Unhinged (2020 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Derrick Borte|
|Written by||Carl Ellsworth|
|Music by||David Buckley|
|Box office||$42.8 million|
Unhinged is a 2020 American action thriller film directed by Derrick Borte, from a screenplay by Carl Ellsworth. The film stars Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson and Austin P. McKenzie. It tells the story of a young woman who is terrorized by a seemingly mentally ill stranger following a road rage incident.
Unhinged was theatrically released by Solstice Studios in Germany on July 16, 2020, and in the United States on August 21, 2020. The film was notable for being the first wide theatrical release in several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has grossed $42 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Crowe's performance but felt the film did not take full advantage of its premise.
Tom Cooper, a mentally unstable man feeling powerless and invisible to the world, breaks into the home of his ex-wife and kills her and her boyfriend with a hammer, before setting the house on fire. He drives away as the house explodes.
Rachel Flynn, a newly-divorced single mother living in New Orleans, drives her 15-year-old son Kyle to school in rush hour traffic. She is running late to work and honks at a pickup truck that has failed to go through a green light. The owner of the truck, Tom, soon catches up to Rachel and after apologizing to her, asks for an apology back. The exchange escalates when Rachel tells him that she has nothing to apologize for. A small chase ensues before Rachel loses Tom and is able to drop Kyle off. Soon Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of Tom, a man who feels he has nothing left to lose.
Tom tracks Rachel to a gas station and switches his phone out with hers while she is inside. Rachel gets help from a customer who accompanies her back to her car and gets Tom's license plate number but Tom rams him with his truck. Tom aggressively pursues Rachel. When Rachel tries to contact her friend Andy, a divorce lawyer, for help, she finds that Tom used the daily planner in her phone to locate Andy. When she tries to tell Andy that Tom is dangerous, Tom brutally murders him in the diner where Rachel was supposed to meet Andy.
Tom continues to stalk Rachel. He goes to her brother Fred's house and kills his fiancé, Mary. Tom then sets Fred on fire just as police arrive at the house. The officer who stumbles in manages to shoot Tom in the shoulder, but he still escapes. Tom soon catches up with Rachel again on a highway after she picked up Kyle from school, in a state of fear that Tom would find him. Tom then chases them in a minivan. He causes massive car crashes after ramming a cop car as he tries to catch up to Rachel.
Tom pursues Rachel to her mother's house, where Kyle hides inside. Tom attacks Rachel in the driveway and seemingly knocks her out. He goes into the house to find Kyle. As he is about to walk back outside, Kyle makes a noise, alerting him upstairs. Rachel comes in and tries to comfort Kyle, but Tom drags her into the bedroom, starting a final struggle as they throw each other all over the room. Kyle comes in and Tom tries to choke him to death with a cord. Rachel picks up a pair of scissors and stabs Tom in the eye, before kicking it deeper into his eye socket, finally killing him.
After the cops show up, Rachel and Kyle find out that Fred had survived the attack and was sent to the hospital earlier. After providing statements to the police about the crazy day they have experienced, Rachel and Kyle leave to go and see Fred. As they drive away, a car cuts across Rachel and she almost honks her horn at the driver, but decides against it after what they have been through, to which Kyle simply responds, "Good choice." They drive away.
- Russell Crowe as Tom Cooper, a mentally unstable stranger.
- Caren Pistorius as Rachel Flynn, Kyle's mother.
- Gabriel Bateman as Kyle Flynn, Rachel's son.
- Jimmi Simpson as Andy, Rachel's friend and divorce lawyer
- Austin P. McKenzie as Fred, Rachel's brother.
- Juliene Joyner as Mary, Fred's girlfriend
- Stephen Louis Grush as Leo, Convenient Store Guy who saves Rachel from Tom
- Anne Leighton as Deborah Haskell, Rachel's client
- Michael Papajohn as Homer
- Lucy Faust as Rosie
- Devyn A. Tyler as Mrs. Ayers
- Samantha Beaulieu as Cashier
- Andrew Morgado as Richard Flynn, Rachel's ex-husband and Kyle's father.
Unhinged was originally scheduled to be released on August 28, 2020, before being pushed back to September 4. In May 2020, its release was moved up to July 1, 2020, in order to "likely be the first to test the waters as theaters try to rebound" from the COVID-19 pandemic. The date was later pushed back to July 10, then July 31, and, on July 23, the film was again delayed, this time to August 21, 2020. The film began a premium video on demand release on October 20, 61 days after opening in theaters. Normally if distributors put a film on VOD before the 75-day window, theaters will stop showing it; however, given the pandemic, exhibitors feel it "remains a welcome addition to a limited release schedule".
The film began an international release on July 16 in Germany, and then on July 31 in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Latin America.
In its opening weekend in Canada, the film made $601,032 from 299 theaters. Playing in both the United States and Canada the following weekend, the film grossed $1.4 million from 1,823 theaters on its first day, and went on to debut to $4 million over the weekend; 71% of the audience was over the age of 25, with 56% being male. It was the first film with a weekend gross of over $1 million since Onward in March, and despite theater chains reopening some locations the top-five grossing venues were all drive-ins. Deadline Hollywood noted the increase of ticket sales from Friday to Saturday was likely an indication of audience interest moving forward, while The Hollywood Reporter called the film's debut a win, and said studio executives were "pleased by the results." Playing in 2,331 theaters the following weekend, the film made $2.8 million (a drop of 35%), finishing second behind newcomer The New Mutants. In its third, fourth, fifth weekends of release in the U.S. the film made $1.7 million, $1.5 million, and $1.3 million, respectively, with drive-in theaters remaining its top venues.
Unhinged grossed $251,849 from 380 theaters in its German debut, slightly below expectations but finishing in first place. In its second weekend the film made $201,655 from 438 theaters for a 12-day total in the country of $530,572. In the film's United Kingdom debut, it grossed $230,000 (£174,901) from 250 theaters, becoming the first film to make over £100,000 in the country since the re-opening. By its third week of release, beginning August 7, Unhinged was the top film in six of about 50 countries, and had a running international gross of $5.41 million. Its top markets at the time were Australia ($1.24 million total gross), Germany ($877,000), the Netherlands ($597,000), the United Kingdom ($575,000), New Zealand ($193,000), and Russia ($124,000). It continued to hold the top spot in the UK and Australia the following weekend, with a global running total of $7.7 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 48% based on 195 reviews, with an average rating of 5.27/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Russell Crowe makes for a compulsively watchable villain, but Unhinged lacks enough intelligence or depth to get sufficient mileage out of its pulpy premise." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 40 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
Guy Lodge of Variety said that the film "delivers exactly the nasty B-movie thrills you expect," and wrote, "The carnage is the point here, not any of the reasoning behind it, and Borte and Crowe bring it to a suitably frothing, furious head." Writing for CTV News, Richard Crouse gave the film two stars and specified, "Unhinged distinguishes itself by keeping the pedal to the metal without providing anything new in the way of thrills. As a study of an emasculated man seeking revenge it brings to mind Falling Down, Michael Douglas' 1993 black comedy, except Unhinged is all darkness and no comedy."
Writing for IndieWire, Kaleem Aftab gave the film a "D" and said, "For a film so reliant on the telephone, it's probably not a surprise that Crowe dials in his performance. Dressed heavy-set, Crowe is all grimaces and frowns in disgust at everything around him. His only emotional note is all ANGRY, resulting in a parody of his own performances. It's Crowe on overdrive, and it's horrible."
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Rookie distributor Solstice Studios’ flagship film has picked up more than $5 million and to get domestic moviegoers excited about the action thriller (which has mediocre reviews), star Russell Crowe has shared a series of tongue-in-cheek ominous video messages on Twitter.
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Russell Crowe is known simply as “The Man” in the new action-suspense film “Unhinged” as the Academy Award-winning actor delivers a performance that’s evil personified.
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Solstice Studios braved the continuing pandemic and assisted the major exhibition circuits to reopen this weekend in the US with their Russell Crowe road rage action movie Unhinged.
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