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Death Sentence

Death Sentence

4.0 6
Director: James Wan, Kevin Bacon, Garrett Hedlund, Kelly Preston

Cast: James Wan, Kevin Bacon, Garrett Hedlund, Kelly Preston


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Part vigilante drama and part psychological thriller, the James Wan-directed Death Sentence stars Kevin Bacon as Nick Hume, a deceptively passive exec whose wife and children are attacked in a sadistic, gang-related hazing rite, and his oldest son killed. Hell-bent on cold-blooded vengeance, Hume pulls a


Part vigilante drama and part psychological thriller, the James Wan-directed Death Sentence stars Kevin Bacon as Nick Hume, a deceptively passive exec whose wife and children are attacked in a sadistic, gang-related hazing rite, and his oldest son killed. Hell-bent on cold-blooded vengeance, Hume pulls a Bronson by tagging each of the perpetrators, then tracking down and rubbing out each one, with the help of formidable, blue-steel artillery. Aisha Tyler co-stars as the homicide detective who first agrees to assist Hume in his mission, then begins to edge up to the conclusion that the unstable father himself might be responsible for the nasty crimes against his family. Kelly Preston co-stars as Bacon's wife, Helen Hume; the cast also features John Goodman (The Big Lebowski), Leigh Whannell (Saw), and Matt O'Leary. Ian Jeffers loosely adapted Brian Garfield's popular 1975 novel.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
After a long absence, Hollywood finally delivers a fitting return to exhilarating gritty B-movie gusto in Death Sentence, a modern retooling of the Death Wish model that holds a legitimate link to the seminal stepping-stone of '70s tough-guy cinema. Delivering first-rate dramatics through the heightened eye of a director looking to impress, this adaptation of Brian Garfield's novel (itself a sequel to the first Death Wish book) is both stylish and far more emotionally real than many of its pedigreed predecessors. At the heart of the film is Kevin Bacon, in a role that tests the actor at every turn as the tragic tale of a man that tests his moral compass when pinned up against the wall by random tragedies, a system gone wrong, and a maniac with a hefty grudge. At the helm is none other than James Wan, far from the flashy Saw as well as the empty atmosphere of Dead Silence, the young Australian director shows that he has a lot more up his sleeve than just a ridiculous deep-voiced puppet (who of course makes a cameo appearance via a spray-painted mural). With the help of a few expertly staged action scenes -- including one bravura Brian De Palma-inspired shot in a parking garage -- Wan wins a great deal of respect thanks to the balance he strikes between frantic intensity and calculated technical wizardry, all the while never losing focus on the performance of his main actor. Exploitation-wise, the focus isn't on the brutal act that propels the story as in past revenge films, but as an entertaining and excessively gory release through the thrilling Taxi Driver-esque "one-man-with-a-shotgun" raid on the villain's hideout. Unfortunately, Death Sentence suffers from a poorly placed soundtrack that nearly ruins a few key moments in the film, either by the use of a stereotypical angelic songstress or through one particular sad tune that unfortunately rears its head in not one, but two integral points in the picture. Still, there's little doubt that revenge-lovers will come away pleasantly surprised at the craft and class that's in store for them here.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:

Special Features

Includes both theatrical and unrated movie versions; Fox Movie Channel presents: Making a Scene; Fox Movie Channel presents: Life After Film School With Kevin Bacon; Behind-the-scenes webisodes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Bacon Nick Hume
Garrett Hedlund Billy Darley
Kelly Preston Helen Hume
Aisha Tyler Detective Wallis
John Goodman Bones Darley
Jordan Garrett Lucas Hume
Stuart Lafferty Brendan Hume
Edi Gathegi Bodie
Matt O'Leary Joe Darley
Leigh Whannell Spink
Hector Atreyu Ruiz Heco
Kanin Howell Baggy
Dennis Keiffer Jamie
Freddy Bouciegues Tommy
Casey Pieretti Dog
Rich Ceraulo Owen
Elizabeth Keener Amy
Yorgo Constantine Michael Barring
Juan-Carlos Guzman Sammy
Judith Roberts Judge Shaw
Aqueel Hasan ER Doctor
Kendrick Cross Armed Guard
Shontelle Thrash Bank Teller
Michael Burgess Cop 1
Nick Battiste Cop 2
Kristina Sipes Nurse
Jay Amor Dock Rat
Desiree Markella Pointing Cook

Technical Credits
James Wan Director
Ashok Amritraj Producer
Deborah Aquila Casting
Howard Baldwin Producer
Karen Baldwin Producer
Jack Ballance Set Decoration/Design
Julie Berghoff Production Designer
Kristin M. Burke Costumes/Costume Designer
Mike Cavell Sound Mixer
Albert Cho Asst. Director
Charlie Clouser Score Composer
Bruce Crouch Sound Mixer
Jonathan S. Gaynor Sound/Sound Designer
Nick Hamson Executive Producer
Ian Mackenzie Jeffers Screenwriter
Michael Knue Editor
John R. Leonetti Cinematographer
John Leonetti Cinematographer
Eric Mitchell Co-producer
Nick Morton Executive Producer
Thom Owens Camera Operator
Rosa Palomo Art Director
Michelle Silverman Musical Direction/Supervision
Jennifer Smith Casting
Steve Smith Sound Mixer
Michael St. Hilaire Camera Operator
Andrew Sugerman Executive Producer
Lars Sylvest Executive Producer
Tricia Wood Casting

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Death Sentence
1. Main Titles/Happy Family [:22]
2. Order in the Universe [:14]
4. My Son [:12]
3. Random Violence [2:48]
5. Mourning [1:19]
6. Case Dismissed [1:37]
7. Rough Justice [2:19]
8. Somebody Stuck Him [3:33]
9. Plotting Revenge [1:11]
10. Get Him! [2:48]
11. Over the Edge [1:11]
12. Lucas [5:51]
13. Death Sentence [:47]
14. Make It Stop [8:41]
15. Execution [4:28]
16. Realization [2:50]
17. Nobody Wins [:56]
18. Confession [3:26]
19. Vengeance Trail [5:05]
20. Dad to Dad [1:13]
21. Preparing for War [2:23]
22. Under Duress [:46]
23. Maximum Speed [:18]
24. Retribution [:57]
25. No Mercy [3:12]
26. One of Us [:16]
27. He'll Make It [2:01]
28. End Titles [2:03]


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Death Sentence 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
DEATH SENTENCE is a tough movie to watch, not because it is a poorly made film, but because of the degree of violence that, once started, is mayhem on a roller coaster ride. Though based on a novel by Brian Garfield, the script by Ian Jeffers is a patchwork quilt - the holes show whenever the police arrive on the scene. James Wan, of the 'Saw' movies fame, directs with a keen eye for breathless action sequences and almost intolerable suspense timing that makes the film fly through the 111 minutes of the Unrated version. During the opening credits we are introduced to the perfect family via home movies and domestic scenes: Nick Hume (Kevin Bacon) is the devoted father, Helen (Kelly Preston) his bright and loving wife, Brendan (Stuart Lafferty) is the golden boy son with all the soccer laurels, and Lucas (Jordan Garrett) the younger 'also ran' son. The glitch in this family's happiness happens one night when, out of gas while driving home from a soccer game, Nick stops at a gas station and while Brendan is in the convenience store a gang comes in and murders the store owner and Brendan: the reason for the killing is not robbery but an initiation rite into a gang accomplished by young Joe Darley (Matt O'Leary) and the demand of his older brother Billy (Garrett Hedlund, in a very out of character role from his usual 'Troy', 'Friday Night Lights', 'Eragon', 'Georgia Rule' persona). Nick witnesses the killing and when the lawyers and police work with him in the aftermath to 'arrange a deal' instead of a murder trial, Nick decides to take matters in hi s own hands. The Darley brothers are part of a ruthless gang sponsored by their own father Bones Darley (John Goodman, in a very dark and well-realized role). Nick stalks Joe Darley and murders him, and once the deed (that happens to begin a gang war against Nick) is done the terror begins. The gang is out to kill not only Nick but Nick's family also. How this pursued and pursuers game works out furnishes the remainder of the film. It is the old eye for an eye story that ends in tragedy for everyone concerned. When the film is dealing with the 'family' and the 'gang' the dialog sparkles, but when the police, headed by Detective Wallis (Aisha Tyler), become involved the aid from the police becomes as ludicrous as the dialog placed in their mouths. Kevin Bacon gives a bravura performance as the gentle father driven to murderous madness and Garrett Hedlund matches him as the ruthless and terrifying gang leader Billy. There are enough sidebars about father/son relationships on both sides of the plot line to make the movie have a message. But in the end it is the wildly frantic camera action and directorial decisions by Wan that make this a horrifying and arresting film. Not for the queasy viewer. Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would have to disagree with the previous reviewers this movie was a disapointment. There wasn't enough action to really capture the essence of revenge that would've given this movie a break from the dull storyline. The acting was okay, but not great Kevin Bacon did fine, but this wouldn't be what I'd call his finest work. The characters were just not developed enough, the story itself was generic and it just couldn't individualize itself. It just felt like the script was just thrown together to make this movie, the flow of scenes was unimpressive. I was very disappointed when I watched this movie, and sold the dvd the next day.
Hugo-Z-Hackenbush More than 1 year ago
This is just another vigilante movie, where the bad guys drive innocuous tricked out muscle cars, the police are incompetant, and Mr. Mouse turns into the Marred Avenger. Somehow, mr. investment banker, Kevin Bacon, is able to gain awesome powers of gunnery, fighting, tracking, and the ability to be shot incesssantly and still live to reap sweet revenge in just a few short days. The only reason to watch this movie is to see John Goodman. He steals the film in just a few brief scenes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had no idea what to expect when I watched this film. The action sequences are well done and the storyline is amazing. There are several twists and turns that you just don't see coming. Despite being dark, it definitely tugged on the heartstrings to see the emotional struggle Kevin Bacon went through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago