Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Teri Polo, Matthew O'Leary, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Steve Buscemi, Darryl Warren, Susan Floyd, Angelica Torn
Written by: Lewis Colick, based on a story by Lewis Colick, William S. Comanor, Gary Drucker
Directed by: Harold Becker
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, brief sexuality and language
Running Time: 89
Date: 10/30/2001

Domestic Disturbance (2001)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Betrothed Betrayal

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

John Travotla returns to the good guy role for the first time since The General's Daughter (1999). He plays a divorced and doting dad whose son (Matthew O'Leary) lives with Travolta's ex-wife (Teri Polo). Unfortunately, she's about to remarry a successful businessman, Rick Barnes (Vince Vaughn), who doesn't seem quite right. When the boy witnesses Barnes murdering an ex-con (Steven Buscemi) who could have shed some light on Vaughn's real background, no one will believe him. Domestic Disturbance plays like a lightweight Cape Fear where evil is hidden right there on the surface, but director Harold Becker fails to properly sustain a mix of suspense and quiet time. Most of the quiet moments in which we're allowed to breathe are gone, and everything seems too rushed. Yet Travolta brings the right mix of warm-heartedness to the role, and the film comes in as an effectively minor thriller.

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