johnlink ranks UNTHINKABLE (2010)

This looked like a promising thriller (Fios even promised me that it was “the best thriller of 2010”), so I gave it a shot. Samuel L. Jackson is usually good for some fun anyway, and Michael Sheen always brings it. Seemed like a decent enough movie, even if I had no idea what it was about.


I watched UNTHINKABLE (2010) on 6.28.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

Steven Arthur Younger (Michael Sheen) begins the movie but renouncing his American citizenship, changing his name to Yusuf Atta Mohammed (because psychos always have three names, whether American or Muslim), and declaring that he has placed three nuclear bombs in major cities.

He is captured, though that seems the plan. His interrogation is conducted by the shadowy H (Samuel L Jackson) who uses any and all means to get Yusuf to crack. This is condemned by his hand-picked partner FBI Agent Helen Brody (Carrie-Anne Moss) who thinks H is barbaric.

This is a movie, then, which is really about the dangers and benefits of using torture as a means to get information from an asset. This is not a subtle message by any means. H and Brody openly discuss the merits and dangers of enhanced interrogation techniques as though they were sitting on opposite sides of a Fox News table. Heck, Yusuf even wants and plans to be tortured in order to prove the filmmaker’s his point.

The acting in this is quite good, only some of the dialogue is cringe-worthy. H’s wife (Lora Kojovic) openly tells a stranger about her children being murdered in front of her while she was raped by her neighbors. This is explained away later by her husband who offhandedly remarks that she has an embarrassing tendency to tell that story to strangers. The dialogue is that sort of thing where whatever is convenient to the theme is deemed worthy enough to be said, regardless of trifles like integrity of character.

In fact, even the way we meet H as a character is based on convenient coincidence to introduce him sooner in the film. There just isn’t much thought put into telling a convincing story.

And in a movie which didn’t take itself seriously, that wouldn’t be a terrible think. Summer blockbusters are filled with silly plot-pushing dialogue that we can all accept and discard. But UNTHINKABLE is a movie which thinks that it is very important.

There is some entertainment here, though the realization that we are watching one psychopath torture another psychopath quickly becomes less than enjoyable. The movie can’t even answer its own question in the form of an ending to the film, because it does not want to be seen as taking a side too strongly.

UNTHINKABLE isn’t a great film. It isn’t a particularly good movie. It has actors who shouldn’t be relegated to this kind of script. This is a story which really wants to be important and powerful. Unfortunately, it is neither.




FINAL SCORE: 4.75 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on June 30, 2014.

One Response to “johnlink ranks UNTHINKABLE (2010)”

  1. You’ve made some decent points there. I looked on the web for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

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