16 Blocks

  • Film
  • Action and adventure
It sounds so simple; it’s obviously going to be a nightmare. Today’s assignment for boozy middle-aged NYPD detective Jack (Bruce Willis) is to escort motormouth prisoner Mos Def the short hop to appear before a grand jury whose term expires in two hours. En route, however, lurk Willis’s old partner (David Morse) and assorted corrupt colleagues with reasons of their own to stop the witness having his day in court. Will Jack stand idly by and let injustice prevail? Well, that’s what he usually does…

Contrived, but in a way redolent of vintage B-movies, this cannily sprung set-up powers all concerned through some sticky credibility glitches as director Richard Donner negotiates bustling Manhattan more nimbly than expected from someone who’s coasted too long on the ‘Lethal Weapon’ franchise. Although there’s as much cheesy over-emphasis as tension-ratcheting revelation, Mos Def’s cartoon-voiced potential fall-guy is disarmingly endearing, and Willis suggests renascent moral turmoil behind heavy-lidded eyes. Clunky, solid, enjoyable.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday April 28 2006
Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Richard Donner
Screenwriter: Richard Wenk
Cast: Bruce Willis
Mos Def
David Morse
Cylk Cozart

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Martin Sutton

16 Blocks is a movie ripe for reassessment. The action is relentless, the plot full of twists, the NYC locations colouring the tone, the two loser characters slowly and painfully learning from each other about trust and understanding. And there's a glorious little scene which takes place in an old Chinese man's bedsit that is full of tension and pathos.What's to dislike? One of the great action movies, with a rough heart.

Alicia

Excellent film! Mos Def did an incredible job in this role. Was in An Italian Job and looked up this film to see if he was same actor. 5 Stars

Alicia

Excellent film! Mos Def did an incredible job in this role. Was in An Italian Job and looked up this film to see if he was same actor. 5 Stars