Conspiracy Theory (1997)

Conspiracy is an American action thriller film directed by Richard Donner and written by Brian Helgeland.  New York City cab driver and conspiracy buff Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) knows about the secret movers, shakers, and assassinations who really control things.  A man obsessed with conspiracy theories, he soon enough becomes a target after one of his theories comes true.  Trying to put Justice Department attorney Alice Sutton (Julia Roberts) in the loop, he is run out of her office.  Soon, they both will be running for their lives.  Also stars Patrick Stewart.  (Running Time: 135 minutes)(Rated R for some violence)

I came in on this movie a couple of years ago, about half way through the flick.  Needless to say I was confused, but very intrigued.  Curious enough to remember it two years later, happen to see it, rent it, watch it, and love it!

Brian Helgeland is one of the top best screenwriters of our time!  Here he has crafted a brilliant hook and pull for a mystery, which involves a unique but paranoid cab driver who has a deep crush on an workaholic attorney that he constantly shares his conspiracies with.  He should’ve received at least an Academy Award nomination for this fine piece of screen literature.  To quote one of the best lines in this film: “I’m just a guy trying to put out a fire.”

Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts

Another element I love about this movie is its acting, especially on Mel Gibson’s part.  I’m not a huge Gibson fan, but I cannot deny he has some talent.  He is a very energetic actor, who seems to focus on a lot of the little things here and there about the characters he plays.  And I personally think Mel was born to play the part of Jerry Fletcher!  It was the perfect role for him!  A deserving Academy Award nomination, he should have received!–it’s surprising he has never been nominated for any of his acting roles.  Julia Roberts is impressive, as always.  She plays a different character than she has typically been given, playing a serious, determined, cold attorney who wants no trouble.  Put these two together and you have got a great acting pair!  Oh, and Patrick Stewart (without giving too much of the plot away) does a great job at being a…well…you know…

Some fun facts about Conspiracy Theory:

The film’s director, Richard Donner, confessed that Julia Roberts’ role was originally offered to Jodie Foster, and that Mel Gibson improvised all his lines during the opening credits of the film as he talks to multiple people about his conspiracies while he drives his cab.  The movie Jerry Fletcher watches when he hides in the movie theater is Ladyhawke (1985), which Donner also directed.

Conspiracy Theory was a box office success, grossing over $140 million at the box office on a budget of $75 million, but was mixed with critics, who passed it by as “quirky, and sometimes amusing, but ended to simply”.  I say nay!

An original, sneaky, intriguing, captivating mystery that will plant you in your seat till the end credits role.  Highly recommended!  A low 6 out of 7 stars, on my end!

Theatrical poster

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January 2016 Update: This blog is under reconstruction. Please be patient while we gradually remove old material, posts, and pages, and create new ones. Thank you.
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