" rule, even after it is laughably impractical to do so.

    The thing that really makes the movie work is the setting and the way it is shot by director Gary Fleder, who made the underrated "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead". Fleder puts us in claustophobic, oppressive places, from underground morgues to puke-green institution hallways with prison doors and disturbing graffiti, to the fog-shrouded darkness of Potter's Field, graveyard of the anonymous dead of New York City. Even Douglas' luxury apartment seems at tight quarters, and these places are filmed in such a way to make this close to a horror movie. The dark climax is formulaic, but give a neat twist in location. The number, incidentally, doesn't refer to an uplink code or satellite designation or encryption key or any of the usual millenial McGuffins of late. What it represents is something surprising, sad, and refreshingly old-fashioned. Which kind of goes for the rest of the movie as well.
  • Here's another interesting kidnap story. Sean Bean always plays a believable villain and Michael Douglas usually plays roles that keep the audience's the almost- two hours go by pretty quickly. The whole cast, actually, pretty good with no one person standing out.

    The story loses points because the ending goes on too long and has the standard villain-holds-the-gun-and-doesn't shoot-too long cliché which drives critics, me included crazy. That, and a bit too many f-words in here by the female cop (Jennifer Esposito) which simply aren't necessary, and a few other holes all reduce this from a sure 9-star to an "8.....but don't misunderstand: it's worth a look.
  • Boyo-220 August 2002
    My 11 year old nephew said it was the scariest movie he's ever seen. I can't quite agree with that, but the level of intensity and the fast moving plot really impressed me, even if it all didn't quite add up in the end. I can't remember a movie that I've seen in awhile that just MOVED along so well and had so little downtime. Given the 'deadline', it felt like it was in real-time for the second half of the movie.

    I was a little bothered by Michael Douglas having a wife the age of Famke. I love her and its not a knock against her but there was no need to keep up Douglas' legacy of attracting wives under 35 for him. Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore and Daryl Hannah have all been love interests for him - why? Because its the male fantasy? Reeks of insecurity to me. Plus I don't see Dame Judi Dench romancing Leo, do I? Meryl Streep and James Franco? Anyway, this is not important, just slightly annoying.

    There are questions I'd like to ask the screenwriter because there are inconsistencies along the way and about one or two things that are totally out of the question.

    However, as I mentioned, the movie moves along so fast that you might not have time to dwell on anything for too long. I don't think it was speeded up to cover anything up either.

    The best part is the acting, especially by Brittany Murphy. I didn't enjoy her in "Clueless" but really loved her in "Girl Interupted" and thought she was the best thing about that movie. Here she gives it all, in a part that could have been laughed off the screen if it weren't played exactly right. Jennifer Esposito is also very believable as a cop, Sean Bean as a kidnapper and, as mentioned, Famke as a trophy wife.

    Worth watching, for sure. 7/10.
  • Overall, I really liked this movie, which surprised me a little bit. The trailers I had seen for it had me thinking it was going to be kind of "cheesy" for lack of a better word, but this was actually very engrossing. It had an interesting story line, sustained suspense and for the most part was well acted.

    I particularly liked Brittany Murphy as Elisabeth Burrows, the psychiatric inmate whose tortured mind holds the information that Dr. Conrad (Michael Douglas) needs to get in order to save his young daughter Jessie's (Skye McCole Bartusiak) life. Murphy seemed so "into" her character that it was almost spooky to watch her. She was extremely convincing. Douglas I thought also offered up a good performance, as did Sean Bean as Patrick, the head kidnapper. Young Miss Bartusiak was commendable but to me didn't seem to portray the range of emotions I would expect a young child to be feeling in Jesse's circumstances. She just seemed altogether too calm. The same could be said for Famke Janssen as Jessie's mother Aggie Conrad. I realize the character had a broken leg and apparently couldn't get out of bed, but again she just seemed to take the whole thing too calmly (and, when her own life was threatened she seemed able to move around well enough, broken leg or not!) As for Oliver Platt as Conrad's colleague Dr. Sachs? I find that, depending on the movie, I either like Platt or don't (no middle ground) and I didn't care for him in this movie.

    Overall, though, the movie was quite good as a vehicle for Douglas. I'd rate it as a 7/10.
  • This movie provides in the thrills department. It stars Michael Douglas in the lead role (and he IS well cast) as a psychiatrist whose daughter is kidnapped by a bunch of men who want him to extract a six-digit number from a mentally disturbed young lady. Both parties then proceed to match wits en route to a great climax towards the end of the movie.

    This was based on the book by the same name. The book was quite good, too. I rank this movie as your typical thriller with good twists.

    *** out of ****
  • Ever see a movie for the first time yet still have to ask yourself, "Wait, have I seen this before?" That's pretty much what we're dealing with here. Even if you haven't seen this movie yet, you have.

    With "Don't Say a Word," it's like whoever made it was so enthralled by the high-concept, give-it-to-me-in-ten-words-or-less premise, they figured they didn't have to try real hard with anything else. Sure, it's competent. But with its intriguing premise, it should have advanced way past that.

    Oh well. It doesn't. Michael Douglas -- who in this film is wearing more make-up than the "women" I see on Santa Monica Blvd. at midnight -- puts in the kind of performance that, if this were an office job, wouldn't get him fired but wouldn't get him promoted. It's more than a drive-by paycheck pick-up, but Douglas has been around long enough to size up a script and know when he should bother trying and when he shouldn't. He goes with choice B here. And it doesn't really matter.

    (As a side note, when is the last time Michael Douglas had an on-screen wife within 20 years of his own age? I mean, come on. Do you really think that in real life the man could...oh, wait, never mind.)

    As for everything else, Brittany Murphy scores some points for playing a schizophrenic disaster of a girl who you'd still like to nail. Oliver Platt, who is getting fatter faster than Aretha Franklin, shows up for some day player-level acting work. Famke Jannsen looks sexy in a cast, but isn't given much to do. And as for the cop, played by Jennifer Esposito, she is so irrelevant to the plot that she's practically in a different movie altogether.

    The plot? If you can't figure out how this movie ends, you're trying even less than whoever wrote it.

    Having said all that, it will still kill two free hours just fine. Little ventured, nothing gained.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Spoilers Ever go to a movie where you try to just sit back and enjoy a little coincidence and potential implausibility but the awkwardness and unexplained events just ruin the whole experience for you? Well, "Don't Say A Word" falls into that genre with the following, in order of some to great contrivance: (1) The addition of Esposito as a cop who plays virtually no role in the film except somehow managing to figure out the whole series of events in just a few short hours and whose contrived lines (included an obtrusive, meaningless telephone conversation with someone unexplained) and ability to somehow find the location of the movie's climax with virtually no guidance. Additionally, there is this semi-emotional scene with Douglas which makes no sense since the two never spoke during the entire film. (2) The placement of the extraordinary, surveillance equipment all over New York without a hint of how it got there. It relies upon the audience to formulate various ways in which it *could* have been placed there -- never a good idea. (3) No explanation why the whole focus of the movie, some small red jewel, was so immensely valuable beyond everything else. (4) The psychological aspect is virtually tossed out the window from the start and the movie becomes an action flick. (5) How in the world the bad guys knew that the 6 digit number was in the girl's head and how the jewel ended up where it was. (6) The ability of Douglas and his crippled wife to beat the crap out of guys much larger than themselves. (7) The placement but lack of real explanation of characters like Esposito and then the revelation of the Dr. who has an association with another victim, that is so ridiculously obtrusive and unexplained that it will jolt your attention from being absorbed in this movie to ask yourself why the "character that obviously does not belong" played such a prominent role of distraction. Horrible movie? By no means, I've seen worse. Disappointing? You bet.
  • It was a very dramatic and suspenseful thriller and the film is never boring. So I can only say a word: G R E A T. Michael Douglas played as usual good in the role as a psychiatrist. Also good performance from Skye McCole as Jessie the little girl. There are some scary scenes. I will add no doubt this DVD to my best of collection. If you liked this movie you shouldn´t miss "KISS THE GIRLS" also from director Gary Fleder or "SINGLE WHITE FEMALE" from Barbet Schroeder. Believe me you will not be disappointed. I think the film is too underrated. I give it a minimum of 8/10.
  • Renowned psychiatrist Nathan Conrad visits an 18 year old woman who is mentally disturbed with his colleague Dr Sachs. The next morning he awakes to find his daughter kidnapped and him and his wife under surveillance by a shadowy group of men. He is given until 5pm that day to get the patient to reveal a 6 digit number to him that is locked up in her head. Meanwhile his wife is trapped in their flat and police woman Cassidy is piecing together a puzzle that begins with the discovery of two related murders.

    It doesn't matter how daft a story is if it manages to convince you for as long as it's on screen. For example Face/Off has the most absurd plot in the world, but for 2 hours it doesn't matter and it carries you along. This doesn't quite manage the same trick. The plot is daft - every single part of it is silly from the idea of a girl being unreachable is daft, the idea of the gang doing this is daft and the way that with very little notice the gang manage to set up cameras everywhere.

    That said it has it's moments - the opening robbery is good and some of the drama works well. However for too much of the film you feel like the director is really trying to make it feel more tense than it is - witness the scene where Conrad first finds talks to Patrick Koster on the phone, the camera spins wildly all round him. Similarly he uses a lot of handheld stuff to give the impression of more action than is really happening, he also uses other lazy tricks like having everyone shouting their lines at times and making everyone squeal their tyres etc when they drive! These combined with the silly plot make it hard to get into.

    Douglas is OK but he doesn't convince as the strong father figure that saves the day - he looks too old to take on Bean in a fight. He also looks far to old to have a beauty like Famke Janssen. She does well despite being stuck indoors all the time - the only problem with her is that she is far to warm and perfect a character. Murphy is good although she has moments where she's too hammy. Bean and his gang are good but they are distant from the action and never feel like a real threat - in fact you could almost sympathise with Bean, having been double-crossed at the start and wasting 10 years of his life. Esposito is OK but she doesn't really have a character - she tries to be tough and slightly sassy (a role she did so well everyday in Spin City) but she comes across as nondescript as her black leather coat. Victor Argo is a pleasure to see, but he's wasted here with nothing to do in a really small role. Fans of Abel Ferrera will know him while he's been in other things (notably the two Smoke films) and know how good a character actor he can be.

    Overall this never manages to rise above it's silly plot. It has it's moments but with lesser stars this would have been just another silly straight-to-video thriller.
  • You may be used to seeing mean Sean Bean act ugly and beat people up, treating violence as a standard operating method. But you have got to see him as a cowardly thug in "Rowin", a shy schoolteacher in "My Kingdom for a Horse" and a bi-sexual in "Carnavaggio" to know how resourceful this he-man is. He is 43, but knows how to act and how to make violent scenes very realistic. Although he says that the superfluity of dirt in this film almost got him.

    The suspense is well played up with Michael Douglas doing his concerned father/prof/drug czar with druggie daughter role as well as he usually does it. He has had enough practice to get that down pat by now. You get a real good feel for bank robbers who are almost without conscience, who love the thrill of the 'hit'.

    Brittany Murphy does the crazed abused daughter so realistically that you wonder how she knew to play a mad person without hamming it up too much. I'll be looking for more from this young woman.

    Yes, it's just an adventure yarn without little background given for why Bean is such a bastard, but it's a great escape yarn. See it, just don't expect 'MacBeth' (which Bean is supposed to be doing in London this summer).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a poorly written and utterly predictable "suspense." Though Brittany Murphy is a standout, the story is over-the-top - and when you can see everything coming, it's as suspenseful as watching paint dry.

    Spoiler: Michael Douglas has to save his kidnapped daughter. Oh no, will he do it?! Of course - when was the last time a commercial, bloated and sterile Hollywood film killed off a kidnapped child?

    It's a remarkably pathetic story on every level: Famke Jannsen has a badly broken leg, yet she ends up killing the hardened criminal out to get her, the kidnappers have been jailed for ten years and within a couple weeks have the skills to operate sophisticated audio and video surveillance material and even hide these items in secure places, and the detective who uncovers the plot has no partner and literally works alone. Outrageous and unrealistic.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    SPOILERS - DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE YET. The current IMDb average rating of 6.5 is a pretty accurate number. The story is simple. A crook Patrick (Irishman Sean Bean) just out of 10 years in prison needs to find the valuable red jewel that got him there in the first place. The daughter (Elisabeth, played by Brittany Murphy) of the double-crossing partner he threw in front of the NYC train in 1991 is now 18, the jewel was in her doll which she placed in his casket, buried on an island with only an 8-digit number identifying the burial plot. Having gone from one hospital to another as a mentally ill child, she knows the number but won't tell anyone. So famous child shrink Dr Conrad (Michael Douglas) is forced to find out, in 7 hours on Thanksgiving Day, or they will kill his kidnapped daughter Jessie (cute, talented Houstonian Skye Bartusiak).

    (Sadly Skye died at 21, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences ruled that McCole's death was accidental. The "combined toxic effects of hydrocodone and difluoroethane with carisoprodol" were listed as the main cause of death.)

    Put that into a straight story and it wouldn't be too exciting. So, we see the 1991 robbery and double-cross at the beginning, then the caption says "ten years later". We see thugs break into an old woman's apartment, no idea why. Dr Conrad gets a "911" call from his associate (Oliver Platt). Dr Conrad's daughter shows up missing. Patrick tells Dr Conrad he has to get an 8-digit number from the patient by 5PM or his daughter will be killed. They don't give him any idea what the number is supposed to represent, no reason other than to create some audience suspense. We don't yet have any idea why she would know the number or what significance it might have.

    As the film unwinds we see the crooks have set up elaborate surveillance of Conrad's home, where his wife (Famke Janssen) is immobile, in a cast from a skiing accident. However, near the end she gets on her crutches and puts them to good use battling one crook. Early in the movie we see her scratch her leg under the cast using a long, pointed stick, which she then stores in her cast. We know it will come into better use later, and it does as she shoves it through the heart of the bad guy.

    Through a series of somewhat improbable actions everyone ends up on the little island at night where all the anonymous graves are. Liz wants to help save Jessie and, recalling herself on the ferry 10 years earlier, writes the number on a dusty plate of glass. As we watch, it looks like she is writing it backwards and, when they dig up the grave it's the wrong one. Dr Conrad turns the glass upsidedown, they dig up that grave, and presto! the doll and the jewel. In a somewhat innovative ending, Conrad fights a bad guy, a policewoman shows up, shots are fired, Conrad ends up with the jewel and a gun at Patrick's head, throws the jewel into a big pit shored up by wood bracing, pushes Patrick into it, more shots are fired, the pit caves in, Patrick is buried, everyone else lives happily ever after.

    A good movie is hard to write, especially writing a good ending. I know I couldn't do it, and this author can't either. The whole movie pretty well follows typical Hollywood thriller formulas, but it is pretty entertaining anyway, especially since the story is told in a way that you don't really know what is going on until the very end. However, there is ultimately no good story here, nothing to take away or to compare to our experiences. That's why it's rating is between 6 and 7.

    The acting is uniformly good, and this role is the kind Michael Douglas has played in most of his movies. The real star is Brittany Murphy as Elisabeth. She is nothing short of award-caliber. The DVD extras are among the best, if you enjoy aspects of film-making. There are several behind-the-scenes extras that take you through various phases of making this film. Also included is the original screen test of Brittany Murphy, and it is hard to believe how fully she put herself into the character. This is a case where many will find the DVD extras actually more interesting than the film itself. The sound is selectable to either DTS or Dolby Digital. I listened to the DTS track and it is well-done indeed.
  • A sad, unfortunate fact about this movie is that the 2 young female stars Brittany Murphy and Skye McCole Bartusiak (who plays the daughter of Michael Douglas) both died in a young age.

    Anyway, this is a conventional thriller, nothing extraordinary. Although the critics hated it, it manage to become a commercial success doubling its budget in box office.

    The plot is flimsy and fragile: The daughter of a psychiatrist is kidnapped, and her kidnappers want from his to "extract" a secret from a young woman who is imprisoned in a mental institution, that could lead them to a valuable object they tried to stole some years ago.

    It starts slow but soon some action picks-up but it becomes exaggerated and coincidental maybe even absurd.

    Michael Douglas does what he cans to save the movie but doesn't seem enough.

    Overall: If you can catch it on TV watch it, but never think of paying a single dollar/euro/whatever for it.
  • Under the cloak of "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy", Mr Douglas decided to take part in this not so good movie. Yes, ok, it's nice enough to watch on tv or go see in the cinema when there's nothing else... it's not that boring. It's just that the plot is weak, the acting isn't all that good (the part of the female cop is completely redundant and badly acted) and, as I like to call it, a "thirteen in a dozen" thriller. Halfway, I decided to go for 6,5 or 6 out of 10. Fifteen minutes before the end, I decided for 5 out of 10. Go see it, but don't expect too much of it.
  • She wanted to see Douglas and so I went.

    First half-hour the film was very annoying by the predictability of every small detail. Once I overheard a conversation of two young people, aspiring actors, I believe. One of them explained to the other that acting at the beginning of the play you have to try to conceal the fact that you know the ending. It is a pity that the cast of this film did not hear that conversation. Later on, I stop to grudge and started to laugh silently. The highest point was when a chick acting as a police officer jumped out of bushes and cried "Drop your wepen!". I can spell weapon, but the could not pronounce it.

    Later in the evening I logged to IMDB trying hard to decide if I give the film 4/10 or 5/10. The fact that it had a high 6.5 rating amazed me.
  • ozzult20 April 2002
    Very predictable at about the midpoint of the movie. Didn't really get inside the characters either.

    I gave it a five out of ten, it's "tagline" on the video cover said "The thriller to end all thrillers". Not exactly correct, as I didn't find the story thrilling much at all. The twists were predictable, as was the ending.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Coming in with very low expectations, considering the way the plot sounded so dumb, I was let down even more after watching the movie. Why does these hollywood movies all end up with the guy/gal who never raised a fist suddenly becomes the fighting Rambo figure, while these career criminals becomes so dumb and careless, all at the same time. Anytime you think to yourself why doesn't the criminal kill or subdue their victims on a certain situation, then you know these dumb acts by them were written in so that the heroine could escape from their grasp.

    Situations like when the mom found out they got their daughter in same apt one floor away, why did the whole gang run off and send one guy to finish her unsupervised? Could they have not have easily monitored her through the video system while sending two guys instead? What was the big rush? They had the whole surveillance setup only to abandon it when discovered by someone whom couldn't have done anything anyway. There are many other scenes where people make illogical decisions.

    For a desperate doctor in a mental hospital, he sure skipped out on alot of the options available at his disposal like hypnosis or sodium pentothal.

    All in all, a really bad film that make you cringe, not for the suspense, but for all the situations where you would say "why didn't they just", "why would they do that" or "this is so dumb". Avoid it at all cost.
  • This thriller certainly is a good enough one to watch and it also is a very professionally made one but it however offers very little new or refreshing enough material. It makes "Don't Say a Word" nothing more than a standard thriller, with some good actors in it.

    The cast is really the saving grace of the movie. It still provides the movie with some good moments and characters and also give the movie an extra sense of professionalism involved. Sean Bean is a great as the main villain and delivers an absolute fine performance. Michael Douglas is also great as the leading man, mainly because he doesn't play him as an 'hero' but an ordinary everyday person instead. Douglas is always fine in these sort of roles. Some other excellent actors play some smaller parts in the movie. Actors such as; Brittany Murphy, Oliver Platt, Victor Argo and last but not least Famke Janssen. They all help to make the movie look better and more interesting than it in fact really is. Most of the characters are however pretty flat. Why does Famke Janssen even play the wife? It's a role basically every actress could had played. This movie just didn't seem like a very challenging or original project to get involved with. And I also have the feeling that the movie would had been better of without the Jennifer Esposito. Just think about it, was she really necessary for the movie and its story? Her character is not engaging enough, since it's not she we need to care about or cheer for but the Michael Douglas character instead, who is the main lead of the movie. Her character is distracting from the movie its main story.

    The movie is certainly style-full and it does have its moments. But in the end it just really falls flat as a really good or original thriller. All of the moments in the movie are just too predictable and the movie doesn't offer any real surprises. Therefor this movie just isn't anymore than a well made but standard formulaic thriller.

    It's a movie that does serve its purpose and the movie certainly is watchable as a simple standard thriller. Fans of the genre will probably still be the most entertained by it but even they have to conclude that this movie is far from being one of the best thrillers released in recent years. It's the sort of movie that is only quite good enough to watch it just maybe once. Don't expect too much of this and you might end up liking it good enough.

    Nothing too remarkable, just a well made, simple thriller, with some great actors in it.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    .... Is what DON'T SAY A WORD screamed at me in the opening heist sequence . This is very true to life , thieves stab each other in the back and once they're caught it's a race to turn stool pigeon and make a deal with the DA. However after the opening robbery we're treated to the domestic life of hero shrink Nathan Conrad . Cheer as Nathan tucks his daughter into bed , weep with awe as Nathan gives his wife a blanket bath , gasp in amazement as Nathan shows the audience his culinary skills in the kitchen , but don't worry the story does improve when Mr Bean and the bad boys reappear in the story

    ***** MILD SPOILERS *****

    As said the story does pick up here but your attention is drawn to some gaping plot holes . The bad guys have set up CCTV cameras in Nathan's home and have also bugged a patient's room at the local psychiatric hospital . Actually this is later explained so they're not necessarily plot holes but your attention is drawn to these details at the time so they certainly play out as holes in the plot . You also have to suspend your belief that the Bean boys can break into Nathan's flat and kidnap his daughter without Mr&Mrs Conrad noticing anything or hearing anything , but there is a massive gap in logic at the climax of the movie . The bad guys need a number from Elisabeth a patient of Nathan's and it transpires that Elisabeth is the daughter of the robber who ripped off the gang at the start of the movie and the number they're after is the number of a grave where both her father and a jewel is hidden . We're shown via flash back the gang catching up with the father killing him and then being arrested , and it's after this that Elisabeth puts the jewel hidden inside her dolly into her father's grave . Now if Elisabeth did this AFTER the gang had been arrested how would the bad guys know the number is related to a grave when they've all been in custody before , during and after the burial ? Doesn't make sense does it ?

    DON'T SAY A WORD is a disappointment mainly down to the run of the mill script which is a shame because a film with Michael Douglas playing a good guy and Sean Bean a bad guy should be a sure fire hit . Douglas and Bean and the rest of the cast do try to rise above the material but there's not much material to rise above in the first place
  • Racegirl26 February 2002
    Warning: Spoilers
    I have rarely seen a more contrived movie. Aside from the entirely unnecessary butchy female cop character, and the abruptly terminated storyline about the psychiatrist's dead girlfriend, and the oddly well-informed ex-cons with their beyond-the-state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, I hardly know what to say.

    But I will begin with the 6 digit code fiasco. Did I miss something? Or how in the heck would ANYONE know that there was a code in the first place? And supposing the code element was believable, how would the bad guys have gotten word about it?

    Amazing hearing that woman cop had, to pick out gunshots from how-far-away as she boated in. And who was she talking to on the phone at the morgue? That was bizarre and sort of out in the middle of nowhere. And what was her purpose in the movie, anyway?

    And who called the cops when the wife killed the guy with her knitting needle?

    And why was that poor young woman being kept in a filthy hospital room?

    And where did Oliver Platt's storyline disappear to?

    This was mindless entertainment for those nights when there is absolutely nothing else to do. It gets a "4" from me, but only because of Brittany Murphy. All 4 points are hers.
  • Thonolan318 June 2002
    I'm not a big Michael Douglas fan, but even if I was, I probably would not have enjoyed this muddled, plodding, dreadfully dull movie. None of the characters were particularly interesting, the dialog was completely forgettable, and the plot was rather thin.

    There were no horrible scenes, nothing that made me want to throw something at the tv, nothing overly offensive. For these reasons, I'm giving this movie a charitable three out of ten stars. Not the worst movie I've ever seen (that was probably "Battlefield Earth"), but it was a complete waste of my time.
  • The all star cast delivers, Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy, Sean Bean, etc. all put in really solid performances.

    The story is fresh and is pretty well thought out, Douglas is a psychiatrist whose daughter has been kidnapped - but the perpetrators don't want money, they want him to get a six digit code from the troubled mind of a mental teenager (Brittany Murphy) or they kill his only child.

    There's plenty of tension and drama in the race to get the number and save his child, with some decent action thrown in.

    Don't say a word really should be a great film based on the positives listed above, but it seems the whole equals less than the sum of its parts and it just comes out as average.

  • andreas91529 October 2005
    I have never been to New York. But this movie just gives the gritty and blue and dark New York feeling. I love the season, autumn, that the movie is shot at.

    Score is mediocre. It doesn't bother me, no, but I just don't notice it during the film. Maybe it's the plot that keeps me intensively glued to the screen, I don't know. I guess I'd have to bought the soundtrack. But those two songs: "Marvin Gaye - Pride and Joy" and "Louis Prima - Fee, Fie, Foo". These songs got so into me. And afterall the jazz adds more of this New York feeling to me.

    The other day when I watched it, it was cloudy and not very good whether. This movie fit very nicely into that evening.

    About the acting part. I'm not very good at judging people's acting, but I do recognize, when somebody acts bad. Not in this movie though. Everything was great. Sean Bean is very good at playing bad guys. Skye McCole Bartusiak did also a nice job.

    This movie rocks in every way.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I thought that this film was brilliant! I only watched it as it got a half decent review in the paper, and I had nothing else to do!! Sean Bean's acting was outstanding, as was Brittany Murphy's (who looked very sexy in the film), and it had a good plot!! I thought Michael Douglas was OK in the film, but he didn't strike me as being a fantastic actor!! The ending wasn't as good as I thought it should be. The last 5/10 minutes were a bit of a shambles and the ending was pretty unclear, but apart from 1 or 2 little things, it was a pretty good film!! I'll definitely recommend it. But, unless you're a massive Michael Douglas fan, it's probably better to rent it than to buy it!!

    Overall, 8 out of 10!!

  • From this day on, Skye McCole Bartusiak is my favorite child actress overall! You can forget about overrated untalented Hilary, unfunny Amanda, forget about amazing Anna and fascinating Natalie, even forget *gasp* cute lil' Dakota. . .Skye will outact them in the future, if she hasn't now. During most of the time when I was watching this truly impressive flick I was going to rate it only a 6 because the directing wasn't all that convincing, but still convincing, the scripting did have a couple of flaws. I know this movie ain't no Oscar winner, but it ain't no sugar-coated, PG-rated, fluffy, boppy, unrealistic but trying to be realistic, PG, trashy Disney pile of dung. Though it did have an unsatisfying end slightly, it did fit in the whole movie.

    Skye McCole Bartusiak surely must have been older than eight when she filmed it. No kid that age could be that talented. She captures realistic traits that her character would make in that situation. The emotional depth of the character she portrayed was immense. Her character was heartbreakingly cute, but it didn't try to be at all. She can look so incredibly natural, with on screen grace and poise. Her performance is beautiful, her emotional work during the film is incredible. . .you can really feel her pain. She is so talented at such a young age, her facial expressions sum up all her emotions in this film. Without Skye's brave, demanding and emotionally raw performance this movie would have been nothing.

    Even though Ms. McCole Bartusiak did by far the best acting job in this movie, Douglas, Janssen and Murphy were quite amazing too.

    And needless to say that Skye McCole Bartusiak will follow her suit ... and that she unquestionably is the most adorable girl ever!
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