Baltimore Sun

Extraordinary Measures movie reviews

This week's literary movie is Extraordinary Measures, adapted from Geeta Anand's book "The Cure." It's the real-life story of the Crowley family, and the father who pushes a scientist and company to develop a cure for his two young children afflicted with fatal Pompe disease. The move stars Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. Here are some reviews:

Los Angeles Times -- ... a life-and-death story that feels brisk, business-like and oddly emotionless as we follow the deterioration of the kids and the difficulties of the research, as well as the business of turning a scientific theory into a life-saving, and as important, profit-generating treatment. 

New York Times -- ... the startling thing about "Extraordinary Measures" is not that it moves you. It's that you feel, at the end, that you have learned something about the way the world works.

Washington Post --... the film can't help but grip the heart and imagination, especially when the camera is trained on the two adorable, plucky children whose life-and-death struggles propel the plot. But too often "Extraordinary Measures" gets bogged down in meetings, business plans and PowerPoint presentations.


San Francisco Chronicle -- At times, the script gets too dense with technicalities and boardroom arguments for lay folk to comprehend. But at its best, it humanizes the plight of families who cope day-to-day with disabling illness, showing us the plucky kids in motorized wheelchairs - and the parents who grin through a child's birthday while fearing it could be her last.

The Scientist -- Extraordinary Measures tells this story with remarkable accuracy (albeit with some minor Hollywood name changes and plot tweaks), and shines a light on Pompe that rarely touches most rare diseases. But somewhere in the recounting of this emotionally driven tale, the viewer, at least the scientifically-inclined one, is alienated from the realities of the disease.