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Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Verónica Echegui, Roschdy Zem ... see more see more... , Oscar Jaenada , Joseph Mawle , Caroline Goodall , Rafi Gavron , Emma Hamilton , Michael Budd , Joe Dixon , Jim Piddock , Fermí Reixach , Lolo Herrero , Luigi Lopez , Alex Amaral , Paloma Bloyd , Simón Andreu , Morgan Johnson , Mark Ullod , Andrea Ros Buerrero , Borja Chantres , Carlos Martinez Aguera , José Alias , Sílvia Sabaté

Will Shaw (Henry Cavill) goes to Spain for a weeklong sailing vacation with his family but his whole world turns upside down when the family is kidnapped by intelligence agents hell-bent on recovering... read more read more... a mysterious briefcase and Will suddenly finds himself on the run. -- (C) Summit Entertainment

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29% liked it

19,132 ratings


5% liked it

41 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 33 min.

Directed by: Mabrouk El Mechri

Release Date: September 7, 2012

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DVD Release Date: January 29, 2013

Stats: 994 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (994)

  • September 11, 2014
    The title sounds like a cheap pulp detective novel and the film is like a cheap adaptation of one, albeit minus the detective. It starts off pretty well, the scene where the boat goes missing reeled me in for sure but then the action took over from the intrigue and the story took... read more all the worst parts of every rubbish thriller you've ever seen and put them all together. Bruce Willis's involvement is unnecessary and distracting, he was used for his name and it damages the film. Henry Cavill works well with what he's got but he ain't got much. The only resounding success is Sigourney Weaver's performance. They should have got rid of everything else and just had her shooting guns at people for two hours (while smiling), it would have been far more entertaining.
  • June 6, 2013
    With "Man of Steel" on the horizon, I've decided to prep myself for the movie by watching all of the past Supermans and a few Henry Cavill films as well. I have no prior knowledge to how well the man can act apart from the what I've seen in the trailers and his bit role in 2007's... read more "Stardust." So, this is going to be a mostly performance critique on Cavill rather than a fleshed out review of the film itself.

    It should come as no shock that "The Cold Light of Day's" star power is fueled solely by Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver, but fortunately it's Cavill who gets top billing and rightfully so. Henry carries this thing the entire way through, whereas Willis is hardly in it and Sigourney reappears between every couple of scenes. Since Cavill is running the show, his attitude and character are essential to how this story follows through. And just from the first 10 minutes alone, it's easy to tell how much Cavill is trying to hide his English accent. I mean, he is just so darn careful about it.

    He's so caught up in balancing his vocal and facial performance that he actually restricts himself from being able to properly elevate his voice or have his tone match his constantly concerned looking face. Even when he tries to act angry or distressed his accent starts to slip out a bit. It's painfully obvious to notice these things when he and Bruce Willis first reunite after their family has been kidnapped. He makes a sacrifice to keep his accent in check and though it's not terribly distracting once the film picks up speed, it is damaging to his over-all performance.

    As far as plot goes, it's a whole lot of nothing. Cavill's family gets kidnapped, he tries to find them, befriends a lady companion, and then there's the second and third act that follows. A good chunk of this film is either chasing or running away from the bad guy with no insightful or character-building dialog in between those scenes. The villains themselves are also poorly written with their motives never fully explained or realized. If there was ever a reason to use a movie as a sleeping aid then this might very well be the cure for insomnia.

    The only way this could be a recommendation is if you're as curious as I was to see Henry Cavill in other movies. Other than that, "The Cold Light of Day" is a definite pass. Something that will shortly be forgotten.
  • fb100000145236770
    March 17, 2013
    Want a good look at actor playing the new "Superman"? Then check this out because he(Henry Cavill) is the star, and hopefully he is better at playing the Man of Steel. Here, he is the son of Bruce Willis, and his family gets kidnapped while on vacation in Spain. From there he ... read morefinds out his dad isn't who he thought he was, and must recover a briefcase and save his family. Cavill has a great look, but he isn't that great of an actor, at least here. Willis isn't in the movie very much, which having more of him would probably have made this better. It's not a very good movie, has a couple good action scenes, and a few good little twists. But overall it just doesn't stay together enough or have much of an impact whatsoever. If you want a light 90 minute action movie, then check it out, because you can do worse. Otherwise, just find something else.
  • March 11, 2013
    Excellent Movie where for once its not all about Bruce Willis, Plenty of action throughout the film, great car chase scene. Veronica Echegui is over the top on beauty and acting, as once Sigourney Weaver was but she is far from that now. If you like spy thrillers you will enjoy t... read morehis one as its set in Spain. 4 1/2 stars 3-8-13
  • March 8, 2013
    The Cold Light of Day was not what I was hoping it would be, which is a great action packed thriller. Instead it was action packed and just OK. The story was lacking. I just didn't care what was happening or if he saved his family. I know, awful. But I was bored. I ... read moreshouldn't have been considering all the action surrounding the story, but I was. The acting was just OK as well. I was a little disappointed with how much Bruce we get in the movie as well since he and Weaver were my main reason of seeing the film. In the end the film is a turd that could not be polished with the likes of Willis or Weaver. Disappointing.
  • February 1, 2013
    A great surprise to watch. A tense, smart, confident and extremely exciting action-thriller. A heart-pounding and tremendously entertaining chase of a movie with echoes of Bourne. It packs plenty of fire-power as well as star power. Henry Cavill is a charismatic, strong and capab... read morele actor that has potential as an action hero. Bruce Willis is strong and great to watch in his minimal role which helps jump start the piece. Sigourney Weaver is terrific. A sizzling and suspenseful adventure that kicks start your pulse and keeps you on the edge of your seat until its explosive finish. A fun and exhilarating action-packed thrill-ride. It dose not try to be over-ally sophisticated, the lead character is actually a regular guy who is trying to get his family back and has to overcome incredible odds with limited resources and inexperienced alliances.
  • November 30, 2012
    A fairly decent spy thriller in the style of the Bourne films. It's not up to that standard overall, but on a smaller budget it does a good job with plenty of action on the streets of Madrid. Great performance from Weaver in an unusual role for her.
  • October 24, 2012
    Pretty standard affair, pretty standard plot but not quite as bad as many have made it out to be in my humble opinion.

    I think one issue here is the fact the cast seem to be daydreaming through the film. Willis just does what he's done for years with that annoying smirk on his f... read moreace, does he even know he's in a film?. Weaver isn't really the right person for her role as she's clearly too old and hardly menacing, doesn't look capable of shooting people or even running it seems.

    The main guy played by Cavill is a big wet let down too really, proves he's no Oscar winning actor by any means. His panicky actions and line spewing is more equivalent of a straight to DVD B-movie action flick, there it would be more acceptable. Everyone else plays standard generic bad guys or shadowy hitmen/special agent types...its all very bland.

    The plus points are the action which isn't too bad, the car chases are quite good, looks flashy at night with good lighting. Errr the film title has a nice ring to it, errr kinda funny how everybody is such a crap shot haha and the locations are pretty. Yup that's about it folks.
  • October 9, 2012
    "Instinct is his greatest weapon."

    After his family is kidnapped during their sailing trip in Spain, a young Wall Street trader is confronted by the people responsible: intelligence agents looking to recover a mysterious briefcase.

    ... read moreoolbook">REVIEW
    Young man travels to Spain to spend the holiday with his family, but his relationship with his father is strained to say the least. While aboard a cruise ship with his family he travels into town, returns to find them gone, then gets plunged into an espionage plot after he learns that his father actually works for the CIA. Despite the fact that the young man is a business consultant, the film would have us believe that he can conveniently follow in his father's footsteps by eluding and outsmarting experienced government agents who are on his trail. What wants to be a tense spy thriller falls flat on its face with preposterous plotting, weak acting, and zero tension. It is over-reliant on chases, the villain of the piece is a bit too easy to identify (there could have been some uncertainty which would have been helpful in terms of plot dynamics), and there are vast numbers of unanswered questions and illogicalities. Cavill is extraordinarily dull (something that doesn't bode too well for next year's mega-blockbuster 'Man of Steel'), Willis and Weaver are wasted, and the director hangs them out to dry. What does the title even mean anyway?
  • fb100000716838411
    September 9, 2012
    Wow, Sigourney Weaver just loves her some generic spy movies. The Cold Light of Day is about some guy whose family gets kidnapped and now he has to get a briefcase while on the run. The movie is clearly unoriginal. The whole briefcase scenario is a big cliche when it comes to the... read morese spy movies and this movie uses about every cliche in the book. Henry Cavill stars in the movie and it really is a shame that he had to be in this movie because he's also going to be in Man of Steel and I'm sure he wants people to just forget about this movie. Sigourney Weaver is in it and you would think one shitty spy movie (Abduction) would be enough for her, but nope, she's clearly willing to be in another piece of shit movie like this. Another cast member is Bruce Willis and holy crap is he a waste. His character is just unneccesary and it's obvious the only reason he was in the movie was so the director could be all "I got Bruce Willis to be in my movie, that makes me special." All the performances in this movie suck, but it's not really the actors fault. It's near impossible to say the poorly written dialogue without looking or sounding like a dumbass. As the movie goes on, you get to notice how horribly directed the action scenes are. There's shaky cam all over the place and there are moments when it's too dark and you can't even tell what's happening on screen. When the action scenes aren't happening, you'll be bored because the dialogue and characters aren't remotely interesting and when the action scenes are happening, you'll get a headache from all the shaky cam. The director might as well have given the camera to a five year old with ADHD. Another thing wrong with the movie is how predictable it is. I never felt like the characters were in any danger and there wasn't any tension. Every situation that happened, the resolution could be seen coming from a mile away. If you've seen any of the Bourne movies or hell, even any of the Spy Kids movies, then you've seen this movie. It really baffles me how something like this was greenlit. I know that there are plenty of studios out there that are thirsty for some money, but you need to earn that money by making a movie that will please people. I'm pretty sure that this movie is going to be a failure at the box office, so Lionsgate shouldn't expect much. The Cold Light of Day is a contender for worst film of 2012, don't see it, do something more productive with your time. If Henry Cavill is any good in Man of Steel, I'll forget he was even in this movie.

Critic Reviews

Ben Sachs
September 14, 2012
Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

Cavill is no substitute for Van Damme, whose self-critical performance gave the earlier movie much of its heft Full Review

Sheri Linden
September 10, 2012
Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

The script throws around phrases like "intel," "terrorist" and "rogue operative," but as time bombs go, the briefcase-versus-loved-ones ultimatum barely ticks. Full Review

James Berardinelli
September 9, 2012
James Berardinelli, ReelViews

Charging $10 for this movie is criminal; vouchers and letters of apology should be handed out at the exit for those stalwart viewers who stick it out to the end. Full Review

Stephen Holden
September 7, 2012
Stephen Holden, New York Times

A catastrophe worth noting only for the presence of its name cast. Full Review

Nathan Rabin
September 7, 2012
Nathan Rabin, AV Club

Defined by needless, frenetic exertion in lieu of anything resembling inspiration. Full Review

Clark Collis
September 7, 2012
Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly

Apes The Bourne Identity so slavishly yet so boringly it winds up with no identity at all. Full Review

Alonso Duralde
September 7, 2012
Alonso Duralde, TheWrap

This isn't great cinema, or even a movie you'll remember four hours later, but as stupid thrill rides go, it's smart enough to show you a good time. Full Review

Guy Lodge
April 10, 2012
Guy Lodge, Time Out

It all boils down to a series of riotously extended showdowns between Cavill and Weaver... Full Review

John Hanlon
June 30, 2013
John Hanlon, Big Hollywood

A poorly-directly and terribly-executed mess of a motion picture that should have been left in the dark. Full Review

Eric D. Snider
January 22, 2013
Eric D. Snider, Pajiba

An unnecessary but inoffensive espionage thriller that you have to assume was an inch away from going straight to DVD. Full Review

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    • Will Shaw: Wait! hold it,hold it,no,no.Look,the guy who shot my father was shooting at me half-way across the sea.
    • Will Shaw: Mom! Mom! Mom! I can't put him on the phone. They killed him!
    • Lucia: I was not your father's lover... but my mother was!
    • Jean Carrack: You're scared, and scared people holding guns in my face... that scares me.
    • Will Shaw: Tranquilo, tranquilo.

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