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DVD Review: Extraordinary Measures

May 18, 2010

Extraordinary Measures – An Alliance Films Release

DVD Release Date: May 18th, 2010

Rated PG for coarse language.

Running time: 106 minutes

Tom Vaughan (dir.)

Robert Nelson Jacobs (writer)

Geeta Anand (book “The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million – And Bucked the Medical Establishment – in a Quest to Save His Children”)

Andrea Guerra (music)

Brendan Fraser as John Crowley

Harrison Ford as Dr. Robert Stonehill

Keri Russell as Aileen Crowley

Meredith Droeger as Megan Crowley

Diego Velazquez as Patrick Crowley

Sam M. Hall as John Crowley, Jr.

© Copyright 2009 CBS Films Inc. All Rights Reserved. Distributed exclusively in Canada by Alliance Films. All Rights Reserved.

Special Features include:

• Deleted Scenes

• Meet John Crowley

• Extraordinary Measures: The Power to Overcome

Our reviews below:


Extraordinary Measures DVD Review By John C.

** (out of 4)

The cobbler may be outstanding, but this movie is not.  The true story of John Crowely’s fight for his kids lives is an inspiring and compelling one, but Extraordinary Measures butchers it by committing one of the worst offenses a movie can offer: it’s mind-numbingly boring.  In 2003, John Crowely, (played here by Brendan Fraiser, without quite enough emotional verve), had two kids suffering from Pompe disease – a degenerative deterioration of muscle tone.  With no known cure, he enlisted the help of a scientist, Dr. Robert Stonehill, (played rather flatly by Harrison Ford), who was on the verge of a breakthrough.

This is a disease-of-the-week melodrama, that treats its subjects with over-the-counter performances.  I personally would have added cricket noises behind every scene, if only to further offset the lame musical score.  This is a poorly made film, that sadly just shows the filmmakers lack of compelling artistic sense.  I am not rating this film so low because I don’t think the filmmakers tried, but because in telling an amazing true story, it should not have been as boring as it is.

The DVD includes deleted scenes, and a featurette with the real family that inspired the story.


Extraordinary Measures DVD Review By Erin V.

** (out of 4)

Based on a true story, Extraordinary Measures is about a man named John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) who will stop at nothing to find a cure for his children’s rare form of muscular dystrophy – Pompe desease.  Finding a doctor (Harrison Ford) who specializes in researching a possible drug to partially reverse/halt the symptoms of the disease, Crowley starts a charity to fund the research in hopes that the results could help both his own children and others as well.

The story should make this film interesting, inspiring, and moving.  So why was I only mildly interested, not really inspired, and bored? Because put simply, the execution of the film was in its slow moving pace, with acting that felt like two guys rehearsing a play, rather than trying to connect us emotionally to the plot.  At times, there was too much information in one sentence to even make sense, and at others, the dialogue was just overly mundane.

It had potential and could have gone somewhere better, but unfortunately for us moviegoers, it did not.   If you are interested in Pompe disease though, or the trailer piked your curiosity, you could check this one out.


Extraordinary Measures DVD Review By Nicole

** (out of 4)

Extraordinary Measures is a low key drama about one father’s determination to save his kids.  Inspired by true events, this film follows John Crowley (Brendon Fraser), whose two children are dying from Pompe disease, a rare form of muscular dystrophy.  There is only one doctor who may have a cure.  As a pharmaceutical marketer, Crowley manages to track down the eccentric Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), and convince him he can raise money for his life saving research.  Problem is, the universities and pharmaceutical companies are short on money, and don’t consider Crowley’s case a priority.  Can Crowley convince the medical community to pursue Dr. Stonehill’s research before it is too late?

Extraordinary Measures, while an interesting story, was too slow moving to hold my attention.  However, this movie is worth a rental, if the story interests you.


Extraordinary Measures DVD Review By Maureen

** (out of 4)

Based on a true story, Extraordinary Measures focuses on a father, John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) who is determined to find a miracle treatment for his two children with Pompe disease, a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy.  The key to the treatment lies in the research by an eccentric medical researcher, Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford).

On paper, this subject, Pompe disease, is an interesting one.  Unfortunately Extraordinary Measures couldn’t quite capture a sense of urgency or emotional investment.  The two lead actors, Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser usually give solid performances.  In this movie however, their performances felt flat.  While not a bad movie, Extraordinary Measures just doesn’t quite measure up.

If you are interested in the topic of Pompe disease or the medical research industry in general then Extraordinary Measures is mildly worth a rental.


Extraordinary Measures DVD Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Drug company executive John Crowley’s (Brendon Fraser) two youngest children have a life-threatening form of muscular dystrophy. His seek for a cure leads him to Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), an eccentric researcher in a small midwest university, who believes he has found an enzyme that will be effective.  Unable to raise sufficient capital on his own, Crowley forms a company with backing from venture capitalists, but Stonehill has difficulty meeting their terms.  As time runs out for his kids, Crowley tries to get them to be among the first to test the new treatment.

Based on a true story, Extraordinary Measures should have held our interest far better than it did.  Despite good performances from Fraser & Ford, the film drags on too much to maintain the sense of urgency that was expected.  Too many technical details–financial as well as scientific–get in the way.


Consensus: Extraordinary Measures is based on an interesting true story.  Unfortunately, the movie version is far less interesting.  If the trailers/subject really interest you, check this one out as a rental.  Otherwise, don’t make it a priority. ** (Out of 4)

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