This is the most disturbing movie I have seen in a long time. Because everything is plausible, the story is very real, and the acting is superb. If Russel Crowe doesn't get an Oscar nod for this the Academy isn't doing their job.
I went hoping for a classic prison break action film but instead got an emotional drama. Instead of focusing on how an innocent person gets locked away they focused on the failure of the appeals process, the failure of police investigators, and the increasing alienation of a man from the system.
During the scenes where Russel Crowe is teaching English, two books come up. "Don Quixote De La Mancha" by Cervantes and "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Dumas. The premise is that Don Quixote's refusal to play by the rules of reality and rationality were in fact necessary.
So an otherwise rational man decided to be irrational and break his wife out of prison. The character struggle between doing what is right and what is necessary made some of the most engaging theater experience that I've ever sat through. In the end the escape is successful, but success always balances on a fine thread held by razors.
And what disturbs me most is how real everything could be. How cold and uncaring the bureaucracy that does it's job instead of searching for truth. How could this movie affect me in such a visceral way when Texas has already executed innocent men? Our system is supposed to be biased towards letting the guilty go free instead of punishing the innocent.
Have we as a society crossed a boundary where we accept a bureaucracy that is inhuman?
I think we have, and this disturbs me. While we can change Congressmen every two years, Presidents every four, and Senators every six, we cannot change the Bureaucracy. This needs to change.