Film / The Next Three Days

2010 film directed by Paul Haggis (Crash) and starring Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks.


  • Advertised Extra: The trailer makes a reasonably big deal about the fact that Liam Neeson is in this movie. He appears for maybe five minutes total.
  • Asshole Victim: Desperate for cash, John eventually decides to rob a meth lab. A drug lord and a dealer are killed as a result.
    • Lara is arguably this as well. Although she is completely innocent of the murder of which she is convicted, it's made clear early on in the film that she's not a particularly nice person.
  • Awesome by Analysis: When you realize how much planning a mere teacher put into his wife's escape, including timing how long it'd take for their pictures to get to bus stations and air ports and leaving a garbage bag of map scraps with misleading photos.
  • Bittersweet Ending: John, Lara and their son manage to escape and get to Venezuela, but they will remain fugitives (and thus unable to contact anybody they hold dear) for a long time to come, if not the rest of their lives. Besides this, the only piece of evidence that could possibly absolve Lara is not seen by the policemen when they look at the crime scene again, and most likely disappears down a drain soon afterwards... although one of the detectives seems to be considering checking the drain one last time before the scene cuts.
  • Clear Their Name: Averted Trope: The story makes it perfectly clear that nobody believes Lara is innocent and the only piece of evidence that may give her case reasonable doubt is never found (arguably, no effort was ever made to try and find it, at least not until the last few minutes of the film), so John decides to get her out of prison.
  • Driven to Suicide: Lara, when she learns no one believes her story about bumping into the murderous junkie, which means no appeal to her case, which then means she'll spend the next 25 years in prison and again when her husband makes the decision to leave their son behind so they can escape. In both cases her attempts fail.
  • Dynamic Character: In the beginning we see John as a mild-mannered and caring professor and family man. As the movie goes on he becomes a steely-eyed strategist, accumulating all the skills and the cold mentality to pull off a jailbreak.
    Damon Pennington: But before you do anything, you have to ask yourself if you can do it. Can you forget about ever seeing your parents again? Can you kill a guard? Leave your kid at a gas station? Push some nice old lady to the ground just because she gets between you and the door? Because to do this thing, that's who you have to become.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Lara goes from sleek platinum blonde to rusty, wavy brown after three years in prison.
  • Foreign Remake: The movie is a remake of the 2008 French film Pour Elle.
  • Great Escape: The whole point of the movie.
  • I Have a Family: The drug lord uses the "I have a kid." variant to temporarily make John hesitate, then runs upstairs to grab his gun. He does have a son, but his wife took him away a year prior.
  • No Indoor Voice: The ID forger speaks quite loudly, due to his deafness.
  • Romantic False Lead: Nicole looks like a potential love interest for John, but it doesn't amount to anything.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A woman tries to jump off a moving car and her husband tries to hold onto her, making the car skid all over the road and spin like a top, and aside from some swerving and angry honking, nobody on the road seems to care.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When John almost gets caught with the bump key and is interrogated by the investigator.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: A good chunk of John's plan didn't really go as well as he would have expected, but he managed to pull it off by improvising.