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"The Cold Light of Day"--Should It Have Seen The Light of Day?

Critics pan thriller as poorly conceived.

Think losing your luggage makes for a bad family vacation? How about losing your whole family?

Those are the cards dealt to Will Shaw (Henry Cavill), who leaves behind his job for a sailing trip in Spain with his family, including his father Martin Shaw (Bruce Willis). When Will swims into town to do an errand, he returns to find the sailboat and his family missing. Oops!

He then learns that his dad, instead of being a state department employee, is actually a CIA agent. And Will learns that he must triumph in an international conspiracy in order to have his family returned safely. He encounters a bored, hooting Sigourney Weaver, who likes to shoot things.

Along the way, we learn that perhaps it would have been best if this movie had been released straight to DVD instead of being inflicted on a theatre-going audience, says Scott Sawitz of Inside Pulse. Doing so might have bolstered the reputation of Cavill, who will play Superman in next year's Man of Steel.

Here's what other critics are saying about "The Cold Light of Day":

And when [Bruce] Willis himself exits the picture early (presumably so he can film Die Hard 5 and RED 2 by the end of the week) it is up to our young, ill-equipped hero to save his folks by finding the usual suitcase-filled-with-something-or-other-important. The result apesThe Bourne Identity so slavishly yet so boringly it winds up with no identity at all. The good news? Bruce's next movie, the much more fancied Looper, is out in just three weeks time. 

Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly

In The Cold Light Of Day, Sigourney Weaver somehow manages to top Willis’ indifference; the two veterans stop just short of rolling their eyes and punctuating every line with jerk-off hand gestures to broadcast their lack of commitment and engagement in the film.... As an ordinary man in over his head, Cavill works up a mighty sweat running from location to location, confronting people who are understandably confused as to why a wild-eyed perspiration factory is yelling at them in a foreign language.

Nathan Rubin, The AVClub 

Not all globetrotting spy thrillers are created equal. Take, for example, “The Cold Light of Day,” which critics say borrows liberally from the “Taken” and “Bourne” playbooks without adding such essential elements as comprehensibility and plausibility.

The Wall Street Journal 

"The Cold Light of Day" is a product-placement travelogue in search of a coherent thriller. A poor imitation of the best "Bourne" films, it's confusing, illogical, with plot lapses and continuity blunders. It's yet another fiasco that could devalue Warner Bros.' considerable investment in Henry Cavill as the new "Man of Steel." Simply put, "Day" is a mess Cavill never rises above. 

Roger Moore, Richmond Times Dispatch

"The Cold Light of Day is rated PG-13 and runs !hr. 34 minutes. Buy the large popcorn and call it a meal. it's showing at Beechwood Stadium 11 and at Carmike Cinemas as well.

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