Beyond a Reasonable Doubt The great film-noir actors, like Robert Mitchum and Sterling Hayden, wore a scowl of hunger that gave them a low-down, predatory glamour. They were men,… Beyond a Reasonable Doubt The great film-noir actors, like Robert Mitchum and Sterling Hayden, wore a scowl of hunger that gave them a low-down, predatory glamour. They were men,… 2009-09-11 PG-13 PT105M Drama Mystery and Thriller Michael Douglas Jesse Metcalfe Orlando Jones Amber Tamblyn Anchor Bay Entertainment
Movie Review

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Whiteout | COURTING FAVOR Michael Douglas pleads his case in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
COURTING FAVOR Michael Douglas pleads his case in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
EW's GRADE
C

Details Release Date: Sep 11, 2009; Rated: PG-13; Length: 105 Minutes; Genres: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Michael Douglas and Jesse Metcalfe; Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment

The great film-noir actors, like Robert Mitchum and Sterling Hayden, wore a scowl of hunger that gave them a low-down, predatory glamour. They were men, not boys. But Jesse Metcalfe, who stars in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, a remake of the 1956 noir classic, has about as much inner darkness as a puppy. Metcalfe, formerly of Desperate Housewives, is swarthy and handsome in a cloying, baby-gigolo way; the only emotion he radiates is eagerness to be liked. He’s certainly plausible as a local TV news reporter looking for a big break. But then he goes after a corrupt district attorney (Michael Douglas) who’s been piling up convictions by planting DNA evidence.

How will Metcalfe expose this scoundrel? By incriminating himself in a homicide, a feat that he accomplishes by collecting fake evidence — a jackknife, athletic shoes matching the imprint left at the scene of the crime — with the eager-beaverness of a kid on a scavenger hunt. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt was written and directed by Peter Hyams (Outland), who brings a touch of neo-'80s, Gee, let's throw in a car chase! hackery to this pile of contrivances. He squeezes a bit of suspenseful juice out of the old plot, and Douglas makes smarm a chewy pleasure, but this is a noir in search of a hero we can root for because we actually buy what he’s doing. C

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Originally posted Sep 08, 2009 Published in issue #1065-1066 Sep 18, 2009 Order article reprints
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