UNHINGED Review — Keep Your Eyes on the Road… and on This Movie!

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In her Unhinged review, Staci Layne Wilson says Russell Crowe is a scary, smart villain in this road rage thriller.

Unhinged review, Derrick BorteTom Hunter (Russell Crowe) is disturbed. Within the first few minutes of Unhinged, he kills his ex-wife and her lover, pops pills, sweats bullets, and sets a house on fire. As he’s fleeing the scene in his monstrous pickup truck, he gets stuck in traffic.

Meanwhile, Rachel (Caren Pistorius), has hit rock bottom, too—she’s getting a divorce, loses her job, and is struggling to raise her young son while juggling the bills for her elderly mother’s healthcare. She gets stuck in the same jam as Tom. Inevitably, the two clash over a minor snipe that turns into a full-on chase to the death.

Unhinged could have been just another movie about people driven crazy, but the high level of filmmaking and the gripping performances make all the difference. Yes, you will have to suspend some disbelief here, but fortunately, the screenplay (by Carl Ellsworth, a master of the genre) is fairly clever and provides decent reasons for some of the more baffling character decisions.

Hunter is a relentless pursuer, and a man with nothing to lose, and Crowe plays him with a quiet, calculated menace that is riveting to watch. Pistorius holds her own as she runs the gamut of fear and fury from beginning to end. Director Derrick Borte ratchets up the thrills and suspense with ever-escalating tension, while the fantastic cinematography and stunts support the white-knuckle scares.

Unhinged probably won’t be winning any Oscars—it’s a slick popcorn flick complete with a few eye-rolls and over-the-top moments. But it’s fun, it delivers what the trailer promises (how rare is that?), and it’s a pleasure to watch Crowe command the screen as the road-raging bogeyman we all fear. For those in search of deeper meaning from their films, Unhinged has you covered. The tale presents (non-preachy) subtext on domestic violence, the archetypical “angry white man,” and the psychological impact today’s non-stop, instant-gratification lifestyle has on all of us.

Rated R

1 Hour, 30 Minutes

If this Unhinged review fuels your curiosity, see Rotten Tomatoes for details on where to find it.

 

In her Unhinged review, Staci Layne Wilson says Russell Crowe is a scary, smart villain in this road rage thriller.

 

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on StaciLayneWilson.com

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