It is important to offer an important word of advice before going to see "Man on a Ledge." Like many recent Hollywood productions, this movie contains many exciting scenes that could have you on the, ahem, ledge of your seat. But if one wants to thoroughly enjoy the gripping thrills that this movie has to offer, then, for what is good and holy, do not watch a trailer for it. Much of the plot, too much, is revealed throughout the course of the trailer. That being said, "Man on a Ledge" is a good movie for a boring weekend, but is not the next Hollywood blockbuster.
The movie begins with Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), an ex-con, escaped from prison and checking into a hotel. It is rather obvious from this point that he will be the man on the ledge of this hotel. A flashback shows that he has suicidal tendencies in prison and is driven to escape once he learns of the death of his father, an incident that is never explained and leaves a huge hole in the plot of the film. Cassidy makes a demand for police negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) to be the primary negotiator. Mercer is known throughout the city as the negotiator who failed to save a suicidal police officer on the Brooklyn Bridge several months beforehand. Cassidy justifies his demand as being a publicity stunt, he figures he could get more media attention if he were to jump with Mercer as the negotiator.
It is soon revealed that Cassidy is a former-cop who was sentenced to prison for stealing the monarch diamond from real estate mogul David Englander (Ed Harris) and then cutting it into untraceable pieces and distributing it across the globe. Meanwhile, Cassidy's brother, Joey (Jamie Bell), and his fiancé Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) are working to prove Nick's innocence by breaking into Englander's business across the street and stealing the monarch diamond.
The plot develops slowly at first and it takes a good fourth of the movie until each character's role is revealed. Plot twists, though admirable, are predictable; I found myself telling the individual closest to me my prediction to each twist and I was not surprised to be proven correct. The death of the father proves to be a major plot twist that is not explained at all in the course of the film. Overall, "Man on a Ledge," with its thrilling plot and climactic views up 24 floors of the Roosevelt Hotel, proves to be a good movie to rent or go see to kill an evening, but is not anything to hold one's breath over.