More gripping and less pretentious than Crash (2004), Paul Haggis's remake of Fred Cavayé's Pour elle (2008) remains an implausible exercise in contrivance and bogus irony. A well-acted one, however, with Russell Crowe evincing haplessness, resolve, and quiet aplomb as meek college professor John Brennan. When his wife, Laura (a convincingly distraught Elizabeth Banks), is falsely convicted of murder and the appeal system lets them down, Brennan decides to seek justice on his own. Rather than get a law degree, as in Conviction, or sleep with a parole officer, as in Stone, he conceives a farfetched escape plan, storyboarding each step in the same way that Haggis likely storyboarded the film. It's engrossing for a while and, for those who might find themselves in a similar predicament, instructive (Brennan gets a lot of helpful tips online), but in the end it all comes crashing down.