Typically, quality movies are not released in January. That is not to say it is impossible to find quality movies at the beginning of the year. Sometimes, a rare gem of a movie can make its way into theaters during the first month of the new year and “Man on a Ledge” is just that kind of movie.
“Man on a Ledge” is about… well, a man on a ledge. It’s not one of those movies where you have to wait half way through the movie for the meat to present itself. The movie’s main character, former cop and currently wanted fugitive, Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), steps out onto a high rise New York City hotel’s window ledge, threatening to jump a few minutes into the start of the movie.
Nick was convicted of stealing a multi-million dollar diamond from businessman, David Englander (Ed Harris). Police negotiators Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) and Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) try to talk him down as Nick explains he is up there to prove his innocence; but, the real reason he is up there is to be a distraction as his brother, Joey (Jamie Bell) breaks into Englander’s vault to find the “stolen” diamond and prove Nick was, indeed, set up.
“Man on a Ledge” is the type of movie that grabs you from the very beginning and keeps a tight hold of you until the very end. While other movies in this genre may get your attention early, they rarely are able to maintain it throughout the picture. Man on a Ledge” keeps up the tension and keeps up the intensity and suspense all the way to the end. It’s the kind of ride we want to go on when we see a movie.
Besides the actors, who play characters we root for and against in this movie, a lot of credit must go to director, Asger Leth. He took the well written screenplay by Pablo F. Fenjves and turned it into the first must see movie of 2012. What is even more impressive is that “Man on a Ledge” is Leth’s first feature length fictional movie. He came from a documentary filmmaking background. He has already mastered the rule of “show, don’t tell”. HE can direct an actor to show an expression on his face and we already know EXACTLY what it means without any need for the spoken word.
Some may feel the story of “Man on a Ledge” is a little farfetched, but those who are looking to have a good time in the theater should walk out of the movie feeling good that they saw it. It is rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language. Click HERE to watch the trailer.