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 is dead 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 go to Colombia, but they will remain fugitives of U.S. justice (and thus unable to contact anybody they hold dear) for a long time to come, if not the rest of their lives. As well, the only piece of evidence that could probably absolve Lara is not seen by the policemen when they look at the crime scene again and is about to go down the drain... although one of the detectives seems that will recheck the drain one more time before the scene cuts.
  • Clear Their Name: Averted Trope: The story makes clear nobody believes Lara is innocent and the only piece of evidence that may put reasonable double is never found (it's not even tried to be found until the last few minutes of the film), so John decides to get her out of prison.
  • Driven to Suicide: Lara, when her character learns no one believes her story about bumping into the murderous junkie and she's never leaving prison and again when her husband makes the decision to leave their son behind. 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: Elizabeth Banks 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.