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2011 | 90 min | R | 2.39:1



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Theatrical release date

 14 October, 2011
 11 November, 2011

Country of origin

 United States

Box office




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Screenshots from Trespass Blu-ray

Trespass Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, October 23, 2011

Oh, the yelling in this thing.

“Trespass” must set some type of record for the longest screaming match in a motion picture; the verbal amplitude just drags on and on. Mix in some hyperventilation and vile overacting, and here’s the latest from Joel Schumacher, the once engaging filmmaker who’s spent the last five years crafting disappointments (“The Number 23”), misfires (“Blood Creek”), and turkeys (“Twelve”). Here, the director elects to make ears bleed in this insufferable home invasion thriller, which takes a fairly undemanding design for suspense and turns it into a frightfully pokey 85-minute collision of abysmal creative decisions. Not even a healthy blast of glittery star power can rescue this punishing movie.

A high profile jeweler, Kyle Miller (Nicolas Cage) watches as the finishing touches are placed on his new mansion, home to neglected wife Sarah (Nicole Kidman) and spoiled teen daughter Avery (Liana Liberato). Dealing with dysfunction and disconnection, the family dynamic is put to the ultimate test when a team of crooks storm the property, on the hunt for valuable diamonds located in Kyle’s hidden safe. Armed with guns and a vague strategy, the criminals, including Elias (Ben Mendelsohn) and Jonah (Cam Gigandet), demand total compliance. Kyle has other plans, refusing to surrender his loot to the felons, which immediately places his family in the line of fire. As the evening wears on, the participants are rocked by acts of defiance, revelations of obsession, and plans of escape, turning a straightforward robbery into a hellish night of survival.

Through squinted eyes, “Trespass” actually resembles a solid B-movie exercise, keeping the action regulated to a single location while a swarm of actors plays around with degrees of panic and criminal euphoria, taking turns shrieking threats at one another. The simplicity is intriguing but the script by Karl Gajdusek is a colossal dud, wasting precious time on monotonous bickering and absurd character connections, looking to disrupt the norm by linking the players in flashback, keeping the audience guessing about loyalties and violent tendencies. “Trespass” isn’t original, but it didn’t have to be. In the right hands, this type of claustrophobic material could piece together cleanly as a gritty, sweat-soaked thrill ride of tension. Instead, we’re left with Joel Schumacher’s flaccid sense of control.

Schumacher’s direction of “Trespass” consists primarily of aggression. Everyone is foaming at the mouth, attempting to communicate either menace or frustration, with nearly the entire run time devoted to arguments between the characters. It’s a tedious routine, creating a headache-inducing ambiance that Schumacher clearly intends to be interpreted as suspense, but it mostly registers as annoying, forcing the viewer to endure dreadful dialogue expelled at top volume. There’s no directorial throttle to trust, just sheer noise and hammy acting, finding Schumacher in a permissive mood with his cast, who rub faces and spray spittle without restraint. The hysteria reaches professional wrestling levels at times, which, in the hands of some of these actors, turns into screen torture.

What are Cage and Kidman doing in a film like this? There’s an obvious answer to that question, and perhaps the only one. There’s not much to challenge the stars in “Trespass,” though both acquit themselves suitably to thin roles of anguish. It’s actually refreshing to see Cage in such a contained mood, playing a timid family man hiding deep financial secrets from his own clan. Kidman primarily cries and factors into the script’s idea of complication, playing the object of obsession for one of the invaders. The pair doesn’t accomplish much, but Schumacher doesn’t show much interest in the family side of the conflict, preferring the barking baddies to command attention, leaving the only two capable actors in this mess to sit in a corner and breathe heavily.

There are a few turns to “Trespass” meant to sustain interest, most concerning the question of Kyle’s actual wealth and numerous law enforcement entanglements. The rest of the feature keeps to a pattern of empty threats and escape attempts, which grow increasingly meaningless the longer Schumacher and Gajdusek attempt to stretch out the premise. Trust me, a little of this numbing picture goes a long way -- it’s only a matter of minutes before the viewer feels like a hostage too.

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Cam Gigandet, Liana Liberato, Ben Mendelsohn (I), Dash Mihok
Director: Joel Schumacher

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Trespass (Cage, Kidman) Images 3 Oct 29, 2010

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