The Ledge (2011) Poster

(2011)

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9/10
Complex and heart-wrenching
julesette28 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I've just seen this film tonight at the Sundance Film Festival. It was the first film on my Sundance list because I had a chance to meet Chris Gorham at another screening a few months ago, and he's been talking about it.

I was concerned, however, as I started seeing very mixed reviews. As I walked in I was prepared to be bored, preached at, and left with a very predictable life-affirming message. Boy, was I ever wrong.

Let's start with the talent. Gavin, Charlie Hunnam looking like a cross between a young Ryan O'Neal and the late Heath Ledger (complete with fake American accent), eats up most of the screen time, and he's neither hero (a man who falls in love) nor villain (a man who destroys a marriage). That's a sign of a complex character, because real life is seldom black or white. You like him enough, though, not to want him to die. Terrence Howard is predictably good though his character is a little flat compared to the others, Liv Tyler -- who I've never been a fan of before -- turned in a fantastic multi-dimensional performance. Christopher Gorham, as Gavin's roommate, makes a fine showing as well, despite there being very little of it. (Any more of Chris's story would have seemed a forced, unnecessary subplot.) The standout performance, I thought, came from Patrick Wilson as Tyler's Christian fundamentalist husband. For the first half hour I was distracted by the fact that he's a Will Arnett doppelganger, but by the end of the movie he's become frighteningly snakelike.

You expect the Christian extremist to be the bad guy, the evil one. But that's not what happens. Of course he's the bad guy, and yes, he's got views that many people won't agree with, but, through the good writing and his performance, I admired his passion, and even though I didn't agree with his rigid views, I felt his incredible pain as he discovers his wife's infidelity. Some of the folks I was with considered his character over the top, and it is definitely extreme complete with profuse sweating, but you don't really know what direction he's going to turn next, and that's an interesting villain. By the end of the movie my sympathy for him was gone, but I like the fact that he had enough layers that I could feel his pain and hate him at the same time.

The movie certainly made me think, there's a lot of religious and philosophical discussion, but more impact was made by all the pure emotion going on. In case you might think it too cerebral, there was plenty of tension along the way. Like every other scene in the movie, as Gavin stands on the ledge you have no idea which way it might go. In the end, Gavin makes a choice, one life over another, that he faced years before, and this time he makes the "right" choice, at least in his heart. It is not a story about an atheist versus a Christian, anymore than it is really a story about a guy standing on a ledge. And let's not leave out some of the lovely scenes between Tyler & Hunnam as their relationship grows. The film, told mostly in flashback, is quite the emotional roller coaster until it rolls clean off the tracks.

I'm looking forward to seeing it play on IFC so I can appreciate the nuances a little more without being too concerned about the outcome. Matthew Chapman definitely has a lot to say (as he did at the post-film Q&A), and I'm eager to see his next move.
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10/10
Stunning, intelligent thriller about the dangers of heart vs. head!
johnnymonsarrat14 June 2011
It's not hard to put together a monster film. You throw one insane guy together with a hero, and add a car chase. The Ledge is nothing like this, and that's why it's so impressive.

The main struggle is between a Christian with extreme beliefs, and an Atheist who just wants out. Uniquely, it's the only film I can think of that has an openly atheist hero and an A-list cast. And ironically, the few people who have complained about this show exactly what the film is trying to portray: that some people are so intolerant of atheism that even one movie among the thousands in history is too much for them.

To me, the star of this film is Patrick Wilson, who plays the fundamentalist. Instead of becoming a monster, his portrayal links completely normal passions like love and protection and revenge that we can all identify with, but then takes it to the natural conclusion, egged on by his convictions that anything he decides to do must be blessed.

Thus the central thesis of the film -- that belief can go too far -- is played out on a small stage. This is a drama of just 6 people, but the intricate explosions between them pull at the heartstrings far more effectively than a car chase in an action film would. We hear so much about the dangers of religion in big stories like 9-11, gay rights, and abortion rights. Here is a film about the dangerous of religion in the everyday, the dramas so commonplace that everyone who watches can find something in their own lives to compare it with.

Sure, I've never walked out onto The Ledge. But something about the masterful writing and acting in this film creates an authenticity that is undeniable.

Go ahead. Rant against atheism. Show us how intolerant you are. Violent words and deeds are the response of someone backed into a corner, desperate not to lose it all, just like "Joe" is in this film.
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9/10
Psychological Thriller
paq552819 September 2011
I have rarely seen such an understated, effective movie before. Parts of the movie can be seen as completely predictable, but wait for it...think about it. I walked out of this movie thinking I could take it at face value and yet it nags me, makes me think. It demands attention, and discussion.

I have a tear in my mind, I'm slightly outraged; no predictable film should have such an effect on me. And yet...

Viewers of the film may nitpick the details, but they must stop at the fringes to be concerned with the superficial-alities. The meat of the film lies in debate and action - what the characters do, not blowing things up kind of action. Are you willing to put action to your most devout beliefs?

Fine acting, a fine plot; I wholeheartedly recommend this film.
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9/10
Challenging and Thought Provoking
drdray14 June 2011
I saw a preview of The Ledge two months ago and instantly thought it is the beginning of a whole new genre of film that gets away from the cliché world of most films. It explores nuances of life, ethics, love and religion that are not easily classified. While it is a thriller, it is also much more. If you are not thinking about this movie for days or weeks after, you probably weren't watching. I challenge you to put yourself into each of the characters and recognize how powerful world views can influence decisions and behavior. Of all the characters, I thought the policeman and his life dilemma was most compelling. It seems to tie the whole movie together. I think the final scene of the movie was a little weak and may have actually detracted from the overall effect. I would have done the ending a little different but it is a small quibble over a great viewing experience but that is why it gets a 9 instead of a full 10. The fact that I am writing this review two months after seeing the preview is testament to the impact it can have.
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10/10
A grand film
papasmrf6678 July 2011
First off I am an atheist, so I was anxiously awaiting this. I have actually been experiencing old friends and family coming to me asking what happened to make me lose my faith. Nothing I say over and over then launch in to explaining everything again. This movie was phenomenal and now I can say "hey you know what, go watch the ledge"

I thought all the characters seemed believable, both in their lines and beliefs. The storytelling bounces around a bit which I love, it allows you to make assumptions and try to figure everything out before its revealed.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching The Ledge, and I plan on buying it on DVD so I can lend it to people. I can only hope that this does alright and more atheist protagonists are created.
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7/10
Good, but not the "Atheist Brokeback Mountain."
Nocturnous17 June 2011
I think the harsh criticisms of the film are outright ridiculous—along with the excessive accolades. From a basic film critique: The Ledge definitely delivers on maintaining tension/suspense. I think the subtleties here (e.g., Liv Tyler's anti-make-up "make-up") will cause people to feel uncomfortable, but without knowing that it's all intentional.

There is a massive delusion among Christians that fundamentalism and religiously inspired bigotry only manifest in a small percentage of extremists. This just isn't true. If it was, I'd feel dramatically safer and more comfortable in public discussing atheism with a stranger!

The atmosphere is very realistic, and the uncomfortable (at times) dialog is accurate to the reality of proselytism in the guise of philosophical discussion. The movie even captures how many atheists feel when observing prayer, and this is very rare to see in the spot light.

I really wasn't convinced by any of the characters' back-stories. They seemed unnecessarily extreme in a movie that is driven by its subtleties. They really contrasted with the rest of the writing, and broke the illusion of realism. I also didn't find the acting convincing on this level. In particular: Given Shauna's history, she seemed to be unrealistically open and trusting towards Gavin—their interactions felt a bit contrived and very rushed.

Unfortunately the film doesn't explore its topics at much depth, while presenting more rudimentary/common arguments. However, this only added realism to the dialog for me. I feel it has more intellectually to offer symbolically than literally.

The Ledge displays a psychological perspective of an atheist through its atmosphere, and that alone makes it unique and worth seeing.
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Wow, lots to think about here.
kcdugan-117-23602626 July 2011
I just saw this movie tonight and really enjoyed it. The plot is gripping, full of pathos, and well executed. I thought the acting was excellent and the dialogue thought provoking. Charlie Hunnam and Liv Tyler delivered outstanding performances. I felt like I've met all these people in other guise in my life, and they were all very human.

Unlike most modern cinema, rather than skirting the big issues of philosophy and meaning this movie tackles the hard questions head on. It was very refreshing to see how these ideas interacted with the characters and their motivations. I really don't want to give it away. Go see it, make your own decision.
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10/10
An excellent film with more than a hint of atheism at its core.
tpr00727 July 2011
Recently, I posted a piece about Matthew Chapman, the great-grandson of Charles Darwin, who has recently made a film with more than a hint of Atheism at its core; The Ledge (http://tonyryan.org.uk/?p=530)

I finally managed to watch this, and must say that even if I wasn't an atheist I would definitely have enjoyed it. It's a tightly paced thriller, with excellent performances from all involved, especially Patrick Wilson and Charlie Hunnam. A small cast, and a low budget do not a cheap film make, and with these restrictions Chapman has done an excellent job of making a movie with a message that is neither preachy nor boring.

I won't spoil the film by discussing the plot, but from the synopsis and trailer it's pretty obvious what the film is about. What makes it entertaining, rather than just the story, is the interaction between the characters and the way in which you are engaged with them as an outsider looking in.

If you're based in the UK, this film is hard to come by, but these instructions from the producer can help get the film seen by a wider international audience:

"the film is available internationally now, but BY REQUEST, so here's how to get theatres to request it! I just put up some instructions at http://ledgemovie.com/how_?to_help/ , and thank you for any help you can give!
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10/10
Not just for atheists
dangeroustalk16 July 2011
It has been called the Brokeback Mountain for atheists, but the new Matthew Chapman film, The Ledge is not a film about atheism at all. It is a suspenseful story about life and death, love and loss.

Over all, I think The Ledge is a very entertaining mainstream movie with some great theological discussions mixed in. You don't have to be an atheist to enjoy this film any more than you have to be a Catholic to enjoy the movie, The Exorcist. But if you are an atheist, you might enjoy some of the discussions between Gavin and Joe a little more than most.

I loved the complexity of the characters and how I was able to identify with each one at one point or another in the film. I could even sympathize with Joe, who is at first not a likable character throughout much of the film. I loved the suspense and the great conversations between all the characters.
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4/10
Two Dumb Plots for the Price of One
disinterested_spectator28 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"The Ledge" is a good example of what happens when a story is made to fit the Procrustean bed of a preconceived philosophical dilemma. Actually, make that a preconceived sophomoric philosophical dilemma. The result is that characters in this movie find themselves in situations that would never really happen, and even if they did, they do things that no one would ever do, and even if someone was dumb enough to do these things, we wouldn't care, because no one cares what happens to people that stupid.

The movie has two plots, and the principal characters of each intersect on the ledge of a skyscraper, where one man, Gavin, is about to jump, and another man, Hollis, is a detective trying to talk him out of it. The movie begins with the Hollis-plot. Hollis goes to a fertility clinic to donate some sperm, whereupon he finds out that he is sterile owing to a genetic defect, and has been so all his life. This means that the two children his wife had were not his. As we find out through subsequent scenes interspersed with the Gavin-plot, Hollis and his wife were wondering why they could not have children. So, they went to a fertility clinic to be tested. His wife Angela went by herself to get the results, at which point she found out that Hollis was sterile.

Get ready for some unbelievable stupidity. First, Angela did not tell Hollis, because she was afraid she would lose him. In other words, we are to believe that she thought that once he found out that he was sterile, he would no longer love her. All I can say is that any man who would stop loving his wife because he found out that he was sterile is a husband worth being rid of. But the whole thing is preposterous. Couples go to fertility clinics all the time, and when one of them turns out to be infertile, they have all sorts of choices available to them, such as adoption, surrogate mothers, or in vitro fertilization, but divorce is not usually one of them.

Second, if you can get past that, here is another stupidity. Angela decided to have children anyway, and to make sure they looked like Hollis, she decided that Hollis's brother should be the father. So, she had Hollis's brother go to the fertility clinic to be tested to see if he has the same genetic defect, right? And when it turned out that he was fertile, she had him donate sperm so that she could be artificially inseminated, right? Wrong! She had an adulterous affair with Hollis's brother until she got pregnant. And that worked out so well that when she was ready to have a second child, she started having sex with him again.

All right, let's move on to the Gavin-plot. Gavin hires Shana at the hotel he manages. She and her husband Joe just happen to live on the same floor of a nearby apartment. Joe is a Christian fundamentalist to an absurd degree, whereas Gavin is an atheist. Joe finds out that Gavin and Shana are having an affair. He calls Gavin on the phone and tells him that either Gavin or Shana must die for having committed adultery. If Gavin does not jump off the ledge of the skyscraper by noon, Joe will shoot Shana. Joe says he has the courage to die for his beliefs. This test will determine whether Gavin has the courage to die for his beliefs. Actually, if he jumps, Gavin will not be dying for his beliefs, but to save the life of the woman he loves. But by this point, the whole idea is so dumb that we don't really care. Anyway, at noon Gavin leaps to his death, and that is so dumb we don't really care either. After all, any normal person would have simply called the police and told them what the situation was.

There is a subplot about Gavin's roommate Chris. Gavin took pity on Chris and let him move in with him when he lost his job on account of being HIV positive. Chris has a lover whom he wishes to marry, but the rabbi won't perform the ceremony. Therefore, religion, be it Christianity or Judaism, is shown to be bad. Atheism, on the other hand, is shown to be good. There is a ludicrous scene where a maid in the hotel finds out her father died and becomes hysterical, and Gavin gets down on his knees and pretends to pray to God to save her father. That is so we will think him magnanimous. And when Gavin leaps to his death to save the woman he loves, knowing there is no afterlife, that is supposed to prove just how noble he is.

To an atheist like me, you might think that "The Ledge" would be refreshing, considering all the movies that have portrayed atheists in a bad light. But the movie was too lopsided and simplistic to be of any value, either intellectually or aesthetically.

After it is all over, Hollis goes home, intent on reconciling with his wife and accepting her children as his. Angela wants to say grace, but Hollis says, "No, not tonight." The idea is that he's had all the religion he can stand for one day. However, they will presumably say grace in the future. As to whether they will be having Hollis's brother over for dinner any time soon, I cannot say.
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8/10
I was pleasantly surprised (mostly)
houkuko3 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I had seen some poor reviews of this, most being along the lines of "too much religious mumbo-jumbo," or "too much to think about." So I wasn't sure what to expect. But I have to say, I was really surprised by this movie.

I love that format of story-telling with the climax at the start, and then having all the blanks filled in throughout. I thought that all the characters were very believable and they are introduced in ways that you can find yourself in their shoes almost immediately. Nobody was one-dimensional. I did not get a "of course the Fundamental Christian is the bad guy" vibe I had heard a lot about either. It seemed more to me to show the idea that even people considered well-grounded (by themselves and others) can be driven to extreme action when faced with the unexpected.

The only negative thing I have to say is that it felt sometimes like the main character's personality fell back on the "Atheists are just bitter people who are mad a God" shtick. Though alternately I did like the symbolism in his demise. That despite his Atheism, he was willing to put aside his ideas to protect and comfort those around him when they needed it. And at the end, he basically became a symbol of Jesus, sacrificing himself to save another and asking that those he leaves behind become better people. (though I'm probably reaching quite a bit to have found that conclusion, I admit)

Overall, I recommend this movie. It was thought-provoking, emotional and complex. Very nice.
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8/10
Don't Jump! Suspense Coupled With Theological Discussions Works
museumofdave18 February 2013
The film opens from the edge from a ten-story building ledge, as a cop who has just been told of his wife's infidelity attempts to save a man who has decided to jump off the building--that's a good start! The rest follows and fascinates as there are two parallel tales are simultaneously related.

One of the marks of this film's fascination is that it can be read in many different ways--essentially a thriller, it is also a story that questions the nature of human love, of our place in the universe, as well as the human relationship to whatever God might be worshiped. It features some outstanding ensemble acting by a quartet of four, each of whom defines a character with both strengths and flaws...rather perversely, one waits out the film to see a possible suicide, and as Hitchcock so often implicates members of the audience as voyeurs, one feels similarly (if willingly) manipulated here.
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8/10
Liv clueless
lofpointblank29 June 2011
Great film but what shocks me most is how clueless Liv Tyler is about Gavins reasons to be an atheist.

Check out this interview and cringe about her statements.

He clearly states that he was a believer in his youth but step by step realized that there is no Tooth Fairy, no Santa Claus and last but not least NO GOD.

WHAT THE HELL is it so hard to understand that some people just grow up?!

Does it always have to be a catastrophic moment in life that lets you "lose" your faith. Jesus Christ!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMMaB9wCtrU
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An excellent, nuanced allegorical film that challenges the audience to become inclusive.
kbmacdowell23 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Chapman's The Ledge is a sparse, uncluttered film challenging the viewer to confront the complexity of human life and how we attempt to make sense of our experiences. Most notably, and controversially, the film explores these issues at the intersection of religion. Chapman selects four circulating and intersecting perspectives on faith represented by Joe, Hollis, Shana, and Chris, and through these characters explores the need for meaning and the limits of religion.

In Joe, Chapman finds his antagonist. It's an ideology embodied by a tragic character who is as much a victim to the ideology as Shana becomes a victim to his character. It's not Christianity as it is the danger of exclusion that's always possible within any religion. Theologian Miroslav Volf stated any religion requiring exclusionary perspectives of truth risks degenerating into violence to retain authority and power. Yet for Joe the only way he sees to make sense of his life is to adhere to a religious perspective dominated by black-and-white exclusionary beliefs about the world. It's a worldview where Joe is right and the rest are wrong. Of course at each step his world is challenged by intrusions of "others," those who don't share his worldview. Wilson's portrayal is one of rigid containment and continuous tension that deftly allows for the kind of madness we see unfold in him as the film progresses.

The consequence of Joe's type of exclusionary theology is quietly highlighted in Chris's character. In Chris we see a sincere desire for social affiliation and acceptance coupled with a desire to find a faith to cope with catastrophic disease and to honor the inexplicable experience of love. Gorham's portrayal of this character is at once a blending of an almost childlike optimism and willingness to assume the good in others, coupled with breakthrough moments of an underlying despair that no matter how hard he seeks this social acceptance it will elude him. In Chris we are asked to find the everyman in him. For heterosexual viewers, the film asks the viewer to set aside prejudicial beliefs and confront the dehumanization of a heterosexist society. And Gorham portrays this character as one who is accessible and who needs the full participation of the audience to set aside socioreligious barriers to work towards an inclusive society.

Shana's character is the damsel-in-distress, but more she's a reflection on the ways in which many women remain denied full participation in the world around them. She is, to quote feminist spirituality writers Sjoo and Mor, an "auxiliary" woman who has supplanted her own needs beneath those of her husband's. Yet, it's through her we move into the terrain of why faith. In a poignant moment, she says simply that she wants to be loved. She is not a character who condemns religion, but rather speaks to how religion can provide solace after facing horrific events. The film strikingly leaves us with the question of Shana's transformation into a full participant in her life. How will she find meaning and identity; will she? Tyler's performance confronts us with the experience of psychological numbing that's required to survive in abusive environments coupled with the literal naked desire to feel. At the same time, like Wilson's performance, Tyler negotiates the challenging terrain of portraying rigidity without become stereotypical or robotic.

The story of Joe, Gavin, and Shana is a story contained within that of Hollis and Gavin's, giving the film a play-within-a-play structure. It's Hollis's life crisis that frames the action for the film: Hollis's life, like all the characters, is suddenly not what it was. He experiences a crisis where his sense of how the world should work cannot address his life. Unlike Joe, the events that challenge Hollis don't push him into madness. Instead, Howard, rightly, portrays the character as one whose emotional life is accessible. It's not numbed or cut-off. Howard shows us an everyman. And this figure isn't one who necessarily relinquishes his faith because he has an epiphany due to Gavin. Hollis reflects that faith isn't "bad," but rather cannot be rigid.

In Gavin, played by Hunnam, Chapman provides a counterpoint to religious meaning making. Contrary to possible assumptions of audience members, Chapman doesn't present Gavin as a flawless and morally elevated character. Gavin is morally complex, traumatized, and a reluctant hero attempting to get through the day. While Gavin's character becomes a kind of prop to highlight the contradictions of religion; his character also illustrates an alternative possibility for meaning making through the very act of the immediate experience of living rather than living for a hereafter. And while Shana argues that faith is about being loved no matter what, Gavin presents the possibility that being loved by another human being is enough (something Chris's character is left to discover). In many ways, Gavin plays a theatrical fool in the film. He's the character telling King Lear that he's made a choice born out of irrational and egotistical reasoning. At the same time, he's not foolish per se; he recognizes the sincerity of faith in others. Hunnam's portrayal moves between confidence and a kind of joviality that belies a nervous vulnerability. He depicts a rationality in the character that at times carries with it a kind of mirroring psychological numbing we see in Tyler's performance, while at the same time grounds his performance in the here-and-now.

This isn't a film individuals will walk away comfortable with. The audience is asked to be witnesses to tragedies that challenge everyday men and women. And to participate as witnesses means to identify with the powerlessness of those excluded from society. As such, in my mind, this is a brilliant allegorical film that's worth seeing precisely because it challenges us to become inclusive and compassionate people—to hear stories we'd otherwise ignore so that we may remain psychologically distant—so that we may continue to "other". This is the real ledge walked in the film: do we embrace or exclude.
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Great Film
scrabo39-143-1685026 August 2011
Excellent film,that actually give the VAST Atheist people a voice,instead of the usual Hollywood,Christan guff. Very well acted. Thought provoking,and thoroughly enjoyable film. Many thanks. Best film I have seen in a long,LONG time. ;) What a refreshing change it is to have the Atheist character have all the winning lines. Loved it. I actually applauded at the end,and was pleased to say,I was not alone. Please do more like this. For far too long the religious type of film has gone unchallenged. ;)Liv Tyler is such a great actress,and she was on top form in this. Plaudits all round for those involved,and I look forward to seeing more films of this nature.
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9/10
disregard the hype and just watch the film
bant42811 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Because the marketing blitz focused on it being an "atheist" film, I went to see it but expected it to be ham-fisted. Instead, it was beautiful, moving, somewhat ambivalent, and ultimately touching: the opposite of ham-fisted. Sound and visual cues are used, and there is a lot of showing instead of telling.

The fact that there are some very talented actors giving some very good performances helps, as does how almost every character is sympathetic despite being at odds with the others. Patrick Wilson's character in particular was surprisingly sympathetic. He is essentially the antagonist in terms of the plot but it's hard to truly see him as the villain.

The stereotype of the religious woman who encounters an eye-opening atheist man clearly exists here, but in a way, it's almost an inversion of the "wild woman makes tame man's life interesting" film trope, which is refreshing to see. The chemistry between Liv Tyler and Charlie Hunnam is quite good and believable.

Overall, the characters felt real and The Ledge gave me a lot to think about. I enjoyed the film greatly.
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2/10
Potential, but...
maryclimbin3618 January 2012
To be a good film, the director needed to take us beyond hateful stereotypes. The husband embodied very ugly clichés that some people associate with religious-minded people. Silly. Only someone with an ax to grind against fundamentalists could enjoy such a portrayal.

In addition, the theological discussions lacked depth and sophistication. Disappointing. I'd like to see a film with dialog between realistic characters that examines matters of faith.

I did like the sparseness of the film - only a handful of characters, no special effects, no gimmicks.

A lesson for me as a writer: research people and "groups" (i.e.: Evangelicals, Gays/Lesbians, Atheists) before you portray them. People are much more complex than the stereotypical, agenda-driven views of those who fear the "group" to which they belong.
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10/10
Excellent, thought provoking film
mellow1119 July 2011
One of the best films I've seen in a long time. I judge a film by if I'd sit through it again, and I would definitely see this again to catch the finer nuances. Everything in the film was totally believable. I t was not the typical Hollywood formula. I felt empathy for all the characters, even the villain was 3 dimensional. No stereotypical portrayals. I was engrossed right up to the end of the film. I was lost in thought for days afterward. I was surprised by the few bad reviews, and some of low star ratings. I'm sure the religious right behind that are upset by this film, and rather watch the horrific beating and torture in 'The Passion."
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6/10
The Ledge Of Your Seat
raulfaust11 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Since I'm an atheist who happens to be very interested in discussions involving religions, "The Ledge" really seemed attractive. Gavin is about the jump out of a building, in order to save a girl that he finally discovers he loves. The police officer that tries to impede him from doing that is a man who has family issues, mainly because he finds out that his kids aren't from his gene, if you know what I mean. The movie tells the story of them about, making you understand why they're there, what happened in their lives and what is about to happen. The story is very original, but sometimes feels over-the-top; I mean, I sincerely don't believe that Gavin would kill himself for that reason. Also, he looks to calm for someone who is about to commit suicide. Psychiatrist may understand what I mean. On the other hand, photography direction is BEAUTIFUL, delivering a nostalgic atmosphere. If the story wasn't so unrealistic and unlikely, this would've been a much better film. However, it's just a regular one, interesting in some aspects.
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1/10
Horrible. Spare yourself.
cmhphotog3 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Dull, boring, transparent, cliché, poorly written, poorly directed, horrible cinematography, etc..etc..etc..

This is just a BAD movie. The reviewers here claiming this makes them thinks makes begs the question.. Are they capable of thought at all?!

Basically -

Man and wife move into the same building as our main character. Main character wants to sleep with the wife. Wife sleeps with him. Husband finds out and gives him a choice. He jumps off the ledge at noon or the wife dies. There. I just saved you almost two hours.

How can anyone have empathy on these two?

HORRIBLE. AVOID. RUN. RUN AWAY. RUN FAST.
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10/10
Great Film!
palmkrawler3 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this film as an atheist and I greatly enjoyed it.

I did have a couple issues with the film.

First, and the biggest issue, is that the writer really missed a great opportunity to let people in the audience get inside the head of an atheist. I mean, that's what this movie is really all about, right?

There was a scene where Joe looked at Gavin and said something like "What did God ever do to you to make you hate him so much". One of the biggest misconceptions that people have of atheists is that they feel we hate God. Nothing can be further from the truth. I mean, atheists don't acknowledge the existence of God. How can we hate something that we don't think exists? And I think this is something Gavin should have told Joe.

I also have a problem with Gavin just jumping off the roof. I'm not sure if I could have done better in his shoes, but it appears Gavin did not exhaust ALL other options before he took the plunge. I don't know. I just have issues with that. Maybe its just me.

But all in all the movie was great and anyone that has questions about how an atheist thinks should see this movie.
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1/10
Uninventive and mediocre
leburger17 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The first problem is that the film tried to be thought provoking, but it didn't succeed in this, seeing as the whole Christianity vs atheism argument used in this movie was pretty uninventive and uneducated - basically, "I'm a raging atheist because some religious people are bad guys and blow up things". Go figure. Found it also pretty strange why the lead got that carried away in all those arguments about religion, I mean none of the discussions with the husband were even closely heated which brings me to another point - acting.

Some people were saying that Liv Tyler seemed rather distant and apathetic in this movie. I don't necessarily object, but her characters have that feel in more movies than one which isn't necessarily a bad thing and it works for some actresses. The main problem was the lead - Charlie Hunnam who - judging on this movie alone, just can't act - considering what he had been through and that he was about to commit suicide, he seemed to be doing pretty OK at the rooftop, telling his story like he was having a beer with a friend. Convincing? If you want a true portrait of someone in a tight situation and able to convey that emotion as well, try Gosling as Henry Letham in Stay. When it comes to drama genre, you somehow need to be able to associate with the people in the movie on some sort of a level, but in this case, it was really hard to do so.

All in all, the movie was trying to be artistic and emotional, but it never felt convincing because of the booming mediocrity of each aspect.
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6/10
Great Story... Not so great acting :(
merrieamanda12 August 2011
I wasn't sure how to rate this movie. Though some of the acting was pretty bad, I think the story was really good which is probably why the writer is up for an award nomination. Patrick Wilson and Terrance Howard gave great performances. Unfortunately, it was the two main actors that were lacking. The chemistry was good though, and that does make a difference. I think that the movie is definitely worth watching as long as you're not someone that requires your typical upbeat movie. It feels true to life. It was thought provoking and emotionally tragic. I liked how the story was woven together. Part of it was a bit predictable, but I don't think that mattered. You knew that it was building up to something significant. So, my rating of a 6 was because I was a bit disappointed with some of the acting. If I were rating it simply by the storyline, I would have given it at least an 8.
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1/10
This is a joke right?
MK_Ultra_11 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is terrible. Christianity, Atheism and Agnosticism are poorly 'represented' in a terrible script, weighed down by even worse acting. Liv Tyler in her standard exhaling/mouth breathing delivery almost made me laugh during the serious confrontational scenes. Heavyhanded religious themes..predictable lines..yawn. Don't fall for it, this is razzie material and misrepresented on IMDb as a 7+ star movie. C'mon folks, you're doing the casual viewer an injustice by rating this movie in the recommended tier. We fell for it with the well edited, fast paced trailer with what looked like a solid cast. I am seriously blown away at how poor of a film this is.

Dreadful.
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1/10
Simplistic Middle School Drama
gerryheldt30 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
You can't make something like this up....I thought. It is so poorly acted and that is enough. But hold on, there is more. The theological debates are from middle school. And someone dies over this drivel. And of course, it is the atheist who is the most valiant and brave. Of course. He kills himself over this tryst with a married woman. When was the last time an atheist guy actually did that. And, of course, the religious guy was crazy.....they are all crazy, you know. And then there are those reasonable people in the middle. Message? Be one of those reasonable good people who are not religious or on the edge. If you like daytime soap operas of another era, you will like this. For the emotionally immature and uneducated.
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