Entertainment Magazine: Film: 2011: "Unthinkable"

Unthinkable- For Who?

By Miv Evans

This film poses the question of whether or not prisoners should be tortured and, as the pendulum swings back and fore, so the audience is manipulated and finally forced to make a choice as the filmmakers, wisely, don't do that for us. 

Yusef (Michael Sheen) is an American citizen who has converted to Islam.  He sends a video to a TV network announcing that he has planted three nuclear bombs in three different US cities.

He gets arrested and Henry 'H' Humphries (Samuel L Jackson), a black-ops agent, and Helen Brody (Carrie-Anne Moss), an FBI agent, are assigned to interrogate him.  They have three days to complete their mission.

'H' is a seasoned interrogator and although his task is grisly, and only a sadist could carry it out, he somehow convinces us that this is not so and that the true requirement for his job is bravery, and there are very few who are strong enough to come up to the task.

As we listen to his golden tongue, it's hard not to be swayed and ultimately to become implicit in his deadly deeds.   

Unthinkable Movie Trailer

Watch the Official "Unthinkable" movie trailer from Hulu. Click on the white triangle to start the movie.

In the other corner, of course, is Helen Brody, and therein lies the rub.   Not only does she lack the stature to be a highly-placed agent, but becomes very irritating when she's squawking around the place, reciting the Geneva Convention to anyone who will listen.

Later in the film, when she is faced with some dire consequences, she totally loses control and, as the only pivotal female in the film, this display of emotion turns her into something of a cliché.

Obviously, all films have to have two points of view and it would, of course, have been too much of a stretch to make her the torturer, but it would have been far more interesting to see her in the role of the head honcho, who gives the go ahead for the torture, especially if she'd gone to the bathroom afterwards to give her hands a good scrub when we were expecting her to have a weep. 

Surprisingly, this intriguing film has gone straight to DVD.  Is that because the content is too gory for a theatrical release, or because the subject is too political?  If it's the former, there's always plenty of time to look away, and if it's the latter, it's possible to look the other way on that count too, and if that's not enough, there's always the hand washing to fall back on.  I believe that one worked quite well before.

RELEASE DATES: Available now on DVD and Blu-Ray from Amazon Unthinkable DVD


Miv Evans is a British businesswoman who relocated to Los Angeles in 2005. She previously had a comedy drama commissioned by BBC TV and sold her first film to REN Media International in 2008 which she wrote, directed and produced.

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The most suspenseful thriller of the year explores just how far we will go to protect ourselves and our country. When a nuclear expert-turned-extremist (Michael Sheen, Underworld) plants devices in three separate cities, the country's counter-terrorism force springs into action and captures him. But the location of his bombs remains a mystery. With time running out, FBI agent Helen Brody (Carrie-Anne Moss, Disturbia) agrees to work alongside a mysterious interrogator known only as "H" (Samuel L. Jackson, Lakeview Terrace), whose ruthless methods get results. But a power struggle develops between Brody, "H', and the terrorist, and what happens next is unbelievable and -ultimately-Unthinkable!

Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC

Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2010
Run Time: 97 minutes

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