Stars: Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Morse, Bill Nunn
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 118 minutes
Extreme Measures loses credibility near the climax when it sacrifices its hold on reality, but this entertaining, intelligent thriller effectively applies a formulaic plot to the complicated ethics of medical research. It also gives Hugh Grant an opportunity to break free from lightweight comedy by playing an emergency room surgeon who discovers that a renowned neurologist (Gene Hackman) has been conducting secret experiments on patients. When Grant fails to save a patient whose body later mysteriously disappears from the morgue, his investigation leads to an underground community of healthy homeless people, some of whom have been test subjects in Hackman's revolutionary, but criminal research toward a cure for paralysis. Co-produced by actor-model Elizabeth Hurley and capably directed by Michael Apted, this otherwise conventional thriller rises above its limitations by asking morally complex questions that give its far-fetched plot an extra kick of dramatic impact. --Jeff Shannon
You made a moral choice and not a medical one. I guess I'm kind of surprised, that's all.
Dr. Guy Luthan:
On my right I see a cop with pictures of his kids in his wallet, and on my left some guy who's taken out a gun on a city bus! I had ten seconds to make a choice. I hope I made the right one.
Dr. Lawrence Myrick:
People die everyday. And for what? For nothing. What do we do? What do *you* do? You take care of the ones you think you can save. Good doctors do the correct thing. Great doctors have the guts to do the right thing. Your father had those guts.
Dr. Guy Luthan:
Those men upstairs, maybe there isn't much point to their lives. Maybe they are doing a great thing for the world. Maybe they are heroes. But they didn't choose to be. You chose for them. And you can't do that, because you're a doctor, and you took an oath. I don't care if you find a cure for every disease on the planet! You tortured and murdered those men upstairs, and that makes you a disgrace to your profession!