Gerard Butler and Maria Bello have the perfect family life... until shady stranger Pierce Brosnan comes along to suggest that Gerard ain't so squeaky clean. Past indiscretions come back with a vengeance in another slick thrillerama from Mike Barker, showing more of the noirish style that made Best Laid Plans such a twisty treat.
Yuppie couple Neil and Abby Randall (Butler and Bello) live a seemingly idyllic family life with young daughter Sophie (Emma Karwandy). But when Sophie is kidnapped by sadistic criminal Tom Ryan (Brosnan), their carefully constructed American dream comes crashing down around them.
At first, Tom demands money as ransom, but, as the ordeal wears on, his demands become more personal and more terrifying. How far will the Randalls go to save their family?
This taut thriller succeeds by virtue of the three main performances. Butler shows he's more than just a six-packed action star as the alpha male losing the control he's always taken for granted, while Bello follows up her exemplary work in A History Of Violence, stripping bare the intelligence and fortitude behind the 'happy housewife' stereotype.
However, it is Brosnan who really carries the film, eradicating all memory of a certain suave superspy with a performance of chilling cruelty.
Tense, twisting and genuinely surprising.