I knew nothing about the plot when I rented this film. With Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connelly and Mark Ruffalo starring in it, I figured it would be, at the very least, good, and it was. From the beginning scenes, a palpable tension is created; you just know something awful is about to happen despite two normal family outings being the subject matter. From then on, the plot reels out in an arc rife with too many coincidences, but the direction was able to pull it off without making me want to groan. There are some emotional scenes that would have played a little better had they been more subtle. The police officer and Mark Ruffalo were flawless. The children were outstanding. I'm not sure if it was Joaquin's character, the script, the direction or what, but he did not keep me riveted as he usually does; a bit over-acted perhaps. Jennifer delivered a couple of lines that didn't ring true--could have been an editing problem. The obsession of anger/justice seems a bit premature. It would have been better to see a progression. Despite my criticisms, I found enough mastery and depth of character to recommend it and give it a 7. I found myself worrying that the ending would ruin the film but it was faultless and convincing.