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Drama - Crime

Penthouse North (2013)

Duration1h 30m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R
Source of storyA not very original screenplay
DirectorJoseph Ruben
Writers/ScriptDavid Loughery
StarringMichelle Monaghan, Michael Keaton, Barry Sloane,
RatingsIMDb: 5.6 by 5076 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: No critique.

Elevator Pitch: Sara is a blind former war photographer, disabled by a suicide bomb in the Middle east. She is living with her boyfriend in a luxury pad, but when she is out buying booze for a party the boyfriend is killed by an intruder. As time passes, she and we, become aware that her boyfriend is actually a criminal who has a hidden cache of diamonds hidden somewhere. When Sara escapes to the street she is apparently helped by a official looking man, but he turns out to be the intruder’s accomplice, and together they search the penthouse and threaten Sarah, who despite not being able to see, has to fight for her life.

Content: No sex or nudity. Shadowy outline of Sara showering, emphasising her vulnerability. She walks back and forth just skirting her boyfriend’s blood and body. She escapes to the street and is “helped” by a second criminal who on their return to the penthouse searches for money and a cache of diamonds. She is threatened but does not know where the diamonds are, so is unable to prevent   her cat being thrown over the balcony. On finding the diamonds the criminals argue providing Sara with the possibility of survival.

A View: This was a “Lifetime” production, said by one critic to be a “suspense- free thriller of staggering mediocrity”. Honestly, it was actually pretty dramatic for Lifetime stuff which is probably worth avoiding if you detect the origins of the production. You can see the economies in place, but I always think that no matter how limited the locations and minimal the number of actors, there are still hundreds of supporting tasks. Hence although we do not know how much it cost, since the worldwide gross was $372,000 it is unlikely to have covered its cost. One of those movies you can have on while doing something else.

Additional Info: Critics said that Sara’s blindness was unconvincing, particularly since she was unable to smell her boyfriend’s blood.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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