Conclusion: Director Matthew Chapman has a valid point to make in The Ledge —namely, that secular humanists are just as capable as religious folk of being moral and self-sacrificially altruistic—but he goes about pounding it in with a hammer-like lack of subtlety. The film might be of fleeting interest to those who already bat for Team Atheism, but I doubt it's going to change many—if any—minds.
Excerpt: It’s hard to say where The Ledge misses its opportunity, a film that probably should have been contained to a rooftop. Gavin (Charlie Hunnam) is ready to leap to his death, sidetracked by a mourning detective, Hollis (Terrance Howard). The views are tense, the chosen building not some grand, overdone spectacle, just a locale with believability. Ledge plays smartly with its indie finances, keeping itself contained for the needs of the narrative.
Excerpt: A man stands on a high ledge, waiting to jump. A cop who’s just gotten some very bad news tries to talk him down. So far, so hackneyed. But then the ledge-man (Charlie Hunnam) tells the cop (Terrence Howard) that if he doesn’t jump exactly at noon, someone will die. And then he starts explaining why, via a lengthy flashback to a love affair gone wrong, and a story about the perils of crossing the devoutly religious.
Excerpt: Though the credits do not list the original incarnation of "The Ledge," I'm going to assume this material was at one point intended for the stage, where its mix of monologues and hysterical characters could be broadly articulated by live actors. As a film, it's an inconsistent, flavorless psychological thriller, trying desperately to come across provocative when it's truly about as deep and challenging as a television movie.